740.0011 European War 1939/3124: Telegram

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

379. The following “personal message from the Duce for the President of the United States of America” was handed me at 1 p.m. today:

“I reply to the message which you sent me at noon on the 14th instant. I understand perfectly the motives by which it was inspired and I consider it worthy of much respect and of the greatest consideration but there are two fundamental motives which cannot escape your spirit of political realism and those are that Italy is and intends to remain allied with Germany and that Italy cannot remain absent at a moment in which the fate of Europe is at stake. I cannot therefore but reconfirm the substance of my first message. May 18.”