Roosevelt Papers

Prime Minister Churchill to President Roosevelt

top secret

My Dear Friend, The office of Chief Commissioner of the Allied Control Commission, formerly held by General MacFarlane, is vacant. This is a British appointment. In order to have more political knowledge and experience in this post, so full of economic and political issues and so important for the welfare of the Italian people, I propose to appoint Mr. Harold Macmillan.1 The Supreme Allied Commander is ex officio President of the Allied Control Commission. He would in practice delegate his functions to Mr. Macmillan.

I propose to leave Mr. Macmillan his present duties as British Resident Minister at A.F.H.Q., and British Political Adviser to the Supreme Allied Commander. This is a simplification and reduction of British Staff.

It is proposed also that the day to day management of the Control Commission, apart from general political guidance (Macmillan), should be in the hands of the Deputy Chief Commissioner of the Commission, the United States representative, Mr. Stone, in whom we have great confidence. He would, if necessary, have a Lieutenant-General under him to assist in the administration and in carrying out effectively the policy. This would widen his scope and power.

I hope that these arrangements will be agreeable to you, as I should not like to make an appointment, even where it falls to me to do so, [Page 418] that does not work into the scheme of our close Anglo-American cooperation.2

I should like to discuss with Anthony3 a suggestion that came up yesterday, namely, that Mayor La Guardia should pay a visit to Italy as your representative, and that while there he should be invited to attend the meetings of the Allied Control Commission.4 Thus he would have a chance to see that the machinery was working in the manner most beneficial to the Italians. I have a series of other proposals helpful to the Italians, on which I hope we shall be in full agreement. I would run through these with you, perhaps to-morrow, when Anthony will be here.

It is urgent to appoint Macmillan, because the post of Chief Commissioner has been vacant for two months, and I am becoming blameworthy in the matter, especially if any food shortage or needless unemployment should arise.

Yours always,

W[inston S. Churchill]
  1. Cf. Churchill’s letter to Roosevelt dated September 12, 1944, ante, p. 42.
  2. No reply by Roosevelt has been found, but a telegram from Churchill to the President dated October 22, 1944, referred to the agreement reached at Quebec that Macmillan would be appointed Acting President of the Allied Commission (see telegram No. 339 to Kirk at Home, October 27, 1944; 740.00119 Control (Italy)/9-2944). The fact that Roosevelt and Churchill had agreed on the Macmillan appointment was released to the press on November 10, 1944. See Department of State Bulletin, vol. xi, November 12, 1944, p. 583.
  3. Eden.
  4. The suggested La Guardia mission had also been mentioned earlier, as it is referred to in a letter from Churchill to Roosevelt, at Quebec, dated September 12, 1944. See ante, p. 42.