The Department of State to the British Embassy



Instructions have been sent to the United States representative in Rome to inform Signor Bonomi of this Government’s concern over the prolonged crisis in the Italian Government. Mr. Kirk was instructed to emphasize its deplorable effect on public opinion in the United States, particularly at the time when the Congress is considering the resumption of diplomatic relations with that Government. Mr. Kirk expressed this Government’s earnest hope that the representative character of the preceding Italian Government would be preserved in any solution. He went on to say that while his Government viewed the composition of the Italian Cabinet as purely an Italian problem it was interested in the measure of cooperation and friendship which any new Government would extend to the United Nations in the prosecution of the war against Germany and would expect it, of course, to assume all previous Italian undertakings with respect to the United Nations. The United States representative was advised that all these factors would be considered before he would be instructed to present letters accrediting him to the Italian Government.

He was further instructed for his guidance, that when the new Italian Cabinet should be submitted to the Supreme Allied Commander, Mediterranean Theatre, for approval, this Government was of the opinion that individual nominations might be approved or disapproved by the Supreme Allied Commander solely on important military grounds, and that further reference to Allied authorities or Governments by the Supreme Allied Commander was not necessary or desirable.

The Department also expressed to Mr. Kirk its approval of a statement of policy which Allied Force Headquarters recently made to the Chief Commissioner in response to his request for guidance in the present crisis. It was along the following lines: Allied policy and objectives continue to be to welcome democratic political solutions worked out by the Italian people themselves in the furtherance of the war effort.

All of these instructions seem to be in general agreement with the instructions to Sir Noel Charles recited in the Embassy’s aide-mémoire of December 4, 19441 (paragraph 2) and it would appear that Mr. Kirk has already received sufficient guidance to enable him to adopt a similar course in speaking to the Italian Government.

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With regard to granting Allied “approval” of any Italian Government which may evolve, the Government of the United States is of the opinion that objection to individuals should be made by the Supreme Allied Commander only on important military grounds. This Government, however, does consider the representative character of a new Government to be of major importance and concern to the Allied Governments and will wish to give careful consideration to this aspect of the political solution, when found, before extending recognition to the new Government.

It is anticipated that there will be consultation in this regard between the British and American Governments at the appropriate time.

C. W. C[annon]
  1. Not printed.