Memorandum by the Acting Chief of the Division of Foreign Activity Correlation (Gordon)

(1) I showed Mr. Berle17 the draft telegram to Rome, dictated yesterday evening, concerning getting our civilians out of Italy and allowing Italian civilians to leave this country. This telegram, however, was not sent because news had just been received of the altered attitude of the Italian Government which, at the insistence of the German Government, has now stated that it will hold our consular people in Italy until the Italian consular party has arrived in Lisbon and disembarked from the West Point.

Although in logic there is no connection between the question of trying to get our civilians out of Italy and the question of the treatment of our consular party, it has been felt that it would be better tactics not to take up the question of our civilians until the question of the consular party has been settled. Mr. Berle was inclined to agree with this view, though he also agrees that we should not let the question of getting our civilians out drag along any longer than necessary. Accordingly, he initialed the telegram so that it can be sent out at the first moment possible.

(2) No telegram has been drafted to Berlin about getting our nationals out of Germany and German-occupied territory in as much as I was informed yesterday that Mr. Welles18 had given instructions that “unless and until” the Zamzam ambulance drivers leave Europe on the West Point no permits to Germans to leave this country are to be granted.

(3) As to future policy once VD19 and Immigration20 formulate and administer the regulations governing exit visas flowing from the Act (amending the Act of May 22, 1918—40 Stat. 559) signed by the President on June 21,21 agreement was reached with Mr. Berle as follows:

We should continue to discriminate against Germans and Italians, but completely undercover, i. e., applications of Germans and Italians to leave this country should be carefully scrutinized and refused if any facts are turned up warranting such action, but in any event they should be kept from going to Latin America. This definite policy should only go into effect after we have finished the fight on getting [Page 409] our nationals out of Germany and Italy; during the process thereof we may make such further concessions as may be necessary to get our people out of those two countries.

George A. Gordon

P. S. Since dictating the foregoing, Mr. Dunn has told me that he has just seen Dr. Thomsen who, with reference to Mr. Long’s memorandum of July 10 of his own conversation with Dr. Thomsen concerning American civilians being allowed to leave Germany, told Mr. Dunn that he had no answer whatsoever in the premises and would not have until after the West Point had arrived at Lisbon and disembarked the German consular personnel thereon.

G. A. G.
  1. Adolf A. Berle, Jr., Assistant Secretary of State.
  2. Sumner Welles, Under Secretary of State.
  3. Visa Division.
  4. Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization.
  5. 55 Stat. 252.