Memorandum by the Assistant Chief of the Special Division ( Keeley ) to Mr. J. Wesley Jones of the Division of European Affairs

Mr. Jones: With reference to our telephone conversation concerning Prince Colonna’s message to Rome,17 in which, in behalf of his staff and himself, he absolves the former Italian mission here of any blame in respect of alleged indiscretions leading to their transfer to White Sulphur Springs, I believe that it might properly be suggested to the Swiss Legation that in fairness to all concerned Prince Colonna might wish to add to his telegram a paragraph in the following sense before we transmit it:

“The Swiss Minister who has inquired of the Department of State specifically what members of the former Italian Mission allegedly misconducted themselves in Public and what specifically they are alleged to have done was informed that the public criticism, which resulted in the transfer of the Italian official group to White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, was of the Government for permitting enemy diplomats freely to circulate in public in time of war however unobtrusively and discreetly they might individually conduct themselves. The Department of State is unaware that any criticism was directed against any Italian diplomatic officer because of his individual conduct.”

As Mr. Harrison17a is understood to have informed the Swiss Minister in the above sense, he might perhaps wish to make the foregoing suggestion in reference to his previous conversations on the subject with Mr. Bruggmann.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Leland Harrison, Minister to Switzerland; he was in Washington temporarily to aid Assistant Secretary Long and to maintain contact with the Special Division.