740.00119 ACI/46

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Secretary of State

The Soviet Ambassador2 called at his request and said that Major General Solodovnik had been designated as a member of the Advisory Council for Italy and that his information is that this Government had not notified the proper authorities at Algiers that it is agreeable to the appointment. I said that there must be a mistake, that when this matter was brought to my personal attention, I immediately spoke to Mr. Dunn,3 who is connected with this phase of the work here, and said that I was agreeable to this appointment, to which Mr. Dunn replied that he was likewise agreeable. Later in the day in conversation with the President, I brought up the matter and the President stated that he was agreeable to the appointment. I said that while the Ambassador was present Mr. Dunn had informed me that the Commander-in-Chief4 for that area is to approve the appointment and that notice was given to the proper military authorities here in Washington, whose function it is to send this information to the Commander-in-Chief, probably through the British Government at London, and that for some reason, presumably because a Frenchman was not also appointed and the appointment agreed to by this Government, a delay had ensued. Mr. Dunn added that Mr. G. Frederick Reinhardt, now stationed at Algiers and performing the functions of Robert Murphy5 during his absence, was notified by this Government of our approval of the Soviet appointment. I suggested to the Ambassador that in my judgment this may be the fault of the British but that we would seek to have the President send a message to London [Page 997] asking the British Government to instruct their Commander-in-Chief in charge of the North African area to approve and recognize the Soviet appointment.

C[ordell] H[ull]
  1. Andrey Andreyevieh Gromyko.
  2. James Clement Dunn, Director of the Office of European Affairs.
  3. Gen. Sir Henry Maitland Wilson, President of the Allied Control Commission for Italy, and Allied Commander in Chief, Mediterranean Theater, from January 8, 1944.
  4. American member, with personal rank of Ambassador, of the Advisory Council for Italy, temporarily in the United States. Mr. Murphy was also United States Political Adviser on the staff of the Supreme Allied Commander, Mediterannean Theater.