Ezra Pound: Poet: Volume III: The Tragic Years 1939-1972 - A. David Moody (2015)

PART TWO: 1945

6: TALKING TO THE FBI

Pound was resolute that he had done no wrong. He was eager to explain himself, confident that when they had heard him out the American authorities would see reason. And he wanted to make himself useful, to show them that he was a responsible citizen. At the first opportunity he asked that a cable be sent on his behalf to President Truman, begging to be allowed to negotiate peace terms with Japan via its embassy at Salò. ‘FENOLLOSA’S EXECUTOR AND TRANSLATOR OF CONFUCIUS CAN WHAT VIOLENCE CANNOT’, he dictated, meaning that ‘he would appeal not to the Japanese militarists, but to the ancient culture of Japan’. At the same time he drafted an ‘exclusive’ for Reynolds Packard of Associated Press, ‘Man I most want to talk to is Kumrad Koba (Stalin) hope to meet him in Georgia’—‘(Caucasus Georgia)’, he added, to avoid misapprehension. He was thinking of setting Russia’s absolute ruler right about the ‘one point’ Communism had got wrong, that ‘you need not…take over the means of production’. But of course there wasn’t a hope of his meeting Stalin, any more than there was of his negotiating a peace with Japan, and at some level he must have been perfectly aware of that.

Objectively considered, those were crazed fantasies; subjectively, however, they were play-acting with a purpose. Pound was trying to take control of his situation, and to determine how he should be perceived—not as a traitor, but as someone who could advise the world’s leaders. For over a decade he had done his best to advise Mussolini; in 1939 he had attempted to advise Roosevelt; so now he would naturally seek to address Truman and Stalin. Of course his professed faith in the efficacy of speaking simple truths to the powerful was absurdly out of touch with the realities of power. But in his immediate predicament it made sense to appear in his self-appointed role of mentor to the mighty.

He could not gauge, however, the depth of routine prejudice with which he was eyed by the intelligence services of the United States and of Great Britain. To them he was clearly and simply an indicted traitor who had gone over to the Fascist enemy.

In Britain MI5 had been interested in ‘P[olice] F[ile] 34319. POUND’ for some time. In 1943 they had added to his file an ‘Extract from article in “News Review” dated 5.8.43’, concerning the indictment in America of ‘eight Haw-Haws for treason’:

For weeks the criminal division of the U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Special War Policies Unit had listened patiently to regular broadcasts by these Fascist stooges over the Axis radio.

Declared Attorney-General Francis Biddle: each of the octet will be tried by a jury of fellow citizens, if and when apprehended. The punishment for treason is death.

Only one of the eight is believed to be in Italy and consequently in immediate danger of apprehension: bearded, foppish, egocentric poet Ezra POUND (57) an expatriate from America since 1911…

Well before this MI5 had been noting Pound’s connections with the British-Italian Bulletin and with the British Union of Fascists, and had been intercepting his letters to suspect persons and organizations.

One letter intercepted in January 1940 and photocopied for the file was to Dorothy Pound’s solicitor, A. V. Moore. In it Pound advised Moore ‘to look into English constitutional law’ on the subject of ‘ex post facto laws’. MI5 read this with prejudice:

As shown by previous record (P.M.S. 0113) the writer corresponds with Fascists in England. Here he is encouraging addressee to take action in connection with some alleged breach of the constitution.

No matter that Moore, Blimpishly patriotic, would have had nothing to do with Fascists of any colour; and no matter that Pound’s concern for constitutional law had nothing to with Fascism. A letter of March 1940 to Raven Thomson, editor of the British Union of Fascists’ magazine Action, was copied for the file even though it consisted mainly of ‘clauses from the preamble of Bill H.R.8080, introduced by Mr Voorhis of California, in the American “House of Representatives” on January 23 of this year’. Voorhis was challenging ‘the custom of the sovereign Government borrowing from the banking system for the purpose of waging a war, thus increasing the public indebtedness’, the basis of his challenge being that ‘the financial credit thus lent to the Government is in reality based upon the real credit of the people, which belongs to them and not to the private banking system’. Very likely that still neglected truism had no intelligence value for MI5, the significance of the letter being just that it connected Pound with ‘P.F. 46785 Raven Thomson’, who was about to be interned as a British Fascist. In the same way their interest in a letter to the BUF leader Sir Oswald Mosley, intercepted and filed in May 1940, would have been simply that it was addressed by ‘P. F. 34319’ to ‘P. F. 48909 MOSLEY’. It was of no account that Pound was enthusiastically recommending Brooks Adams’s Law of Civilization and Decay, and telling Mosley ‘we must educate, and keep on educating’. To MI5 whatever Pound might write for Fascist publications, or even for the Social Credit Party, was simply ‘Fascist’ regardless of what he was trying to get across.

For the American investigators too the medium of his broadcasts was the only message: that he had broadcast on Rome Radio was enough to condemn him as anti-American. An order sent to the commanders of the US Fifth and Seventh Armies in Italy on 19 September 1943 had left small room for doubt about his guilt:

Cable received from AGWAR as follows. ‘Indictment against Doctor EZRA POUND was returned by Federal Grand Jury at WASHINGTON, DC, on 26 July 1943. Charging treason, based on his vicious anti-American broadcasts from ROME which began in 1940 [sic]…The Department of Justice is being requested to indicate what action it wishes taken in the event that POUND should be taken into custody.’ This headquarters will be notified at once should POUND be taken into custody.

There followed a request in January 1944 from Attorney General Biddle to the Secretary of State for War:

In the event that Dr. Pound is taken into custody by the military authorities, it is requested that he be thoroughly interrogated concerning his radio broadcasts and other activities on behalf of the Italian Government. It is also desired that an effort be made to locate and interview persons, particularly American citizens, having information regarding his acts of treason who might be utilized as witnesses in the event of prosecution…

An FBI special agent, Frank Amprim, had in fact been on Pound’s case since August 1943. In June 1944 he was going through the files of EIAR in Rome and interviewing its employees; in November he was digging out the copies of Pound’s scripts from the files in the Ministry of Popular Culture. Long before Pound turned up in Genoa Amprim had prepared himself to interrogate him ‘regarding his acts of treason’. There would be no presumption of innocence.

The US 92nd Infantry Division Counter Intelligence Corps Detachment, briefed that Pound was ‘an FBI target’ whom they should ‘apprehend and hold’, had been ‘on the lookout for him’ for some time. They passed through Rapallo on their way to Genoa at the end of April, aware that Pound had been living there, but in too much of a hurry to stop to search for him. In any case they thought he would have fled to northern Italy. A Special Agent did go down to Rapallo on 2 May, ‘to arrest or check on Subject’, but, misled by information that he was at Portofino, only got to Rapallo on the morning of the 3rd and so missed him. But then late that afternoon Ramon Arrizabalaga, the Special Agent in Charge of CIC in Genoa (whose 1956 ‘Memoir’ is the source of this account), learnt that ‘a Regimental Commander had in his protective custody an American Citizen, whom he was protecting from the Italian Partisans’. It was arranged that Pound should be delivered at once to the CIC office in Genoa, where he would be held according to orders at the disposition of the FBI. A couple of days later Fifth Army Headquarters in Rome announced to the press that ‘The American writer and poet Ezra Pound has been captured in Northern Italy.’ Stars and Stripes, the US Army paper, was not so careful—‘Traitor Pound Reported Captured Near Genoa’ was its headline.

Pound was apparently left under the illusion that he was being taken to the American command in Genoa at his own request, and had no suspicion when he was led up to the CIC offices on the sixth floor of 6 Via Fieschi that he was expected there. Olga Rudge used to tell how they were shown into a large waiting hall with hard shiny chairs. There were guards, Italian carabinieri, serving the Americans. People came and went, fewer and fewer as the evening wore on, and no one spoke to them. It was cold, they had nothing to eat or drink, and they had to endure the torture of the hard chairs. This went on until late in the afternoon of the next day when Pound was finally taken into an office where Frank Amprim introduced himself as an FBI Special Agent. Pound had evidently been kept waiting while the Agent on his case was notified of his capture and travelled up from FBI headquarters in Rome.

Amprim spent that first two-and-a-half hour interview getting the measure of Pound and gaining his trust. To John Drummond, whom he contacted in Rome in July in the course of his investigation, Amprim ‘seemed a very decent and fair-minded person’. He wanted Drummond to confirm that the manuscripts and talks he had collected were by Pound, and Drummond, a good friend of Pound’s, was happy to do that for him, simply on the ‘internal evidence’, being assured that Amprim was fair-minded and not looking just for ‘what would help the prosecution’. ‘He got on well with Ezra’, Drummond reported to Ronald Duncan, ‘liked him, and appeared quite convinced of his integrity, disinterestedness, and appreciates his genius’. The agent was evidently very good at his job. He could also assert his authority quite coolly. When Pound’s first words were that a cable he would dictate must be sent at once to President Truman, Amprim took down the cable before telling him that ‘he could not dispatch such a cable for him’. Pound ‘became very indignant’, Amprim reported later to his Director, J. Edgar Hoover. Pound then produced a radio script with the heading ‘Ashes of Europe Calling’, asking for the peace to be based on justice, and again Amprim told him ‘that he could not arrange for him to make any such broadcast’. Once it was clear who was in charge Pound began to talk about his activities and ideas, all the more freely as he found in Amprim an encouraging listener. There was coffee, and some was sent out to Olga. At the end of that session Amprim arranged for them both to be put in a room with a couch and easy chairs—Olga would sleep on the couch, and Ezra on the two chairs pushed together—and made sure they were provided with ‘Army K-rations, coffee and milk, and a means of heating food’. Pound was quite won over. He would say later that Amprim ‘expressed himself as convinced that I was telling him the absolute truth’, and that for himself he had no reason to doubt the agent’s ‘good faith’.

Amprim’s formal interrogation of Pound went on over three days, 5, 6, and 7 May, with Arrizabalaga assisting at times. They made careful notes of what Pound said, put questions to him, then prepared a draft of the ‘sworn statement’ Amprim was after—a statement which, Pound acknowledged in the opening paragraph, ‘can be used against me in a court of law’, and which would declare, ‘I am willing to return to the United States to stand trial on the charge of treason against the United States’. Pound had no legal counsel to advise him. He did insist, however, on his right to make changes and corrections to the first two or three drafts he was asked to sign. One sentence in an early draft read, ‘I never was a member of the Fascist Party, but used to give the Fascist salute at all times’. Pound crossed out ‘at all times’ and wrote in ‘occasionally’. Another sentence read, ‘I was told my radio talks were giving comfort and aid to the enemies of the United States’—a sentence which could be represented as an admission that he had knowingly and deliberately committed treason. Pound wrote in the margin, ‘I think my talks were giving pain to the worst enemies of the U.S.A.’, and had that sentence removed. After five hours of questioning on the first of the three days Amprim could cable to the Bureau in Washington nothing more incriminating than ‘ADMITS VOLUNTARY BROADCASTS FOR PAY’.

Pound wanted to explain his motives in broadcasting and the nature of his propaganda, but Amprim wanted the material facts—how did he get into broadcasting for Italian radio, who were his contacts in EIAR, how often did he broadcast, how was he paid and how much, what other related radio work had he done, and so forth. Pound evidently gave him a full and detailed account of all of that up to the moment when he walked north out of Rome in September 1943. The statement goes on to describe his work for the Salò regime, and here Pound put into the record how he had said to Mezzasoma

that even if Italy fell I must go on with my own economic propaganda, that is my [fight for] observance of the money clause in the United States Constitution which my grandfather had fought for in 1878, saying the same things I was saying.

Instead of elaborating on his ‘economic propaganda’ the statement returns to Pound’s dealings with the Republican Fascist Radio in Milan and with Carl Goedel in particular, again going into detail about payments. One defensive sentence stands out, ‘At Milan I refused to broadcast to American troops’. Another sentence goes off at a tangent:

However my main work from this time on [i.e. May to September of 1944] was writing and advising the CASA EDITRICE EDIZIONE POPOLARE of Venice, which publishing firm printed my version of the CHUNG YUNG of CONFUCIUS and my pamphlets on economic history. I also wrote articles on economics for ‘rebel papers in smaller towns’ which articles were excluded from the larger press.

Amprim appears to have shown no interest in this ‘main work’. Elsewhere one detects traces of his leading questions, as in a few sentences beginning ‘I admit’, for example, ‘I admit that during my broadcasts in 1942 and 1943 over EIAR I charged that the International Financiers of New York and elsewhere plotted to “drag” the United States into the present war’; and again, ‘I admit that after December 8, 1941 [the date on which the USA declared war on Japan], I suggested in my radio talks that PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT be looked at by a psychiatrist because he seemed to be struggling against some more or less hypnotic influences.’ But Pound evidently felt that what he really wanted to put into the record was being left out, and he could only say, ‘This statement should not be considered separate from a statement which I will write out by myself as to the “main foundations” of my beliefs and the objects of my thirty years of writing.’

Amprim was content to leave Pound to get on with his supplementary statement on his own. Once his sworn statement was duly signed on 7 May, with the signature witnessed by both interrogators, Amprim had him address to Dorothy Pound an authorization to ‘give bearer’ various books and papers:

my New York scrap book clippings—interviews 1939 (box foot of my bed)

Mandati of receipts (radio)—sack in wardrobe etc.

MSS of Radio Discorsi = separate package = not in files.

Orientamenti

ConfucioTa Seu—bilingual.

Asse che non Vacilla.

Jeff./Muss.

ABC of Economics.

Last [?] letter files

Storia d’un Reato

Introd all[a Natura Economica degli S.U.A]

Roosevelt & Cause della Guerra

my Trans. Odon’s Italys Econ. Policy

A separate sheet gave directions for finding a number of items, and asked for two or more copies of each, at least one for Amprim and one for himself. He also wanted copies of ‘BOTH the Tigullio manifestos’, Oro e lavoroWhat is money for?Introductory Text book / ‘the one leaf affair’. Clearly he was hoping to engage Amprim in an extensive discussion of his economic writings and Confucian translations.

Armed with the authorization, Amprim and Arrizabalaga drove down that afternoon to Rapallo, taking Olga Rudge with them. (Olga, who was not to see Pound again until 1952, would say that the days she had spent shut up with Ezra in a room in the CIC had been ‘among the happiest of my life’.) They reached Casa 60 at Sant’Ambrogio about 6.30, and found Dorothy all prepared to leave the next morning. Amprim handed her the authorization, and afterwards, in his memo to the FBI Director, he noted that she ‘was very cooperative in finding incriminating evidence against her husband and did not seem to be in the least disturbed when I searched the premises’. The ‘2 USAs’ (as Dorothy identified them in her diary) initialled and dated the books and pamphlets as they gathered them up.

The next day, 8 May—which happened to be the day on which Germany’s unconditional surrender was announced—Pound made a further statement to Amprim of two typed pages ‘complementing previous signed statements’, and this was formally witnessed by Amprim. ‘This partial statement’, it declared, ‘is not to be considered separate from my outline of my position’, an ‘Outline’ consisting of a further seven typed pages and bearing the same date, ‘8 May 1945’, but neither signed nor witnessed.

The ‘partial’ signed statement reads very differently from the first. That was a narrative testimony drafted by Amprim and Arrizabalaga on the basis of their interrogation, while this appears to be a more direct report of what Pound wanted them to know. He told them that he had had ‘no intention of getting or of seeming to get under any foreign control’, and that he had solicited and been granted the freedom of Italian radio, ‘“According to the Fascist principle of free expression of opinion on the part of those competent to have an opinion”’. (In his first statement he had said that this was ‘a rather forced definition of Fascism’, and an instance of his ‘defining Fascism in a way to make it fit my own views’.) ‘My fight has been against censorship’, he declared, and followed that with this justification of his broadcasts—

Even during time of war one has the right to criticise the fundamental causes of the series of wars into which humanity has been and still may be plunged. Naturally, none has the right to supply information of a military nature to the enemy. For example, after the United States entered the present war, I criticized President Roosevelt because I thought he had received imperfect and incomplete information and was influenced wrongly.

That ‘example’ doesn’t obviously go with ‘the right to criticise the fundamental causes of the series of wars’, and this next statement seems even more disconnected—

I am not anti-Semitic, and I distinguish between the Jewish usurer and the Jew who does an honest day’s work for a living.

But of course, in Pound’s mind, it is usury that is the fundamental cause of wars, and the cause of Roosevelt’s going wrong was the malign influence of Jewish financiers. That is the hidden link, and it gives a mind-bending logic to his saying next,

Hitler and Mussolini were simple men from the country. I think that Hitler was a Saint, and wanted nothing for himself. I think he was fooled into anti-Semitism and it ruined him. That was his mistake. When you see the ‘mess’ that Italy gets into by ‘bumping off’ Mussolini, you will see why someone could believe in some of his efforts.

Leaving aside the altogether surreal vision of Hitler as a saint—‘a Jeanne d’Arc’, he would specify to an American reporter later that day—this gratuitous introduction of Hitler’s anti-Semitism into his defence looks like a telling if oblique confession. It is striking that he should think it was anti-Semitism that had brought about Hitler’s downfall—not many would have thought that at the time, and for Pound to do so suggests that he had it very much on his mind. If that had been Hitler’s fatal mistake, then had Pound gone wrong in that way himself? He would not admit to it—‘I am not anti-Semitic’, he has just said, exculpating himself in advance—but he knew that he was widely perceived as anti-Semitic, and that Laughlin and others thought him ruined by it. And he had sought to justify Mussolini’s race laws in 1938, and the treatment of Italy’s Jews in 1944 and 1945. Was there then a self-saving impulse behind his wanting Hitler to be seen as somehow not responsible for his genocidal anti-Semitism, even as a victim of it? One can only speculate about this, about whether he felt personally implicated. But there was certainly some mental and moral derangement in his view of Hitler at that moment.

The other longer statement, the ‘Outline’ which he wrote out on his own and dated as of 8 May 1945, began confidently. First, there was an ‘OUTLINE OF ECONOMIC BASES of historic process/’. This cited, as an instance of the ‘distributive nature function of money’, the Chinese emperor who in 1766 BC coined copper disks to enable the poor to buy grain; it took into account ‘The Mediaeval doctrine of the just price’; came then to the founding of the Bank of England and the modern banking system, and thus to the ‘iniquity’ of ‘A bank lending ten times as much as its deposits’, i.e. ‘lending a good it hasn’t got’. To these familiar ‘bases’ Pound now added a more recent ‘datum’, Lenin’s dictum that ‘As long as capitalism is capitalism surplus capital will never be used to raise the standard of living of the people inside a country. BUT it will be sent abroad to “backward countries” to increase the profits of the capitalists.’ Pound’s ‘SECONDLY’, his counter to the inequity of capitalism, was a re-affirmation of ‘the principles ascertained by Confucius’ as a proven foundation of good government. ‘Whenever a Chinese dynasty has lasted three centuries it has been founded on’ those principles.…Dynasties not so founded have flopped’—and here he added, ‘as have the systems of Mussolini and Hitler’. And he went on, asserting his efforts to introduce Confucian enlightenment into Mussolini’s Fascism, ‘Hence my translations of the Testament, the first, and of the Unwavering or Unwobbling axis, the second of the FOUR chinese classic confucian books’. That brought him to reiterate his desire for the Confucian heritage to be made the basis of peace with Japan.

The writing up to that point is clear and coherent, and if he had stopped there he would have quite effectively ‘indicated one or two [of] the points I have been trying to make during the past 25 years, and which I rashly did NOT stop trying to make when caught off side, but in reach of a microphone.’ However, there is a hesitation, ‘I am trying to put things in simple words, and briefly,’ then a listing of ‘the sort of material I have been trying to force intoItaly in an attempt to educate the italians in democracy and economics’, and after that the statement loses its initial focus and an underlying anxiety and defensiveness show through. ‘At any rate I hope the errors will be considered in relation to the main picture,’ Pound wrote. His knowledge may have been fragmentary, he admitted, and ‘No one sees everything.’ All the same, ‘the citizen possessed of odd bits of knowledge that might be useful has not only the right but the duty to try to communicate with the competent authorities, even at the risk of seeming excentric or making a fool of himself’. The fifth page of the statement tails off, ‘I have also seen things in Italy knowledge of which might conceivably be of use at this time.’

Probably after a break, Pound typed two more pages of ‘Further Points’, and here he was at first very much on the defensive.

1. That in an age of radio, free speech that does not include freedom to transmit by radio is a hollow sham.

2. That the constitution was being violated, most notably in the money clause/ …Only the citizen who had not consented in the violation was in position to raise the issue.

4. The question of ex post facto law…At least so far as I am concerned, I do not YET know at what date the mere use of radio in foreign territory became a crime. I certainly had no news of its being illegal before the date, whenever it was, that I heard I was accused of treason.

And I do not believe I have betrayed anyone whomsoever…

After that declaration the tone becomes more assertive and defiant:

It is one thing to tell troops to desert, another to try to build up political indignation to take effect AFTER the end of hostilities. After the last war ONLY those countries where the returned troops came to power managed to effect reforms.

The reforms to be hoped for were, one gathers, ‘the improved distribution, diminution of unemployment etc. achieved by Mussolini and Hitler…all of which can be separated from the militarism etc.’ More exactly, ‘The question is whether Germany has learnt NOT to try to effect by violence what can only be effected by understanding.’ That was a good question, and a commendable principle, but what was Pound up to here? Recognizing that it took him ‘out of the present case’, he went on, ‘One comes back to the fundamental question of free speech, VERITABLY free, and the need of assuring the diffusion of useful information.’ It is as if he had introduced Mussolini and Hitler as exemplary reformers in order to assert, boldly and defiantly, that there should be no limit whatsoever to freedom of speech in a good cause. That was to be his main line of defence against the charge of treason, a dangerously absolutist line taking no account of the precise nature of the charge, nor of the passion, and the prejudice, behind it.

An American journalist, Edd Johnson of the Philadelphia Record and the Chicago Sun, was allowed an interview with Pound on 8 May, and reported that he had ‘talked about Confucius and kindred subjects’:

Among the many things he said today were these:

‘Adolf Hitler was a Jeanne d’Arc, a saint. He was a martyr. Like many martyrs he held extreme views.

‘There is no doubt which I preferred between Mussolini and Roosevelt. In my radio broadcasts I spoke in favour of the economic construction of Fascism. Mussolini was a very human, imperfect character who lost his head…

‘I do not believe I will be shot for treason. I rely on the American sense of justice.’

The reporter was impressed by the depth of Pound’s interest in Confucius, and commented that ‘He is probably the only man ever to be interviewed while awaiting trial for treason who talked more of various interpretations of Oriental ideographs than he talked of his own impending trial.’ ‘Pound is definitely not senile,’ Johnson concluded, ‘And if he is off his rocker, it does not show in any of the usual manifestations of nuttiness.’

Amprim returned to Rome a day or two after that interview, and from there urgently requested a ‘decision from WASHINGTON regarding disposal’ of Pound. Arrizabalaga was also making ‘requests to higher headquarters to be relieved of Ezra Pound’. But for ten days no decision was reached in Washington, and Pound contentedly went on ‘doing Confucio e Mencio, for american reader, if any’. On the 16th a US Army photographer took a picture of him ‘posing at the typewriter’, with a copy of his Confucio. Studio Integrale open alongside it. ‘He continues his work while in custody of 92nd Div., C.I.C’, stated the official caption. Another picture was taken showing Arrizabalaga in a pressed uniform shirt and tie, and Pound bearded and in a casual open-necked shirt, sitting one beside the other on a leather sofa, with the prisoner making a point and the officer regarding him intently and expressionlessly, his pen poised over his open notebook. This photograph was probably not taken during an actual interview, but would have been set up for the official record. On 21 May word came through that Pound was to be held ‘in a military stockade near Pisa’ while the investigation of his case continued. Three days later, on 24 May, Pound typed hasty notes to Dorothy and to Olga, saying, ‘Talk is that I may go to Rome oggi, in which case hope to see you en passant.’ The note closed ‘Non sto’, got to go, without signature. In fact the order for his transfer, issued by the Commanding General, Mediterranean Theater of Operations, United States Army, had instructed:

Transfer without delay under guard to MTOUSA Disciplinary Training Center for confinement pending disposition instructions. Exercise utmost security measures to prevent escape or suicide. No press interviews authorized. Accord no preferential treatment.

That meant that ‘American civilian Doctor EZRA LOOMIS POUND’ was to be treated by the US Army as if he had already been convicted of a serious criminal offence.

Arrizabalaga recalled how that order was carried out on 24 May, a Thursday:

5th Army Provost Marshal sent several Jeep loads of MP’s to Genova to take him away. It was actually rather a sorry sight to see the big six foot MP’s commanded by a Captain relieve Subject of his shoestrings, belt, necktie [?] and clamp a huge pair of handcuffs to one of his wrists, the other end to an MP’s wrist and take him away. We had treated him courteously and he couldn’t understand it. He said to me, ‘I don’t understand it.’ I said, ‘Mr. Pound, you are no longer under my jurisdiction, and I can’t help it.’ He then said, ‘Do they know who I am?’ I answered, ‘Yes they do.’ They took him to Pisa.

A ‘priority’ message from Fifth Army reported ‘Doctor EZRA POUND delivered to MTOUSA 1500 hours 24 May this year’.