740.0011 P. W./7–945: Telegram

No. 238
The Ambassador in Italy (Kirk) to the Acting Secretary of State 1

1898. I saw Prunas last evening and took occasion to inquire about his govt’s intention to declare war on Japan. He said that after [Page 301] Tarchiani has reported US approval of Ital declaration of war against Japan, Council of Ministers had met. Most of the ministers, including the Socialists, were in favor of immediate and active Ital participation. Only the Communists were cool to this proposal and insisted that any Ital participation in the war in the Far East should be symbolic rather than actual. Since there was some difference of opinion among the ministers with regard to the timing and degree of Ital participation, it was decided to instruct Tarchiani to ask the US Govt when the declaration should take place (Depts 1128, July 7, 7 p.m.2) Prunas added that reports from the Ital Emb at Moscow indicated that the Soviets did not regard favorably an Italian declaration of war against Japan at this time.

1 repeated Dept’s statement to Tarchiani, namely that the question of timing was, of course, one for the Itals to decide, but that as far as my govt was concerned the sooner the declaration came the better we would be pleased. Prunas said that he had no idea what date the Council of Ministers would set for the announcement of the declaration of war.

  1. A summary of this message was included in telegram No. 12 of July 10 from Grew to Byrnes (file No. 800.00 Summaries/7-1045).
  2. Not printed. Cf. document No. 237.