640.0031 Danube/71

Memorandum by the Secretary of State of a Conversation With the Italian Ambassador (De Martino)

The Italian Ambassador came in to say good-bye and to ask about my journey. I told him I would reach Geneva April fifteenth, going straight through, and that I hoped Signor Grandi would be there then or soon after as I was only going to be there a short time.

[Page 857]

The Italian Ambassador brought up the question of the Danubian Union and said that if there were no political engagements in it, but it was purely economical, Italy would be inclined to look on it favorably, but if it was to be a mere strengthening of the Little Entente, no. I told the Ambassador our position, namely, that if it was an arrangement between the five small powers, without any preferences to any of the large powers outside as against one another, I thought it would be a very useful thing for the recovery of Europe, but that if there were preferences we would stand on our most-favored-nation treaties. The Ambassador said that he himself was inclined to be guided by the attitude of Great Britain. Of course, Great Britain did not like to see a single large power built up on the Continent, but rather a balance of powers.

H[enry] L. S[timson]