863.30/6–2448: Telegram

The Ambassador in Italy (Dunn) to the Secretary of State


2763. Refer to Embtel 2671.1 After one week during which Captain Pryce refused discuss return of Milwaukee in United Kingdom port, Soviet member has agreed deliver vessel in Lewes, Delaware, concurrently with receipt of Italian cruiser in Odessa.

Following Soviet Ambassador’s return from Moscow, Soviet member of Naval Commission has just introduced proposal to accept 33 out of 45 Italian naval ships without refit, delivery to be effected by 15 August. List contains all important ships. As I see no way of avoiding passing this request to Italian Government, I have authorized Pryce to agree in commission after details on return of all US and UK ships on loan have been settled.

Meanwhile private French Italian conversations are proceeding amicably and it is hoped solution will be reached before Russian proposal is received. French will renounce all refits and probably some of ships allocated.

Greek Minister is urgently recommending to his government that they accept cruiser Savoia with voyage repairs, refit to be accomplished through bilateral agreement later.

Captain Pryce requests pass Navy.

Sent Department 2763, repeated London 244 for Admiral Conolly, Paris 377, Moscow 73.

  1. In this telegram of June 17, not printed, Dunn reported that Captain Pryce had stated the U.S. wish that the cruiser Milwaukee be delivered at Lewes, Delaware, but that the Soviet representative had proposed her delivery to a port on the east coast of England, and that the return of the British and U.S. vessels loaned to the U.S.S.R. be simultaneous with the receipt of Italian vessels, type by type (865.30/6–1748).