800.51W89 Italy/285: Telegram

The Ambassador in Italy (Long) to the Secretary of State

106. My 95, April 8, noon.47 Mr. Suvich brought up the subject today and said that the Ministry of Finance had not been able to reconcile with the military needs of Italy the expenditure of a sum of gold to approximate $63,000,000, the amount that will be due including interest and arrears as of June 15. He expressed the fear that it might be too late now to make a proposal in liquidation because of the near adjournment of the Congress. I got the impression that they were afraid that if they made an offer in smaller amount it might not be accepted and that they would be in an embarrassing position because of the refusal of an offer. Consequently I told him that it was [Page 593] not yet too late and if they would authorize me to name a specific amount I would ask you whether you would be willing to consider an offer of that amount prior to its being made. There is no doubt in my mind that the Italian Government is very much interested in making the settlement and that it is prepared to go as far as it feels it can go considering the necessities of their gold reserve and the possibility of expenditures for military purposes. They are reasonably sure now that the expenditures for military purposes are nearing the end but as the amounts to be due June 15 together with arrears approximate 20 to 25 per cent of their total gold supply they are still unable to come to a definite decision. However, it is possible that I may hear something before I leave for Washington which I intend to do not later than April 21.

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