740.0011 European War 1939/30394

The Under Secretary of State (Welles) to the Acting Chief of the Division of European Affairs (Atherton)

EuMr. Atherton: I suggest that this letter1 be re-drafted in the second paragraph rather along the lines of the statement made by Mr. Churchill this afternoon in executive session with the Senate and House Foreign Relations and Foreign Affairs Committees.2 His whole emphasis—quite properly in my judgment—was that the Italian people themselves had not wanted the war which had been forced upon them by the Fascist régime and that the United Nations should have no desire after the end of the war in seeing the Italian people deprived of their position as one of the family of European nations. In my judgment, however, a statement of this character, made for propaganda purposes, should initially be made either by the President or by Mr. Churchill or by both. It may perhaps be expedient to outline this suggestion in this letter.

S[umner] W[elles]
  1. The draft letter under reference was the one from Hull to Leahy which had been prepared on May 18 and was subsequently sent without alteration on May 22, 1943; see post, p. 329.
  2. Regarding Churchill’s luncheon meeting with members of Congress, see the editorial note, ante, p. 117.