The Italian Ambassador (Colonna) to the Secretary of State

No. 1860

Mr. Secretary of State: I have the honor to inform you that the request of the United States Government, transmitted with your Note of April 2, 1941, that Admiral Alberto Lais, Naval Attaché of the Royal Italian Embassy, be immediately withdrawn from the United States being at present persona non grata to the United States Government as Naval Attaché of the Italian Embassy, has been brought to the knowledge of the Royal Italian Government.

I have now been instructed to communicate to you that Admiral Lais has ceased from his functions and will leave this country without delay.

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Inasmuch as Admiral Lais is planning to sail on April 25th from New York on the Spanish S/S Marques De Comillas, accompanied by two Italian sailors who are his orderlies, namely, Gaetano Canepa and Giovanni Burlo, I shall appreciate to be informed as soon as an understanding shall be reached between the Department of State and the appropriate British authorities in order to assure this Embassy that no attempt will be made by the British Control to interfere with the return to Italy of Admiral Lais and the two Italian sailors accompanying him.

In compliance with instructions received, I avail myself of this opportunity to state that Captain William C. Bentley, Assistant Military Attaché for Air of the United States Embassy in Rome, is persona non grata to the Royal Italian Government and to request, therefore, that he be immediately withdrawn from Italy.

Accept [etc]

A. Colonna