740.00119 Control (Italy)/7–145: Telegram

No. 476
The Ambassador in Italy (Kirk) to the Secretary of State ad interim
top secret

2828, From a series of conversations (our 2539, June 9 and 2650, June 151) with Chief of Staff2 and other high ranking Brit mil and civilian officials at AFHQ we gather that Alexander during his present visit to England will urge Churchill to endeavor persuade Truman and high ranking Amer military and political auths during course of forthcoming Big Three Meeting to maintain in this theater for as long as possible Combined Command. While Brit will attempt hold out for maximum retention of a SAC in this theater they are aware that we probably will not go along on this basis and they have already prepared plans for formation of Inter-Allied Service Committee to carry on functions of Allied character until peace settlement is made. They will argue that while purpose for which a SAC was appointed [Page 708] in Med theater no longer exists whole of Europe is in most unsettled state and this applies particularly to south Europe and Balkans where ultimate ownership of territories on frontiers of Yugo Bulgaria Greece Austria Italy and France is in dispute and that general situation will inevitably be uneasy until final European peace settlement. They will insist that possibility of having to use force to impose terms of that settlement or to prevent unilateral military action by any of interested parties will always exist and that responsibility for controlling this situation will be Allied commitment and that only a SAC with prestige and power of putting over Anglo-Amer policy is of vital importance [sic].

Brit will insist further that Allied Command is indispensable for execution of Allied admin responsibilities such as repair and docking of war and merchant ships civil affairs in Venezia Giulia communications and labor solid and liquid fuel local resources and financial affairs.

They will point out that if there is no form of Allied Command action could only be taken after coordination and agreement between Brit and US Staffs concerned which would be so cumbersome and slow as to make impossible orderly execution of Allied admin responsibilities. They will also insist that both politically and from intelligence aspect Balkan countries should be dealt with as whole by one HQ. Their position is that Yugo affairs and reactions will continue affect Italy and Albania and there is always possibility of difficulties and incidents over Yugo Greek Alban Bulgar relations.

As Dept aware Amer mil auths at AFHQ have pressed for early dissolution of Allied Command in Italy and are proceeding rapidly as possible with evacuation of Amer troops from this theater. Morton (our 2801, June 283) informed us before his departure for London with SAC that there would undoubtedly be a high ranking Brit civilian official who would have full authority on all political matters in this theater and would probably bear title “personal rep of PriMin”.

  1. Neither printed.
  2. Lieutenant-General W. D. Morgan.
  3. Document No. 172.