765.75/391: Telegram

The Minister in Albania (Grant) to the Secretary of State

13. Legation’s telegram No. 12, April 2, midnight. Italy, according to reliable information, has demanded through the Italian Minister the establishment of a virtual protectorate over Albania. King Zog has refused to accede and has taken military measures with a view of resisting by force the landing of Italian troops in Albania. One of the King’s advisers has informed me that His Majesty will retreat to the mountains in the event of a successful invasion and continue resistance to the Italians. The Italian Minister was in conference late last night with the Prime Minister and the Minister for Foreign Affairs. The latter two had a midnight conference with the King. This morning the Italian Minister was in conference with the King again. It is understood that the Albanian Government is endeavoring through these consultations to obtain a reduction in Italy’s demands.

It is agreed in diplomatic circles that a very serious situation exists. The Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, the Greek Minister, has telegraphed his Government [garbled group]. It is reported that the Albanian Government will issue an official communiqué during the day. I have an appointment with the Foreign Minister at 4:30 o’clock this afternoon.