740.00119 European War 1939/4–2545

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Director of the Office of European Affairs (Matthews)

Mr. Makins87 called this afternoon at his request and left with me the attached aide-mémoire 88 relating to Italy. The aide-mémoire indicates that the British Government is now prepared to give consideration to the conclusion of a definitive peace treaty with Italy.

I thanked Mr. Makins for the information contained in the aide-mémoire and indicated the personal view that it was highly welcome. I asked when the expected British communication containing their view with regard to the provisions of such a peace treaty would be forthcoming and Mr. Makins said that the Embassy had specifically inquired on that point in London and had been told that probably the document would be ready within five or six weeks. I likewise inquired with reference to the last paragraph of the aide-mémoire whether the British Government expected to receive our views on an Italian peace treaty prior to the expected communication of the British Government. He replied in the negative and said that he imagined that we might wish to start working simultaneously.

I said that certain preliminary studies had already been made but that in any event we might pursue them more actively.

H. F[reeman] M[atthews]
  1. Roger Makins, British Minister.
  2. Infra.