Mr. J. Wesley Jones, of the Division of European Affairs, to the Secretary of State
S—Mr. Secretary: In discussing the attached Portuguese memorandum1 with the President this morning you may wish to consider the following:
Eu is inclined to agree with the reported British reaction to the Portuguese overtures that events have overtaken the original suggestions of Dr. Salazar.2 The Portuguese, of course, do not know of the various direct approaches of the Badoglio Government to the British through Lisbon, Tangier and Madrid, and to us through the Vatican. From these various channels it is apparent that “unconditional surrender” and the future of Italy are not the principal preoccupations of Marshal Badoglio’s Government. The immediate threat of German military forces in Italy proper appears to be the deterring factor in any surrender he might be willing to make to the Allies. What the Marsha I appears most anxious to hear from us are assurances that we will (1) divert the Germans by landing in France or the Balkans, or (2) land in force somewhere above Rome in order to support his government and army against the Germans. That, of course, is a military decision.
With reference to any assurances of a political nature beyond the demand for unconditional surrender, you will recall that the British, in replying to the Italian Government through Tangier, stated that “honorable capitulation” would be provided for in the terms.3 The British Consul General was also authorized4 to remind the Italian envoy5 that as the President and Prime Minister had stated we desired that Italy in due course should occupy a respected place in Europe and of General Eisenhower’s offer regarding the release of Italian prisoners. To this might be added a reminder that we are not waging a war of conquest and assurances that we have no intention of depriving the Italian people of that territory which is essentially Italian.
Should it be determined to transmit additional assurances of this nature to Marshal Badoglio, it is suggested that existing channels, [Page 1178] through Tangier, Madrid or the Vatican, be used rather than making use of a new intermediary, namely the Portuguese Government.