740.00119 European War 1939/2–945

Press Release Issued by the Department of State, February 8, 1945

With reference to a press report concerning alleged territorial dispositions contained in the Italian surrender terms Acting Secretary of State Joseph C. Grew today made the following statement:

“As I have stated before, the Department of State is not in a position to make public the text of the surrender terms because of overriding [Page 997] military considerations. For your guidance I might refer you to an interview which Prime Minister Bonomi gave to the Italian press February 5, in which he stated that the armistice follows the formula of unconditional surrender and thus ‘confers upon the Allies full powers over the internal, financial, economic and military life of the nation with the aim of placing at their command all of our remaining resources for the prosecution of the war. But in these admittedly stern conditions, there is no reference to the future status of Italy’s frontiers or to the disposition of colonies; moreover, there is no reference to Italy’s position in the world when peace is made. In other words, the armistice refers to the present rather than to the future.’

“I may say that the surrender instrument does not contain any provisions with respect to future settlements. Furthermore, in view of the cobelligerency of Italy it has not been necessary to apply the terms as originally drawn up. Italy’s economy is being devoted to the prosecution of the war in the same sense as is that of the other countries fighting Germany. In line with the statement of President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill on September 26, 1944, the Allies are assisting Italy in every way practicable consistent with the prosecution of the war and the needs of the liberated Allied countries to meet her present difficult situation.”