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

No. 163

Sir: With reference to your despatches Nos. 126 and 134 of December 18 and 24, 1936,19 and the Department’s instruction No. 56 of March 17, 1937, there are enclosed our counter proposals in respect of all of the remaining Articles of the proposed new Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation.20

In order that you may have complete information in respect of the points at issue, there is enclosed a memorandum21 in which the several treaty provisions, the significant differences between our original proposal and the Italian draft, and the treatment accorded those differences [Page 450] in our counter proposals are analyzed and discussed in detail. It will be noted that in a number of instances specific suggestions are made in the memorandum with respect to action to be taken by the Embassy. These suggestions should be complied with as if they were a part of this instruction.

It would seem advisable to incorporate important explanatory statements of our position in respect of the several changes in the treaty provisions proposed by Italy in a note and transmit it to the Foreign Office together with the counter proposals. However, the Embassy may exercise its discretion in this regard. It is not necessary that the precise language of the memorandum in respect of the explanatory statements be employed, but care should be taken that no inaccurate meaning or construction be placed upon any of the treaty provisions.

As regards the several instances in which the Embassy is requested to obtain information, it is within your discretion as to whether the inquiries should be made of the Italian Government or of other sources. In the event that inquiries are made of the Italian Government and the information supplied by it is inadequate, effort should be made to secure the information from such other sources as the Embassy may have at its command. The Department has been handicapped to some extent in the preparation of its counter proposals by the lack of information in respect of certain Articles.

In your discussion of Article I of the Italian proposal, you indicate that the Italian delegation is desirous of obtaining information with respect to any distinction made in the United States by the provision of local or State laws between the treatment of nationals and the treatment of aliens in the exercise of any of the activities under reference in that Article. In response to this request, there are enclosed memoranda entitled “The Eights of Aliens With Respect to the Acquisition of Real Property in the United States” and “Requirements of the Legislation of Certain States of the United States With Respect to the Occupations of Aliens”,22 both of which you may present to the Italian Government if you perceive no objection thereto.

As regards the last mentioned memorandum, it should be explained to the Italians that the data has been compiled from the work of a writer who is not employed by this Government but that it is, nevertheless, believed to be accurate as regards State laws in force in 1933.

All written communications from the Italian Government should be translated very closely and copies of such communications as they appear in the Italian language should be transmitted to the Department together with the translations thereof.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
Sumner Welles
  1. Neither printed.
  2. Counterproposals not printed.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Neither printed.