The Ambassador in Italy (Garrett) to the Secretary of State
[Received July 8.]
Dear Mr. Secretary: As I telegraphed you yesterday,87 I read your telegram of June 22nd to the Chief of the Government, who said he would answer it through the Italian Embassy at Washington. In the course of the brief conversation afterward, he asked me whether the President intended to hold to his statement, and I unhesitatingly replied that without a doubt he did. He may have had in the back of his mind, although I could not get him to say so, a query as to whether the President would contemplate any modifications in his proposal. He asked me whether I had heard from Gibson of the prospects of agreement by England and France. I told him that I had only heard from Gibson of how magnificent in its brevity and simplicity he considered Grandi’s speech and how it had received an ovation such as he, Gibson, had never seen in any international gathering. He expressed much pleasure at this. He would not say what he thought the prospects of agreement at Geneva were but he did let out some very caustic comment as to the general and particular attitude of France. He said France would soon have nothing but enemies in the world. She had the Kellogg Pact and Locarno, what more security did she want? Was France to be the only one to have security? More by his vehement actions and the expression of his face than by his actual words he showed his apprehension that France would block the proposal, which, he added, if carried out in good faith would do more than any other thing to calm the critical conditions in the world and allay fear. He said that Italy was whole heartedly for peace and that he had had no hesitation when Grandi telephoned him from Geneva in assenting at once to the President’s proposal. He made no reference of any kind to debts or reparations.[Page 222]
I am sending you to-day a telegram88 in which I have attempted to give the gist of the newspaper comments on the President’s proposal and Italy’s immediate acceptance of it, and I shall continue to send pertinent comments both to you and to Gibson.
Very sincerely yours,