740.0011 E.W./4–745: Telegram

The Ambassador in France ( Caffery ) to the Secretary of State

1719. Department’s 1262, March 31 and my 1614, April 2.6 Bidault reiterated to me yesterday afternoon that France has no annexationist designs on the Val d’Aosta. He said also that France has no intention of fostering a plebiscite or anything of the kind calling for annexation.

When I reminded him of what he had said to me (second paragraph of my 1417, March 24) he said “I repeat what I have just said to you. Furthermore, it is not our intention to encourage the local population to ask to join us”.

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He added “your Government seems to doubt our word; and I can understand that Bonomi7 is anxious about this. I have had messages from him and from my friend Gasperi8 on the subject. I have sent back assurances to them too. For various reasons we cannot make a public statement on this. It would only give rise to political discussions in our press.

But I repeat what I told you in the beginning: we have no annexationist designs, nor have we in view plans to rouse the population involved to ask for annexation to France”.

Repeated Rome as 68 and Caserta as 25.

Caffery
  1. Latter not printed.
  2. Ivanoe Bonomi, Italian Prime Minister.
  3. Alcide de Gasperi, Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs.