711.652/85: Telegram

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

50. My despatch No. 126, December 18, 1936.3 A report has reached me originating in the exchange control office of the Foreign Office that there is disappointment in Italian circles on account of the delay in proceeding with negotiations for the new Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation and also on account of our failure to respond to the Italian suggestions for a trade agreement transmitted in my despatch 126, December 18, 1936. Italian officials are aware, it appears, of the Department’s satisfaction at the joint denunciation of the 1871 treaty4 and an impression seems to be current that the Department attaches more importance to the denunciation of the old treaty than to the conclusion of new arrangements for the improvement of trade between the two countries.

In order to avoid any further suspicions of this nature I should be very grateful if the Department would send me the necessary instructions as promptly as possible. In addition it would be helpful if I could be placed in a position through telegraphic instructions to advise Count Ciano5 of the Department’s impression of the Italian proposals in respect to the treaty as well as of the Italian suggestions looking towards a trade agreement.

  1. Not printed, but see telegram No. 533, December 16, 1936, 6 p.m., from the Ambassador in Italy, ibid., 1936, vol. ii, p. 358.
  2. See ibid., pp. 340 ff.; for text of the Treaty of Commerce and Navigation, February 26, 1871, see William M. Malloy (ed.), Treaties, Conventions, etc., Between the United States of America and Other Powers, 1776–1909 (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1910), vol. i, p. 969.
  3. Count Galeazzo Ciano, Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs.