793.94 Conference/22: Telegram

The Chargé in Italy (Reed) to the Secretary of State

441. The following indications are believed to point to an unreceptive attitude on the part of the Italian Government toward proposal to call a Conference of signatories to the Nine Power Treaty:

The Government Press Bureau informed foreign correspondents on October 11 that Italy considered the Treaty as having been dead since 1932. The correspondents were also told that Italy would positively decline to accept an invitation to confer which was in any way connected with or sponsored by the League of Nations and would probably not even take the trouble to acknowledge such an invitation.
The concluding statement contained in Italy’s note of October 9 to Great Britain and France (see my telegram number 440, October 10, 11 a.m.97) would seem to preclude Italian participation in any event unless Germany is also included.
Italian sympathy with Japan’s attitude and aspirations as revealed in recent press comment seems very pronounced and it is evident that a successful effort has been made to convince the Italian public that the proposed conference is intended to be an admonitory gesture by the so-called democratic powers against Italy’s friend and prototype in the Far East.

I am informed that Italy has been in consultation with Portugal regarding the proposed Conference.