740.00119 EW/8–3143

The First Secretary of the British Embassy ( Hayter ) to the Chief of the Division of European Affairs ( Matthews )

most secret
and personal

Dear Mr. Matthews, On returning to the Embassy after our conversation this morning,1 I sent off a telegram2 on the lines suggested. I will let you know as soon as we get a reply.

After the telegram had gone off, we received a message from the Foreign Office3 repeating one from the Resident Minister at Algiers which gave the substance of the letter which is being taken to General Ambrosio and states that it was decided not to give the messenger4 the full surrender terms. I enclose for your information a copy of the telegram which Mr. Eden sent to Algiers in reply.

Yours sincerely,

W G Hayter

The British Foreign Secretary ( Eden ) to the British Minister Resident at Allied Force Headquarters ( Macmillan )

most secret

We assume that General Castellano will be asked to sign comprehensive instrument if he proves willing to do so.

In any case it should be impressed upon him that [garble] will be expected to sign comprehensive document as soon as possible.
I must therefore ask that on arrival General Castellano should be invited to sign comprehensive document. If—as I recognise is now possible—he is not authorised to do so, the armistice will of course come into effect as soon as he has signed the short terms. But he should in that case be told to take comprehensive document back to Rome and get authority to return as soon as possible for the express purpose of signing it as it stands.
You will appreciate that although in theory the Badoglio Government, by accepting short terms, will have bound themselves under final article to accept some further document, in practice we may find [Page 1193] difficulty in getting them to accept comprehensive document without haggling unless at the outset you make it clear that it is an essential part of the armistice.
Fan 206 for Eisenhower from Combined Chiefs of Staff4 states that Soviet’s consent to General Eisenhower signing on their behalf the terms of surrender may be taken to apply to military as well as on the question of comprehensive terms. This is incorrect. The Soviet Government have only agreed to signature on their behalf of comprehensive terms.5 The same applies to other allies.
  1. No record has been found of a Matthews–Hayter conversation on August 31, 1943, concerning Italy.
  2. Not found in United States files.
  3. Not found in United States files. For Eisenhower’s telegram No. W 8726 of August 30, 1943, on the same subject, see Eisenhower Papers, p. 1369.
  4. Galvano Lanza. See Garland and Smyth, pp. 464–465, 467.
  5. Ante, p. 1190.
  6. See ante p. 1185.