033.6511 Grandi, Dino/1: Telegram

The Ambassador in France ( Edge ) to the Secretary of State


631. From the Ambassador to Italy (Garrett). Yesterday, Vitetti, one of Grandi’s secretaries, was sent here to see me. The request was that I inform the Department of Grandi’s desire to come to Washington. Grandi told me, shortly after your visit to Rome, that he hoped to visit Washington. The press which got its information from the Foreign Office Tuesday went so far as to report that the Foreign Minister intended to return your visit. On September 18, however, Grandi wrote me that he had to give up the idea for this year. Now, however, he has reconsidered his decision. On November 7, he plans to sail from Naples for New York, spend 10 days in America and return on November 27. I believe that for him to make this visit would give great satisfaction and help in our relations. There is a certain difficulty which I am positive the Department can cope with in regard to the form an invitation should take. Vitetti was sent to talk with me particularly in connection with that matter. In view of the invitation extended to Laval,29 Grandi would appreciate it if you, knowing beforehand that he would come, should express the pleasure it would give you to have the Minister of Foreign Affairs visit Washington. He would appreciate a statement similar to the following, if you could see your way to making it:30

“It would have given the President the greatest pleasure to receive the Chief of the Italian Government, but knowing that he could not come the Secretary of State has expressed the pleasure it would give him to receive the Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs.”

I deem it of great importance that the sensitiveness of these officials should be given careful consideration. The matter should be handled in a way that will permit them to escape criticism both in Italy and elsewhere. It might be stated, I believe, if a communication is issued, that the Foreign Minister had expressed a desire to come to the [Page 644] United States shortly after the visit of the Secretary of State; that his visit had been necessarily postponed on account of the meetings in Geneva and his visit to the German capital and other matters which made it necessary for him to remain in Europe.

According to Vitetti, Grandi is especially anxious to avoid being in Washington after the convening of Congress for obvious reasons. Therefore, he must arrange his visit between the departure of Laval and the meeting of Congress.

I can convey any answer received before I sail on October 8. Announcement of the proposed visit will be sent to the Italian Embassy which will be instructed to keep it strictly secret. [Garrett.]

  1. See pp. 237 ff.
  2. Quotation not paraphrased.