740.00119 EW/8–2643: Telegram

The British Ambassador in Portugal (Campbell) to the British Foreign Office 1

most secret

General Carton de Wiart has turned up in company with another Italian General. They left Rome by air yesterday morning and arrived at Lisbon this morning.

General C. de Wiart was released a few days ago from his prisoner camp, taken to Rome, fitted out with civilian clothes and Italian name and diplomatic passport and told that he was to accompany to Lisbon and if possible to London an Italian General who was empowered to parley armistice terms.
Italian General whose name is Zanussi is principal assistant to General Roatta who is Chief of the General Staff in Chief to General Ambennio[Ambrosio] who is Chief of Army Staff.2 General Zanussi knows all about General C.3 and General C. de Wiart was told that the dove had been sent out (General C.) but as it had not returned another was being despatched (General Z.) In point of fact General C. must have arrived (barring accidents) a few hours after the departure of General Z.
I have told General C. de Wiart in broad terms of the result of General C.’s visit and that unless instructed by you to do so I see no point in receiving General Z. as this might introduce unnecessary complications. General C. de Wiart will so inform General Z. at late meeting arranged for tonight in the flat of a member of my staff. General Z. will be told to remain here until it is certain that there is no message for him.
  1. Received by the Foreign Office on August 26, 1943. Printed from a copy made available to the Department of State by the British Embassy at Washington.
  2. The references are to Mario Roatta, Chief of the Army General Staff, and Vittorio Ambrosio, Chief of the Armed Forces General Staff.
  3. Giuseppe Castellano. Concerning Castellano’s mission to Lisbon, see ante, pp. 1070 ff.