Roosevelt Papers: Telegram

Prime Minister Churchill to President Roosevelt 1

most secret

No. 394. Former Naval Person to President personal and most secret. Your 334.2

My position is that once Mussolini and the Fascists are gone, I will deal with any Italian authority who can deliver the goods. I am not in the least afraid for this purpose of seeming to recognize the House of Savoy or Badoglio, provided they are the ones who can make the Italians do what we need for our war purposes. Those purposes would certainly be hindered by chaos, bolshevisation or civil war. We have no right to lay undue burdens on our troops. It may well be that after the armistice terms have been accepted, both the King and Badoglio will sink under the odium of surrender and that the Crown Prince and a new Prime Minister may be chosen.

I should deprecate any pronouncement about self determination at the present time, beyond what is implicit in the Atlantic charter.3 I agree with you that we must be very careful not to throw everything into the melting pot.

  1. Sent to Washington by the United States Military Attaché, London, via Army channels; forwarded by the White House Map Room to Roosevelt, who was then at Hyde Park, as telegram No. White 6. Concerning Roosevelt’s movements from July 30 to August 9, 1943, see ante, p. 406, fn. 1.
  2. Ante, p. 521.
  3. Released by Roosevelt and Churchill, August 14, 1941. For text see Department of State, Executive Agreement Series No. 236; 55 Stat. (2) 1603; Foreign Relations, 1941, vol. i, pp. 368369.