611.6531/295a: Telegram

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

1. Department’s instruction of November 14th last,2 with the accompanying memoranda of conversations with the Italian Ambassador.

Rosso called yesterday afternoon and left an informal memorandum reading as follows:

“My Government, being confident that the United States Government will accept to reconsider the advisability of a prompt opening of negotiations for the conclusion of a Trade Agreement, has reconsidered on his own part the question concerning the American point of view with regard to the principle of the equality of treatment.

I have now been instructed to inform Assistant Secretary Mr. Sayre that the Italian Government is willing to envisage an agreement formally and actually based on the most favoured nation treatment, with the usual exception of Cuba on the American side and similar exceptions concerning Albania and some neighbouring States of the Danubian region on the Italian side.

In order to prepare the way towards formal negotiations, the Italian Government deems it advisable to send to Washington some of its experts, who would be entrusted with the task of giving the American Government every information as to the Italian purposes and intentions.”

Rosso was informed that this proposal would receive consideration and that we would communicate our views to him at an early date. The nature of the conversation was such that he was given every indication that our reply will be in the negative. He was, moreover, informed that we assumed that the Italian Government would not send an expert, or experts, to Washington pending the receipt of our reply to the present proposal.

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We consider it desirable that you informally advise the appropriate authorities that Rosso’s proposal is receiving consideration and that you emphasize our request that pending our reply no steps be taken to send experts to this country.

  1. Not printed. For text of memorandum of November 6, 1935, which it transmitted, see ibid., p. 543.