865.01/921: Telegram

The Chargé at Algiers (Chapin) to the Secretary of State

151. From Reinhardt.

At the Naples meeting of the Advisory Council, Massigli8 as Acting Chairman presented a petition addressed to the Council from Mario Ercoli (Togliatti)9 for permission to return to Italy. He stated that an earlier request for a transit visa for French North Africa had been referred to the Italian Government through the British Resident Minister. Macmillan thereupon informed the Council that a reply had now been received from the Italian Government indicating agreement to his return and proposed that the Council recommend to the Commander in Chief that Ercoli be permitted to proceed to Italy, to which Vyshinski10 and Massigli assented. In the absence of a reply to Murphy’s 194 of December 19, 9 a.m. [p.m.]11 I reserved my opinion. The Council’s recommendation is awaiting the receipt by me of instructions in the matter.
AFHQ,12 apprised of the Italian Government’s decision is opposed to the granting of permission at this time on grounds of military security. The military aspects of the case, however, would not seem to be within the competence of the Council which has as its [Page 999] directive the Moscow Declaration for Italy.13 With this in view, together with the fact that the Italian Government has already given its consent, and the consent of the British, Soviet and French members of the Council is a matter of record, the Department may consider it desirable in the circumstances that I be authorized to join in the Council’s recommendation.

Your urgent instructions are respectfully requested.

Please bring the foregoing to the attention of Murphy. [Reinhardt.]

  1. René Massigli, Commissioner for Foreign Affairs in the French Committee of National Liberation.
  2. Palmiro Togliatti, leading Italian Communist, who had spent many years in Russia.
  3. Andrey Yanuaryevich Vyshinsky, Soviet member on the Advisory Council for Italy.
  4. Not printed.
  5. Allied Force Headquarters.
  6. For text of Declaration regarding Italy, see the Moscow Conference Protocol, Annex 4, Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. i, p. 759.