740.00119 E.W./9–1344: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom ( Winant )

7884. Kirk has received a personal note from the Italian Under Secretary of Foreign Affairs requesting that Italy be allowed to participate in the armistice with Germany.

[Here follows a summary of the note of September 12 from Visconti-Venosta to Ambassador Kirk, printed supra.]

The Foreign Ministry advised Kirk that it had sent the British High Commissioner46 a similar note.

While it is not feasible at this time to consider admitting Italy to the ranks of the United Nations, there is some justification for the request that Italy be included with the Allies in the armistice arrangements with Germany. The Italian declaration of war on Germany in October 194347 and that nation’s subsequent contribution to the campaign in Italy places a certain moral obligation, it is believed, on the United Nations to protect Italian interests vis-à-vis Germany and to terminate hostilities between Germany and Italy at the same time and through the same instrument with which they are terminated between Germany and the United Nations.

It is suggested that the European Advisory Commission might address a communication to the Italian Government inviting its views with respect to the German armistice arrangements as it has done [Page 66] to the United Nations in Europe having a direct interest in the German settlement. It should be made clear that such an invitation would carry with it no other obligations than the consideration of Italian views and possibly a delegation of powers to SCAEF48 to represent Italy as well as the United Nations in any armistice with Germany.

Please discuss this with your colleagues on the EAC and report their reactions, repeating to Rome.49

  1. Sir Noel Charles.
  2. October 13, 1943; for text, see United States and Italy, 1936–1946, Documentary Record (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1946), p. 69. See also telegram 1741, October 12, 1943, from Algiers, Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. ii, p. 386.
  3. Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower.
  4. Substance repeated to Rome as telegram 210.