The British Embassy to the Department of State


His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom have instructed Sir Noel Charles to arrange for a meeting of the Advisory Council for Italy to be summoned as soon as possible in order to discuss the political situation in that country. His Majesty’s Government feel that in view of the inevitable public speculation in Italy and elsewhere it is highly desirable that the meeting of the Council should take place urgently to regularise the position of the Government and have instructed Sir Noel Charles to take the following line at the meeting of the Council:

Italy is a conquered country and though a cobelligerent is living under an armistice regime which subjects her to direct control or indirect supervision of the Allied Control Commission. Moreover, as a result of the Moscow Conference the Advisory Council for Italy was established for the purpose of making recommendations on Italian affairs to the Governments represented on it and to the President of the Allied Control Commission.

His Majesty’s Government feel that they and other Allied Governments concerned have a right to be consulted before the agreement of any change in Government and that before any such change is recognised the Advisory Council for Italy should be fully mindful of the situation and should thus be in a position to advise the Governments represented on it and the President of the Allied Control Commission [Page 1132] in regard to any change which may be proposed or be in contemplation.

As a result of discussions which have been taking place in Rome, the last Italian Administration under Badoglio has apparently been unable to meet with the necessary support from the Italian political parties in Rome, whereas the Italian political parties concerned are prepared to serve in a new Italian Government under Senor Bonomi. His Majesty’s Government would wish to have the recommendation of the Advisory Council as to whether the setting up of an administration on the lines proposed should be permitted by the Allies. In the opinion of His Majesty’s Government the two prerequisites to the acceptance of any such administration by Allied Governments would be that:

the new Italian Government should formally express their readiness in writing to accept all obligations towards the Allies entered into by former Italian Governments since the conclusion of the armistice including the long armistice terms and that every member of the administration should be personally acquainted with the terms of all such obligations, and
the new Italian Government must undertake not to reopen the institutional question without the prior consent of the Allied Governments.

Lord Halifax is instructed to inform the United States Government of these instructions and to express the hope that the United States Government will concur in them and will be prepared to send urgently similar instructions to their representative on the Advisory Council.