840.48 Refugees/5: Telegram

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

72. In compliance with the Department’s circular instruction of March 23, 1 p.m., I called today upon Count Ciano4 to ascertain the attitude of the Italian Government towards the proposed establishment of a committee to facilitate emigration of political refugees from Austria and Germany. While promising to take the matter up with Mussolini, Ciano nevertheless expressed the opinion very definitely that Italy could not be represented on any such body and pointed out that in view of the similarity of the two regimes political refugees from Germany would be hostile to the Fascist state as well.

Although he recognized the humanitarian character of the proposal he said that it presented political considerations to Italy, that Italy could not participate in any move to care for the enemies of Fascism or Nazism and that Italy must therefore refuse both on account of its close association with Germany and in view of its own position and form of government.

  1. Galeazzo Ciano, Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs.