The Ambassador in Italy (Phillips) to the Secretary of State
[Received February 8—2:25 p.m.]
43. The Soviet Ambassador told me this morning that he had obtained certain information with regard to the possible German-Japanese-Italian alliance which he considered entirely accurate. He said that this information did not come from Rome but from other sources in which he had complete confidence.
The substance of his remarks was as follows: 2 weeks before the arrival of Chamberlain14 in Rome, the Italian Government had suddenly begun to press for the conclusion of this alliance. The Japanese Government was not anxious at that time to put it into effect [Page 10]realizing that Italian and Japanese objectives were not alike. While the Japanese wished the alliance to be part of their anti-Comintern policy, the Italians desired it for the purpose of strengthening their hand, vis-à-vis Great Britain and France and probably the United States. Having failed in their efforts to bring the alliance into effect at that time the Italians are not at present pressing for its completion.
- Neville Chamberlain, British Prime Minister.↩