740.0011 European War/3124


The Premier of Italy (Mussolini) to President Roosevelt [48]



ROME, May 18, 1940.

[Received May 18—10:04 a.m.]

379. I reply to the message which you sent me at noon on the four­teenth instant. I understand perfectly the motives by which it was inspired and I consider it worthy of much respect and of the greatest consideration but there are two fundamental motives which cannot escape your spirit of political realism and those are that Italy is and intends to remain allied with Germany and that Italy cannot remain absent at a moment in which the fate of Europe is at stake. I cannot therefore but reconfirm the substance of my first message.