740.00119 (Control) Italy/7–1245: Telegram

No. 481
The Ambassador in Italy ( Kirk ) to the Acting Secretary of State 1
top secret

2931. Field Marshal Alexander who returned from London last night informed us today that during his sojourn in England he had conferred with Churchill on three occasions. He said that British Prime Minister had displayed keen interest in situation in Italy and promised SAC that he would not fail to impress on President of the US importance of adopting an active policy with regard to Italy. SAC added that Churchill had pointed out that for a people who had been in Fascist camp for over 20 years it would not be difficult for them to slide over almost overnight into Red camp if Allies were not careful. Churchill shared Alexander’s concern with regard to rapid withdrawal of American troops from Italy and Europe in general and stated that matter would be discussed with President Truman.

Alexander said that Churchill also promised him that SAC would be given every opportunity to explain to all members of American delegation at forthcoming Big Three meeting importance of doing everything possible at this time to help Italy back on her feet.

SAC stated that he expected Italy to be given full Allied status in near future.

  1. The gist of this message was included in an unnumbered communication of July 13 sent by Grew to Byrnes by pouch (file No. 740.00119 Potsdam/7–1345).