740.0011 European War 1939/26924/6: Telegram

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

307. My telegram No. 301, May 1, noon. Ciano sent for me this morning and handed me a copy of the Duce’s reply to the President’s message which he said had already been cabled to Colonna for presentation to the President. After I had read it I referred to the Duce’s statement to me yesterday with regard to the problems to be settled with France. Ciano observed that it was impossible to define precisely these problems beyond those already stated, namely, Tunis, Djibouti and Suez. He added that it was “not quite the moment to include Corsica” a statement which certainly is not without significance. He went on to say that the point which the Duce had made regarding Gibraltar was of supreme importance. Italy’s need of a “window on the Atlantic” was something to be borne in mind as vital to this country.