865.51/2–2845: Telegram

Mr. Alexander C. Kirk, Political Adviser to the Supreme Allied Commander, Mediterranean Theater, to the Secretary of State

254. Question to [of] transfer of currency responsibility to Italian Government will be discussed at SAC’s political committee meeting March 2. We have not changed our position as expressed in various telegrams to Department recently sent from Rome. Stars and Stripes68 here reported AP69 story this morning from Washington stating that Secretary Morgenthau70 testified yesterday before House Appropriations Committee “possibly Italian Government may place a claim for reimbursement after the war and we on our side will have a claim for the cost of invasion, et cetera”. It is further stated that Morgenthau said that Italian Government has accepted responsibility for redemption of Italian invasion currency under terms of armistice agreement.

If Secretary of Treasury did indeed make statements attributed to him for publication the sole argument which Macmillan and the AC have used in taking their position on this question, i.e. that Italian [Page 1249] Government could not at this time acknowledge publicly its financial responsibilities, automatically disappears.

Any information which Department may be able to give us on this matter before next political committee meeting would be appreciated.

  1. Army newspaper.
  2. Associated Press.
  3. Henry Morgenthau, Jr., Secretary of the Treasury.