740.00119 EW 1939/7–1845

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Acting Secretary of State

The Italian Ambassador3 called on me this morning and left with me the appended papers4 which he said he hoped I would send [Page 1011] promptly to the President and the Secretary in Potsdam. He said that his Government is seriously worried about indications that a peace treaty for Italy may be drawn up at Potsdam and that the British and Russians are inclined to make the terms as harsh as possible. The Ambassador said that if this were done, it would destroy Italian morale and make it impossible for Italy to recover her position in the world which he believed was in the best interests of the European nations. I said I had no reason to believe that such a peace treaty would be drawn up at Potsdam, and I very much doubted it, but the Ambassador said that what he feared was that the general lines for such a treaty would be laid down and accepted. The Ambassador said that the United States was Italy’s best friend and that is why they are taking this matter up with us and asked that our delegation at Potsdam take a position which would avoid the laying down of harsh terms for Italy. I said that I would promptly convey the Ambassador’s views to our delegation.

Joseph C. Grew
  1. Alberto Tarchiani.
  2. Not found attached, but see Conference of Berlin (Potsdam), vol. ii, pp. 10821083.