611.6531/472a: Telegram

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

83. You are requested to communicate the substance of the following to the Italian authorities:

1. We have received the Note Verbale of July 24 in which the Italian Government reiterates its views concerning the interpretation and operation of the Temporary Commercial Arrangement. As regards the Italian claim that an oral understanding exists concerning the interpretation of the quota provisions of the Arrangement, we wish to repeat that neither the Department nor the Embassy has any knowledge of such an understanding, and to point out that this Government does not enter into oral understandings with other Governments which provide that the provisions of written agreements or treaties with such Governments may be disregarded. Our views concerning the correct interpretation of the Arrangement remain as set forth in our note of April 25, 193935a and previous communications.

2. The Department received, from the Italian Embassy here, on July 17 last, an aide-mémoire requesting the postponement of measures recently taken by the Treasury Department, and proposing discussions with a view to the replacement of the agreement of December 16 by a “system of treaties and agreements”. In reply, we propose to hand a memorandum to the Italian Ambassador reading as follows:

[Here follows text of aide-mémoire handed to the Italian Ambassador August 31, 1939, printed infra.]

  1. See footnote 35, p. 642.