865.01/965: Telegram

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

248. For Reinhardt. Your 216, January 22, 11 a.m. In the Department we have come to the conclusion as a matter of policy that reorganization of the Government of Italy should no longer be delayed. When the decision was taken to permit the present “government of technicians” to carry on until the Allied armies should reach Rome, it was generally believed that that interval would be a question of weeks rather than months. We now feel that the reconstruction of the Italian Government on a broad political basis should be undertaken without further delay and that the liberal forces in Italy should be permitted to proceed forthwith to the setting up of a representative Italian regime to function until the full liberation of Italy.

We have come to the further conclusion that no political reconstruction under the present King is possible. It is our opinion that he will never abdicate voluntarily; that the longer his abdication is postponed the more difficult it will be to facilitate it and that, particularly, his return to Rome will strengthen, if anything, his own determination to remain.

In outlining the above policy we do not intend to go into the constitutional question of the monarchy as an institution and a form of government. The form of government in line with our announced policy should be left to the determination of the Italian people when all of their country has been liberated. We would like your comments, after consulting with Reber, of what steps we should take to implement the policy set forth above.

We are definitely opposed to the return of Victor Emmanuel to Rome as King even for a short visit for the reasons stated above.