740.00119 Control (Italy)/12–145

The Secretary of State to the French Ambassador (Bonnet)

The Secretary of State presents his compliments to His Excellency the Ambassador of France and has the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the Embassy’s note of December 1, 1945,54 requesting that the withdrawal of Allied forces from Italian territory along the French frontier be deferred.

The Department of State has given the fullest consideration to the views of the French Government, which have also been brought to the attention of the Joint [Combined?] Chiefs of Staff by the Supreme Allied Commander, Mediterranean. General Morgan has pointed out that Allied forces have been maintained in Italian border territory in accordance with the Morgan–Carpentier agreement of June 11, 1945, which provided inter alia that no Italian forces would be stationed within fifteen miles of the French frontier as long as Allied forces are available, but that consequent to the redeployment of forces under his command Allied forces are no longer available and he can therefore no longer defer their withdrawal from the frontier region. It is understood, however, that Allied Commission liaison officers will remain in the region for some time, and it is the opinion of the Department of State that their presence will constitute an adequate guarantee for the safeguarding of Allied interests. In addition, General Morgan has stated that in discussions with General Juin he has agreed in deference to the latter’s views not to allow Italian troops other than carabinieri to enter a fifteen-mile belt along the frontier pending the discussion of this matter by the Governments concerned.

The Department of State has indicated its concurrence in General Morgan’s action in this regard and is prepared to recommend to him that this arrangement be continued as long as the territory remains under his jurisdiction. As the French Embassy is aware, however, it is expected that the northern provinces will be returned to Italian administration in the near future, and while the Supreme Allied Commander will be directed to inform the Italian Government that the return of the territory is without prejudice to any possible rectification of the Italo-French frontier in the final peace settlement, the Department of State ventures to hope that it may be possible for the French [Page 747] and Italian Governments to reach agreement on a mutually satisfactory settlement of this matter.

  1. Not printed, but see telegram 6883, November 29, from Paris, p. 744.