865.4061 Motion Pictures/72: Telegram
The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Italy (Phillips)
141. Your 424, October 22. While certain of the proposed film requirements seem to have been abandoned, it would not appear that the position of the American film industry has materially changed. The outstanding objection to the regulations is that only a very small percentage of normal motion picture earnings in Italy can be exported. We would like to see the Italians maintain a regime in regard to motion picture importations not less favorable than the regime heretofore in force, and we are inclined to feel that the points which Pettijohn brought out to you and which we presume has been or will be presented by the industry to the Italian government are not unreasonable and might well be supported. Nor do we feel that the industry as a condition precedent to carrying on business in Italy should be obliged to commit itself regarding its future policy.[Page 369]
I of course do not want to lay down any hard and fast instructions with regard to this matter, but prefer to leave it to you to work out in the most feasible manner in the light of the situation as you find it in Rome. I do feel that this matter is of sufficient importance to warrant rather vigorous support of the industry’s position in your discussions with the Italian authorities. I would appreciate knowing what reaction the Italian authorities have evinced to you regarding this matter, since that attitude may have material bearing on the further approach which we feel might be taken to this problem.