702.6511/1338: Telegram

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

297. Department’s 132, February 28, 4 p.m. While I am, of course, quite ready to carry out the Department’s instructions, I am not certain from Department’s telegram whether you have taken into consideration that the limitations which the Italian Government have applied to American diplomatic and consular officers are in fact applicable to all foreign diplomatic and consular officers with the exception naturally of the Germans. According to my information there are no foreign career consular officers at Newark or Detroit except Italian; consequently there would be no complications arising from the closing of those offices. I note, however, that at Seattle the British, Japanese, Chinese and possibly others have establishments under career officers. [Page 795] If, therefore, we should single out the Italian Consulate for closing at Seattle the Italian Government might retaliate by singling out for closing further American consulates in Italy.

I submit these thoughts for your consideration before taking action on Monday morning.4

  1. March 3.