740.00119 (Potsdam)/8–945

No. 1093
Memorandum by the Executive Secretary of the Central Secretariat (Yost)1
top secret

Berlin Conference


Soviet Policy

Stalin stated that he had no objection in principle to the United States proposal presented at the opening of the Conference providing for a considerable easing in the terms of surrender for Italy.2 Pie motivated his support for this proposal by the same line of policy which he had advanced in connection with Rumania, Hungary, Bulgaria and Finland, i. e., the desire to detach these countries permanently from Germany and align them in interest and sentiment with the Allies. He was, however, totally unwilling to accept any action in regard to Italy which the United States and Britain were not willing to apply in equal measure to Rumania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Finland. This attitude on his part prevented any measures by the Conference on Italy other than those set forth in that section of the communiqué on “Conclusion of Peace Treaties and Admission to the United Nations Organization”.3

The Soviets complained on several occasions that their representatives in Italy had not been accorded equal status on the Allied Control Commission and had not been consulted in advance in regard to many of the important measures of Allied policy taken in regard to Italy. The Soviets did not, however, press this issue but used it largely in an attempt to justify the procedures they had followed in the Allied Control Commissions in Rumania, Bulgaria and Hungary.

. . . . . . .

British Policy

Churchill delivered a strong indictment on the behavior of Italy before and during the war. He stated that he was willing to go along with some easing of the surrender terms but he was not willing to go as far as the United States proposal on this subject. He was also in agreement that the Council of Foreign Ministers should start the work of preparing a peace treaty for Italy but he did not believe it advisable for the Council to come to a conclusion until there had been free elections in Italy and until the Italian Government which consists now simply of politicians rests on a democratic foundation. He did [Page 1087] not think the undertakings contained in the American proposal in substitution for the surrender terms went far enough since they did not cover the future of the Italian fleet, the Italian colonies, reparations, and other important points.…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

There was no very clear indication of the attitude toward Italy by the new Labor Ministers except that they supported those portions of the communiqué having to do with the conclusion of the peace treaty with Italy and its admission to the United Nations.…

  1. Printed from the ribbon copy, which is unsigned. For the other sections of this memorandum, see documents Nos. 738 and 1107. For the minutes of the discussions summarized in this memorandum, see ante, pp. 168175, 229232, 326328, 358362, 462464, 589590.
  2. Document No. 1089.
  3. See document No. 1384, section x.