The Italian Ambassador ( Tarchiani ) to the Acting Secretary of State
Dear Mr. Acting Secretary: I wish to draw your attention to a question which my Government instructed me to immediately take up with the Department of State.
The Preamble of the draft of the Peace treaty submitted by the Big Four to the Paris Conference does not contain any reference whatsoever to an event of major importance, that is, the declaration of war by Italy against Japan which took place on July 13th, 1945.
I wish to recall here that the conversations about the Italian declaration of war took place in Washington, between the Department of State and this Embassy. In fact during the first months of 1945, the Italian Government informed, through me, the United States Government of their intention to participate in the war against Japan. The Department of State, not only expressed its appreciation, but also took steps for securing that a similar attitude be taken by the British and Russian Governments.
The Department of State did not limit itself to the above, but encouraged further Italy to take such a decision.1
I was myself repeatedly requested to interpret to my Government this American wish and I deem it opportune to recall now the following statement which, on the 26th of June, 1945, I was requested to communicate to Rome: “The American Government is of the opinion that a declaration of war on Japan at the present moment would improve Italy’s political and juridical situation with respect to the next meeting of the Big Three as well as with respect to the United Nations.”
On July 7, 1945, the Undersecretary of State, Mr. Grew, sent me a letter following a conversation we had on the same day, saying that Italian declaration of war “will be greeted with approval by the American people” and adding: “the American Government naturally hopes that the announcement will be made at an early date”.[Page 814]
Moreover, the fact must be taken in due account that Italy declared war on Japan before the USSR did, a fact which was acknowledged in the Potsdam declaration and in the speech made by the President of the United States on his return from Germany.
Only the impredictably speedy conclusion of the military operations in the Far East prevented that effective participation in the war effort on that front for which Italy was making ready, as officially communicated to the United States.
Now the inclusion of such a record in the Preamble should, I believe, be first of all the concern of the United States. Its exclusion in the Preamble might have serious future consequences. All the more so, as Japan is specifically mentioned in the same Preamble and in Art. XV of the Draft.
I am confident that the American Delegation at Paris, realizing the above and the developments which might occur, will sponsor the revision of the Preamble, also because it cannot be denied that its terms are far from complying with the terms and spirit of the Potsdam declaration. Italy has certainly not deserved such a deterioration.
I shall appreciate it very much if you will kindly interpose your kind interest in the matter with the American Delegation in Paris on the strength of the documents and records of the time.2
- For documentation on United States approval of the Italian declaration of war against Japan, see Foreign Relations, 1945, vol. iv, pp. 955 ff.↩
- The preamble proposed in the Italian written observations on the Treaty included mention of the declaration of war on Japan; see pp. 118–119. No nation supported this modification before the Political and Territorial Commission for Italy. Neither the Commission nor the Conference recommended inserting such a statement; none was included in the final treaty.↩