711.652/70: Telegram

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

405. My 391, September 29, 1 p.m. Yesterday evening I handed to Count Ciano the Department’s draft Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation accompanied by a note expressing the hope that it be accepted and that it replace the existing Treaty of Commerce and Navigation between the two countries. I explained that in view of the negotiations which might now be regarded as under way I was planning to address him a note denouncing the old treaty. I expressed the wish of my Government that commercial relations between the two countries should be placed on a modern and more satisfactory basis and that the old treaty contained clauses which were embarrassing to us in view of more recent legislation. Count Ciano admitted the desirability of a new and more up to date treaty. He said, however, that he would like a week’s time to study our draft before I gave him formal notice of denunciation.

I shall wait, therefore, before presenting him with the note of denunciation. In this note I propose to call his attention to the fact that negotiations for a new treaty are under way and that accordingly I am instructed to denounce the Treaty of 1871. If the Department has any precise form which it wishes me to use, I shall be grateful for further instructions.