Roosevelt Papers

The Joint Chiefs of Staff to the President 1


The Draft Instrument of Surrender of Italy, proposed by the British Chiefs of Staff (CCS 258),2 is both a political and military document. [Page 526] It proposes the “terms of surrender on the collapse of Italy, should there be a Government whose signature the United Nations are prepared to recognize”, and as an alternative, contains the “declaration and proclamation on collapse of Italy, should there be chaos in Italy and no Government which the United Nations are prepared to recognize”. It is apparent that the document was prepared oil the assumption that the Allied Commander-in-Chief would be authorized to deal with an existing Italian Government, both with respect to military and political matters, after the agreement referred to above had received the prior approval of the interested United Nations.

It is the understanding of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that under present instructions approved by you and the Prime Minister,3 General Eisenhower is to deal only with the military aspects of the unconditional surrender, and that the political considerations are to be settled by the heads of the interested Nations.

The military conditions which General Eisenhower has been directed to impose cover approximately the same ground as the military conditions land down in CCS 258, though in less detail. For this reason, and particularly to avoid further delay, it is recommended that no amendment of the authority already granted General Eisenhower be undertaken.

Because of its political aspects, the Draft Instrument of Surrender of Italy, as proposed by the British Chiefs of Staff, is believed to be inappropriate for use by the Allied Commander-in-Chief under the authority he has been granted.

The British document may serve a useful purpose in a later phase of negotiations with Italy, or it might constitute a satisfactory basis for unconditional surrender initially if the tender of surrender were made to one of the Allied governments directly. The Joint Chiefs of Staff and the State Department are studying the British proposal from these standpoints and will report their joint recommendations to you in the near future, probably tomorrow.4

Secretary Hull concurs.

  1. Delivered to the White House Map Room on August 2, 1943, and forwarded on that date in telegram No. White 18 to Leahy (who was with Roosevelt at Birch Island) with the following introductory paragraph: “Your Black 7 [see supra, fn. 4]. Following is memorandum to the President which has the approval of the Chief of Staff and the State Department. It will be followed by an additional reply as indicated.” (Roosevelt Papers)
  2. “Surrender Terms for Italy and Draft Declaration and Proclamation”, June 16, 1943; not printed.
  3. See ante, pp. 519, 522.
  4. See post, p. 537.