865.01/1023: Telegram

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

383. From Reinhardt. Yesterday morning the Executive Junta of the six parties represented at the Bari Congress called on General MacFarlane to communicate to him the immediate tasks which the parties they represented had entrusted to them. These tasks were (1) to secure abdication of King; and (2) prepare formation of a government with full powers including some of those exercised by the head of the state. This Government would continue in office until such time as general elections would be possible after all Italy had been liberated.

Their spokesman stressed fact they represented those elements of Italian people who had always been anti-Fascist and they represented a large majority of population of liberated Italy. They asserted that the King’s Government was and evidently must remain weak and without influence and that it was self-evident that he would never be able to form a broad-based government. Unfortunately a situation was now being created in Italy which amounted to a complete political deadlock. Only speedy substitution for King’s Government of a government by the parties which they represented would enable Italy to contribute more effectively than at present to common fight against Germans.

MacFarlane made no comment on their statement but assured the delegation that Allied Governments were being kept closely informed of the Italian political situation. He undertook to forward to the Allied Governments the program they had presented together with their representations that the situation be dealt with urgently. He made it clear to them that the preservation of the tranquility of the country and its administration was of highest importance.

General MacFarlane comments that although the Executive Junta of the opposition parties appears to be considering the taking of active steps in an endeavor to implement their program, it seems equally clear that they do not know what tactics they should employ. They would appear to be anxious to obtain views of Allied Governments on political situation in general and on the tactics which might safely be adopted by them. MacFarlane is of the opinion that it is daily becoming more apparent that the situation regarding the views of the Allied Governments in these respects requires clarification with some degree of urgency. [Reinhardt.]