865.4016/142: Telegram

The Chargé in the United Kingdom ( Johnson ) to the Secretary of State

222. Personal for the Secretary and Under Secretary from Myron Taylor.43

There has been pressure on me from many sources since the Italian decrees relating to Jews44 were issued to make an appeal to Mussolini to postpone the date when the decrees will go into effect. With the President’s approval I should like to go to Rome from Florence and, with the assistance and collaboration of Ambassador Phillips, attempt to make this appeal.

[Page 650]

Jewish organizations with which I am in confidential contact are preparing a detailed memorandum on the situation which I can leave with Mussolini.

My best informed friend in Italian matters, who was with me on Friday,45 expressed the belief that I should present the memorandum and then orally attempt to persuade Mussolini to relax the pressure on the Jews and to postpone action from March 12.

Please inform me whether you perceive any objection to this plan, to which I hope you will give your sympathetic consideration. [Taylor.]

Johnson
  1. Vice Chairman of the Intergovernmental Committee on Political Refugees.
  2. See Foreign Relations, 1938, vol. ii, pp. 588601 passim.
  3. February 10.