701.6511/1230a: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Switzerland (Huddle)

85. Please request the Swiss Government to deliver to Wadsworth the following quoted message which is also being sent to him direct in clear, and to make a communication in the same sense to the Italian Government, as well as mutatis mutandis to the Bulgarian and Rumanian Governments:

“As you know the Department has followed a policy of reciprocity in the liberal treatment accorded the members of the former Italian Diplomatic Mission in the United States. Unlike certain of the other enemy official groups the Italian officials have been permitted to reside in their usual places of abode and freely to move about Washington with only such surveillance as was considered necessary for their own protection and the security of the United States. Unfortunately, some of these officials have attracted attention in public places to such an extent that there has been public criticism of the liberal treatment accorded them. To avoid any possible disagreeable incident that might be embarrassing both to the Italian officials concerned and to this Government it has been found necessary, as earlier with the official personnel of other former missions here of enemy countries, to arrange for the accommodation of the Italian official personnel and their dependents at a place where they will be less in the public eye. It is accordingly planned to send them to the well-known Greenbrier Hotel at White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, where they will be comfortably housed in this first class resort hotel at the expense of this Government pending their return to Italy in exchange for our official group there. The whole group will be permitted freely to move about in an area of the park grounds outside the hotel, including the area around the mineral springs, for the purposes of exercise and recreation and will have, if they wish, the companionship of the official [Page 304] personnel of the former missions here of Germany and the other European countries that are at war or have broken relations with the United States, including those Axis officials arriving in the United States from the other American Republics to await repatriation.

The Italian Ambassador and his wife can upon request also visit the nearby town. The representative of the Swiss Legation will be permitted free access to the Italian group at all times; there will be unrestricted two-way telephone communication at all times between the Italian group and the Swiss Legation at Washington; postal communication between the Swiss Legation and the Italian group will also be permitted; and Prince Colonna may continue to communicate with his Government by telegraph in clear through the Department of State if he so desires.

Representatives of the Swiss Legation have visited the Greenbrier Hotel and grounds at White Sulphur Springs and are in a position to confirm to the Italian Government the satisfactory nature of the facilities available to the Axis officials there.

Although the members of the former Italian Mission have already had more than a month in which to pack their personal effects and to close out their personal affairs they will be given a few more days for this purpose.

It is assumed that the Italian Government will continue to accord you, your staff, and dependents, no less favorable treatment.”