Thursday, December 22, 2016
ADSS 1.249 Maglione: notes on Italy and France
ADSS 1.249 Luigi Maglione, Sec State, notes
Reference: AES St Ecc 611, hand written
Location and date: Vatican, 28.02.1940
Summary statement: An improved relation between Italy and France; but naval contract between Italy and UK is cancelled.
From a reliable source:
Relations between Italy and France have become more friendly (1): the contract for the sale of 400 Caproni (bombers supplied as training places) has been completed during these last few days and the same has happened regarding the supply of 600,000 camp blankets.
Both contracts have been suspended.
The negotiations with Great Britain for building in Italy 36 cargo ships have been broken. The British Government should have supplied the materials.
London was also offering contracts for supplies worth a billion; even the discussions regarding these offers have been broken off.
M. Bastianini (2), who is opposed to war, came out beaming, from a conversation with the Duce (yesterday or the day before).
Count Ciano is more optimistic than ever.
(1) At the same time, in a report dated 24.02.1940, Raffaele Guariglia (1889-1970) Italian Ambassador to France (and later to Vichy) (1937-42), sent a long message in which he was re-examining the whole question of Franco-Italian relations. He concluded by pointing to the opportunity for Italy to arrive at an agreement with France. Such an arrangement, in his opinion, could not be badly interpreted by Germany and would be useful to Italy, no matter what the issue of the war. See DDI, Series 9, Volume 3, n377, pp320-27.
(2) Giuseppe Bastianini (1899-1961), Italian Ambassador to UK 1939-40.