Skip to main content

Historical documents

213 Cranborne to Commonwealth Government

Cablegram 150 LONDON, 4 July 1944, 8.55 p.m.

MOST SECRET

Your telegram of 10th June, No. 133. [1]

Proposal for preliminary peace treaty with Italy. As stated in my
telegram of 23rd May, D.No. 765 [2] the proposal was prompted by
desire not to adopt a completely negative attitude towards the
Badoglio Government. We agree that it will need to be reconsidered
in relation to the subsequent change of Government in Italy and
that timing of any communication which it may be agreed to make to
any Italian Government must take account of their attitude to
allies and their internal prospects. We have not yet received
United States views nor have we ourselves concluded consideration
of points which should be covered by any new agreement with Italy.

2. As regards the possibility of territorial changes, we agree
that final disposal of Italian oversea territories and final
decision on Italy's European frontiers can not yet be reached. Our
idea would be that preliminary treaty such as we suggested should
provide for cession to allies by Italy of all territories liable
to figure in definitive peace treaty which would settle future
sovereignty. We are not entitled under Armistice terms to impose
territorial changes and if Italians are not brought to face
necessity for them until final settlement we should run risk that
they may by then have so strengthened their position that allies
could not for one reason or another readily enforce their full
requirements. We should in any case aim at safeguarding all
essential rights secured under 'long' Armistice terms and our idea
generally would be to improve our position vis-a-vis Italian
Government.

3. We note your suggestion for a 'revised Armistice' but from our
point of view-'preliminary peace treaty' which would eliminate
many technical hindrances inseparable from a state of war while
giving us practical advantages would have much to commend it and
we do not think that this procedure would necessarily react
adversely on prosecution of war against Japan.

4. We have not yet received United States views but shall of
course keep you informed of developments.


SHEETS, FROM SECDOMIN (LARGELY D SERIES AND AUSTRALIAN SERIES),
MAY-DECEMBER, 1.24922/923]

1 Document 190.

2 See Document 190, note 1.


[AA:A3195, 1944, FOLDER, INWARDS MOST SECRET AND TOP SECRET MASTER
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
Back to top