Lot 53 M 1, Miscellaneous Confidential Files 1943 and 1944: Telegram

Mr. Harold H. Tittmann, Assistant to the Personal Representative of President Roosevelt to Pope Pius XII, to the Secretary of State69

198. Department’s No. 1774 May 22, 8 p.m. to Bern.

I agree with proposal.
I have never been approached by Vatican on the subject nor have I discussed it with them. Some months ago Osborne told the Vatican in writing that it was not expected that Axis diplomats would be permitted by the Allies to remain in Rome after the entry of the latter, and received in reply a reminder that when Italy entered the war he and his colleagues had themselves insisted upon remaining in Rome unmolested in accordance with the terms of the Lateran Treaty and had only taken up residence in the Vatican under protest. The Department will remember that in my own case a year and a half later Vatican officials intimated strongly that they preferred to have me move to Switzerland to be accredited to the Nuncio there. It may be taken for granted that the Vatican today would be happy to have the Axis diplomats remain outside. On the other hand there is reason to believe that some if not all of these diplomats will prefer to take up residence in the Vatican City. Undoubtedly the Vatican will agree to receive them if pressed.
With regard to paragraph 3 of Department’s telegram, in so far as I am aware the only quarters suitable for Axis diplomatic missions are the apartments now occupied by United Nations diplomats. [Page 1320] It is assumed that the latter will leave the Vatican City after the arrival in Rome of the Allies, thus making apartments available to the former, but a reasonable time should be allowed for moving arrangements to be made. Other persons who will presumably leave the Vatican City do not occupy apartments, but are instead lodged here and there with permanent residents. The number of such persons is smaller than is perhaps generally supposed.
  1. This copy, brought to the Department later, bears the following marginal notation: “This telegram did not reach the Department. It was scheduled to go to Bern by courier by Pouch No. 123 which was held at the Vatican State Department for several days and later was withdrawn when there was no possibility of sending mail to Bern.”