740.0011 E.W./2–745: Telegram

The Ambassador in Italy (Kirk) to the Secretary of State

339. In his letter transmitting the message to the President contained in my 338 February 7, 3 p.m.,51 de Gasperi52 states that it is known with what profound sincerity the Italian Government follows a policy of friendship and close collaboration with the United States and with what trust the Italian people regard the President and his noble efforts to assist Italy on its difficult road and to guide Europe towards a settlement which will be acceptable to them and which will prevent new infections leading to disorders and wars and impeding the necessary reconstruction.

I am informed orally by the Foreign Office that the decision was taken to address the three Allied leaders on the occasion of their conference53 because the government is increasingly concerned with the situation which it must face with the liberation of Northern Italy. [Page 1235] While the government is conscious of the assistance rendered to Italy by the Allies and has endeavored within the limits of its power to assume responsibility for the amelioration of conditions in Italy it is apprehensive lest it has not developed its capacity to confront successfully the magnitude of the problems, economic, financial and social, which it must face upon the liberation of the North and believes that, unless it is afforded the possibility in the very near future of gathering sufficient strength to carry the increased burdens which are imminent, not only will the momentum already gained be lost but the consequences will be calamitous for Italy and for order in Europe.

The Department is aware of my belief that unless the position of the Italian Government and the conditions in Italy are not promptly improved an answer to the problems presented when the entire territory is freed will not be found in a continuation of the formula which has hitherto been professed in the liberated area.

  1. Ante, p. 995.
  2. Alcide de Gasperi, Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs.
  3. The Conference at Yalta, February 4–11, 1945. For documentation, see Foreign Relations, The Conferences at Malta and Yalta, 1945.