Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Western European Affairs (Moffat)

Signor Rosso30 called this morning to ascertain whether the British Government had recently made any further proposals to this Government concerning the restriction of exportation of military airplanes to Germany. He stated that he had been informed by his Foreign Office that the British Ambassador in Rome had proposed to the Italian Government that it join with other governments—he specifically mentioned the British, French and Czechoslovak Governments—in entering into a treaty whereby they would bind themselves not to permit the exportation of airplanes to Germany, unless in each case the German [Page 492] Government had presented satisfactory evidence to the effect that the airplane in question was not to be put to military or police use.

I replied that the British Government had made no such proposal to this Government and that our most recent communication to the British Ambassador on this subject was an aide-mémoire replying to the British aide-mémoire, of which I had spoken to him some weeks ago. I sent for Mr. Green and asked him to bring in a copy of the aide-mémoire of October 27, 1933, and I allowed the Italian Ambassador to read this copy.

Signor Rosso expressed his satisfaction at being so fully informed and he stated that he believed that the position of the Italian Government would be identical with ours.

The conversation then turned to recent events in connection with the Disarmament Conference and I read the Ambassador copies of several recent factual telegrams from Geneva. He expressed the opinion that the newspaper reports prophesying Italy’s withdrawal from the League did not accurately represent Mussolini’s attitude in the matter.

Pierrepont Moffat
  1. Italian Ambassador.