811.7353b W 52/127½

Memorandum by the Secretary of State of a Conversation with the Italian Ambassador (Caetani), June 14, 1923


American License for Connecting Cable. The Ambassador referred to the communication from the Department as to the terms of the proposed license to the American Company and its reference in the proposed condition with respect to the association with the Italian Company. The Ambassador said that he was drafting a reply but before he submitted it to his Government he would like to ask the Secretary confidentially about it. His Government, of course, anticipated that before any action would be taken under the conditions in the license that the two governments would exchange views, but that his government had put it rather strongly that the condition should not be acted upon by the American Government without the consent of the Italian Government. The Ambassador understood that that was an impossible qualification but he had phrased a suggestion in his letter and would like to know whether the Secretary was disposed to favor it. The Secretary then looked at the draft letter which provided in substance that the American Government would not proceed to act upon the condition until the “two governments had first fully discussed all possible means of reaching an agreement.” The Secretary said he did not object to the general purpose in view but he thought the language rather broad. The Secretary suggested that negotiations which were to involve a full discussion of “all possible means” might mean an indefinite discussion, without any provision for terminal facilities. No one could tell when all possible means had been exhausted. The Secretary said that of course the American Government, while entirely willing to take the matter up in a proper way with the Italian Government, could not foreclose its authority to terminate the discussion and act upon the condition if it saw fit. The Secretary suggested that the phrase be “until the two governments had endeavored [Page 296] to reach an agreement.” The Ambassador said that would be satisfactory.