No. 932
Memorandum by the Deputy Under Secretary of State (Murphy) to the Secretary of State

Agreeable to the Secretary’s memorandum to the President of July 9,2 I called last evening on Apostolic Delegate Cicognani. I discussed with him the contents of the letter from Pope Pius XII to the President dated June 19.3

Archbishop Cicognani, as he has several times in the past, stressed the emotional sentiment which the Pope has evidenced on a number of occasions regarding the unwillingness of the United States to recognize the Vatican as a temporal state. He said that the Pope has never really quite understood our failure to maintain a diplomatic representative there, especially since about 44 nations do maintain diplomatic missions to the Vatican. He, Cicognani, has tried to describe the domestic considerations in this country which make it impossible, but the Pope reverts to the matter from time to time. He was especially exasperated with the abrupt manner in which Myron Taylor’s mission was closed out without an appropriate explanation.

About the point that the State Department had even refused to accept a memorandum from the Vatican regarding the question of war damage, Archbishop Cicognani agreed that there had been no such refusal. He believes that Papal Secretary of State Montini had been confusing the war damage claims matter with another incident some time ago, on which the State Department had been unwilling to accept a direct communication on the score that we do not maintain official representation with the Vatican. Cicognani expressed himself as well satisfied with the personal arrangement under which communications are exchanged on an informal basis. In the case of the war damage, the memorandum was transmitted with an informal letter addressed to me and a reply was made in the same manner.4

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The Apostolic Delegate, after reflection, hoped that the President might see fit to make a polite acknowledgment of the Pope’s letter of June 19, perhaps along the lines of the attached draft.5


That you sign the attached recommendation to the President (Tab C).6

  1. A handwritten note, dated July 30 and attached to the source text, indicates that Murphy requested that the date of this memorandum be July 15. However, the date on the draft of the letter described in footnote 5 below, which was attached to the source text, suggests that the memorandum was written after July 15.
  2. The substance of this memorandum is described in footnote 1, supra .
  3. Supra .
  4. Documentation regarding the claim of the Vatican against the United States for damage caused to Castel Gandolfo by U.S. military forces in 1944 is in file 211.65A/41.
  5. Not printed; this draft differed only slightly from the final form of the letter as sent to the Pope on Aug. 3, the text of which is printed infra . An earlier draft of the letter was attached to a memorandum of July 16, not printed, from Jones to Collins and Freund, in which Jones noted that the draft was more or less the line which Murphy had suggested should be followed. Jones asked Collins and Freund to polish it up and to draft a concluding paragraph providing an appropriate expression of “high sentiment” in response to the last paragraph of the Pope’s letter. (124.65A/7–854)
  6. Not found attached to the source text.