No. 725
Memorandum by the Special Assistant to the Director of European Affairs (Reber)

Memorandum of Conversation

Participants: Mr. George H. Middleton, Secretary of British Embassy
Mr. Samuel Reber, EUR

Mr. Middleton called this morning at my request to discuss the appended aide-mémoire from the British Embassy1 concerning the British Government’s objections to any announcement at this time that Italy, in due course, would be admitted to the World Security organization.

As regards the substance of their objection I explained we felt that a simple announcement that in due course the United States would favor Italy’s admission to the World Security organization did not preclude discussions of the proposed peace treaty with Italy along the lines which the British Government had proposed.

After pointing out that in our opinion the tone of the note did not seem calculated to produce the most helpful results, I invited Mr. Middleton’s attention to a telegram from our Embassy at Rome dated July 15th2 to the effect that the Italian press had published, apparently with the knowledge and consent of the government and the Soviet Embassy, a statement indicating that the Soviet Ambassador3 had informed the Prime Minister4 that Russia would be the first to take the initiative at the Potsdam meeting and would unconditionally support the admission of Italy to the United Nations. I said I assumed that in view of the British communication to us they had made a similar one to the Soviet Government which had taken this step without informing either the United States or British Governments. I then explained to Mr. Middleton that should we delay all steps [Page 625] relating to Italy’s future status until after agreement on the peace treaty, many months would have elapsed and conditions in Italy would have deteriorated to a point which we could not now foresee.

Mr. Middleton then said he would communicate the foregoing observations to London and added that whereas he felt the British Government was in general agreement with our aims and future policy toward Italy it did not always agree on the timing of proposed steps and announcements. The British felt the peace treaty should precede any other steps.

S[amuel] Reber
  1. Document No. 722 is the aide-mémoire referred to, but it is not attached to the file copy of this memorandum of conversation.
  2. Document No. 245, printed in vol. i.
  3. Mikhail Alexeyevich Kostylev.
  4. Ferruccio Parri.