740.00119 MPC/16: Telegram

The Consul General at Algiers (Wiley) to the Secretary of State

1727. From Murphy. Macmillan decided to accompany Field Marshal Smuts37 to London primarily for the purpose of obtaining information regarding the plans for the Mediterranean Commission. Macmillan intends to point out the need immediate decision on a number of points if a meeting of the Commission is to occur in the near future. For example, the question of whether the Commission should have its seat at Algiers. If it does, would the Secretariat be French. This, we imagine, is not to be considered a practical solution. Both Macmillan and I feel that it would be highly desirable for the Commission to have its seat elsewhere than at Algiers thus removing it from undue French influence. It has been apparent, for example, through the months that it was unfortunate that AFHQ38 [Page 795] should be established in the same city with the Central French administration. I have seen in this connection a telegram dated September 26 repeated from the British Embassy in Moscow to the effect that the Soviet Union is opposed to the organization of an Allied Commission operating under the direction of the Allied CinC39 in Italy. According to that telegram in the opinion of the Soviet Government the work of the Military Political Commission should include the direction and coordination by all military bodies organizing the conquered enemy territory and all Allied civil authorities concerned with the Italian armistice and execution of the armistice terms. It also stated the opinion that the Military-Political Commission’s functions should include the issuance from time to time of directives and instructions on military administration and political questions for the Badoglio40 Government leaving operational military questions entirely to the Allied CinC.

According to this telegram the Soviet Government is opposed to treating Italy as a cobelligerent.

To London repeated. [Murphy.]

  1. Field Marshal Jan Christian Smuts, Prime Minister and Minister of External Affairs and Defence of the Union of South Africa.
  2. Allied Force Headquarters (United States and British).
  3. Commander in Chief.
  4. Marshal Pietro Badoglio, head of the Italian Government.