740.0011 European War 1030/26925/6: Telegram

Mr. Myron C. Taylor, Personal Representative of the President to Pope Pius XII, to President Roosevelt 27

17. My impression is that you have now been given an opportunity to reply cautiously to Mussolini so as to keep the current of discussion moving now once started. This might further draw him out. My information is that time and absolute secrecy are very important elements. Naturally any approach to preservation of non-belligerency for Italy involves secret statement of terms by Allies regarding Mediterranean question. My contacts with British and French representatives encounter apparent insurmountable obstacles of Gibraltar in one case and Tunis in the other. The French Ambassador, however, vaguely outlined to me an idea of creating some sort of international control of the Mediterranean, but that the French would never surrender an inch of Tunisia. Among other contacts I spent an hour with Cardinal Maglione at the Vatican last night. Leaving for Florence.

  1. Transmitted to the Department by the Ambassador in Italy as telegram No. 310.