865.01/1–2544: Telegram

The British Prime Minister (Churchill) to President Roosevelt 27

553. I should like you to see the following telegram I have sent to Harold Macmillan which is, of course, one of our internal messages, so I send it to you quite informally.

Text begins. The Prime Minister to Mr. Harold Macmillan. Most Secret and Personal.

I have talked over the whole position with the Foreign Secretary and we are both agreed we should hold on to Badoglio and the King till we can be sure of something better and more effective for our purpose. It would follow, therefore, that we should do nothing to weaken them in the interval. On the contrary, should we become masters of the realm in the near future, the early return to the capital of Badoglio and the King would be beneficial. Thereafter at leisure we can survey the scene and see what other alternatives are in sight. No doubt the Vatican would play a part in this.
You should be on your guard against the kind of views put forward by Massigli. President Roosevelt has misgiving about our having let the French in on this Italian business on account of the hatred prevailing between the two nations. I, too, was chilled by Massigli’s views. Vyshinsky seems to chop and change. You are quite right to keep in close touch with him, but it does not follow we have to obey everything he says. Text ends.
  1. Copy transmitted to the Department by the British Embassy on January 25, 1944.