740.0011 European War 1939/2691‑3/7


The Premier o f Italy (Mussolini) to President Roosevelt [46]




[ROME, May 2, 1940.]


1. If two nations, Denmark and Norway, have been involved in the war, the responsibility does not fall upon Germany, but upon the initiatives of the Allies.

2. Italy's non‑belligerency has effectively insured peace for two hundred millions of men, but notwithstanding, Italian merchant traf­fic is subjected to a constant surveillance that is vexatious and harmful.

3. As far as I know, Germany is opposed to a further extension of the conflict, and Italy likewise. We must learn whether this is also the Franco‑British aim.

4. The only European nation that dominates a large part of the world and possesses a monopoly on many basic raw materials is Great Britain. Italy has no programs of that kind, but declares that no peace is possible without the fundamental problems of Italian liberty being settled.

5. As to the repercussions which an extension of the war fronts might have on the three Americas, I call attention to the fact that Italy has never concerned itself with the relations of the American republics with each other and with the United States (thereby respect­ing the Monroe Doctrine), and might therefore ask for "reciprocity" with regard to European affairs.

6. Whenever conditions permit, and always starting with the recog­nition of the actual and accomplished facts, Italy is ready to make her contribution to a better order of the world.



[46]  Delivered at the White House by the Italian Ambassador.