740.00119 E.W./3–746: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Winant)

confidential
us urgent

2089. Deptel 1751 Feb 22.19 Please deliver following personal message from me to Bevin:20

“As you know I have felt for a long time that the Italian armistice terms should be modified so as to do away with the many harsh and obsolete provisions which no longer reflect Italy’s actual situation resulting from the grant of co-belligerency and the contribution of the Italian people to the defeat of Germany. Therefore, when a formal request for such modification was received from the Ital Govt last fall21 I proposed that the powers signatory to the armistice give favorable [Page 833]consideration to the Ital request. Your Govt replied promptly and affirmatively, and several weeks ago the Soviet Govt, after some urging on my part, also agreed to give consideration to the American proposal. Before receipt of the Soviet reply, the Dept of State had prepared a preliminary draft document modifying the Italian armistice, and had transmitted this draft to the FonOff22 in order that we might have the benefit of your comments. The views of the FonOff on a number of points have already been received, but I am most anxious now to have your concurrence or any further suggestions you may have, in order that a definitive proposal may be submitted to the USSR without delay. I feel that if we are to achieve any benefit from this move, we must press on with it promptly.

My cordial good wishes and personal regards.”

Byrnes
  1. Not printed.
  2. Ernest Bevin, British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.
  3. See note dated October 6, 1945, from the Italian Ambassador, Foreign Relations, 1945, vol. iv, p. 1061.
  4. Telegram 1751, February 22, to London, indicated that the draft had been discussed with the British Embassy in Washington (740.00119 E.W./2–1346).