611.653/116: Telegram

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

253. In so far as we have been able to ascertain the offensive Stefani despatch referred to in my telegram number 251 of July 6, 7 p.m. has not been printed in any Italian newspaper. Guarnieri with whom the matter was taken up sent me word night before last that he was interesting himself immediately and personally in the matter and hoped that publication of the despatch could be headed off. Whether non-publication of the despatch was due to his efforts it is of course impossible to say. However, there was ample time for publication in the afternoon papers of July 6 before we were able to get in touch with Guarnieri’s office.

There has been no editorial comment on the subject since that reported in my telegram No. 244, July 1, noon,33 and the Treasury’s announcement has received surprisingly little publicity here. Such as there was had been limited to a United Press despatch from Washington which was objective and fair although in two papers it was given disagreeable headlines and a report from Washington printed in the Giornale d’Italia July 6 in which it was pointed out that the Treasury’s action apparently was not directed exclusively against Italian exporters. This latter despatch also described Wait’s recent conversations with Italian officials as having taken place in an “atmosphere of mutual comprehension and cordiality.”

  1. Not printed.