611.65A/6–3050: Telegram

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

top secret

2751. For the eyes of the Secretary only. Following from Franklin Go wen:1

“The Pope saw me on June 27 at my request. He received me in private audience. I called to take leave on my transfer to Washington [Page 1795] and to thank him for his kindness and help throughout the years I have been stationed at the Vatican.

“The Pope started the conversation by saying he was sorry I was leaving. He then referred to the fact that last January immediately upon the resignation of the personal representative of the President I had been instructed to cease all activities at once. (Deptel 185, January 18 to Rome2). He said it had been considered most unusual that the mission had ceased in this manner as he had never received any communication in the name of the President that the President had decided to discontinue relations with him. Neither, the Pope added, had there been any indication as to what form further relations might take if any were still desired. The Pope said he wished in this connection to deny most emphatically rumors that no American representative below the rank of ambassador would be acceptable to him. He pointed out that on the contrary he would gladly accept an ambassador, a minister or even a chargé d’affaires if the American Government should (he repeated) desire to establish official relations with the Vatican on a permanent basis.

“The Pope also said that in the absence of any form of American representation at the Vatican he regretted being unable to receive Americans in their official capacity. He then referred to Korea3 and the increasing seriousness of the international situation.

“In taking leave I stressed how much his cooperation and assistance had been appreciated and valued. The Pope said America was a country especially dear to him and that he felt now more than ever all the free countries of the world should unite in renewed effort in the cause of truth, justice and peace.”

  1. Gowen had been the Special Assistant to Myron Taylor.
  2. Not printed.
  3. For documentation on the North Korean invasion of South Korea on June 25, see volume vii .