Aide-Mémoire of February 1945, From the Acting President of the Allied Commission (Macmillan), to the Italian Government 65

In accordance with the declaration of the President of the United States of America and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain,66 the Allied Governments propose to relax the control of the Italian Government under the armistice in the matter of day-to-day [Page 1245] administration and only to exercise such control when Allied military interests require.

The Political Section of the Allied Commission is being abolished as of the 1st March, 1945. The Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs will deal with the Chief Commissioner on matters of major policy, and on matters of minor policy and routine business it will address itself to whatever section (economic or civil affairs) of the commission may be appropriate to the subject involved. Matters involving the travel of diplomatic and other public officials will hereafter be dealt with on behalf of the commission by the office of the Executive Commissioner.
The Italian Government will continue, as at present, to have direct relations with foreign diplomatic representatives accredited to the Quirinal. The Allied Commission should be kept generally informed by the Italian Government of any negotiations in which they engage with other Governments. Facilities for the use of secret bags will be granted to the Italian Government for use in correspondence with their diplomatic representatives abroad. Undeposited cypher facilities cannot be allowed for the present.
In so far as these negotiations have to do with economic and financial matters, the Economic Section and its Finance Sub-Commission should be kept informed of their progress.
It would be convenient if the Italian Government would furnish a periodic summary of all negotiations completed or pending with other Governments.
The Allied Commission will limit its dealings with respect to territory under the jurisdiction of the Italian Government to consultation with and advice to the Ministers of the Italian Government.
The advisory functions of the Sub-Commissions of Education, Monuments and Fine Arts, Local Government, Legal and Labour in territory under the jurisdiction of the Italian Government will be performed only when requested by the Italian Government.
It will no longer be necessary for the Italian Government to obtain the approval of the Allied Commission for decrees and other legislation enacted by the Italian Government in the territory under the jurisdiction of the Italian Government.
Nevertheless the Allied Commission should be informed of proposed decrees some time before their enactment, in order to enable the Chief Commissioner to consult with the Italian Government as to their application to territory under the jurisdiction of Allied Military Government (A.M.G.), and to lay plans for their effective implementation in such territory when appropriate.
It will no longer be necessary for the Italian Government to obtain approval of the Allied Commission for Italian appointments, [Page 1246] whether to national or local offices, in territory under the jurisdiction of the Italian Government except with regard to the attached list of positions having military significance.67 The Italian Government will have the right to alter appointments made previously by A.M.G. authorities.
The Allied Commission officers stationed in the field in the territory under the jurisdiction of the Italian Government will be withdrawn. As a first step it is intended to abolish by the 1st April, 1945, the Regional Offices of the Allied Commission for Sicilia, Sardegna, Southern and Lazio–Umbria Regions. Representatives of the Allied Commission will, however, be sent into territory under the jurisdiction of the Italian Government when necessary, and certain specialist officers with economic functions will remain in such territory for a limited period.
It is the desire of the Allies to encourage free trade in knowledge and learning with the Italian people. Arrangements will be facilitated for the flow between Italy and the United Nations of books and other publications of a scientific, political, philosophical and artistic nature, and for the movement of scholars, artists and professional men between Italy and the United Nations.
The Allies welcome the decision to hold local elections in territory under the jurisdiction of the Italian Government as soon as may be.
The Allied nations desire to make concessions with regard to Italian prisoners of war now or hereafter held in Italy, other than those captured since the armistice was signed. Provided that arrangements can be made for the services of such persons to continue to be made available on terms satisfactory to the Supreme Allied Commander, their status as prisoners of war will be terminated.
It is essential that the Italian Government formulate and implement appropriate economic controls and take all other steps possible both in order to ensure that maximum production and effective and equitable distribution and control of consumption of local resources possible under existing conditions be secured and as a prerequisite to increased economic assistance.
In the joint programme of essential Italian imports, now being prepared by the Inter-Ministerial Committee for Reconstruction and the Economic Section of this commission, there will be some supplies for which the combined United States–United Kingdom military authorities will assume responsibility for procurement (Category “A”) and other supplies for which they will not assume responsibility [Page 1247] (Category “B”). A definition of the supplies which fall into Category “A” follows:—
Those quantities of agreed essential supplies necessary to prevent disease and unrest prejudicial to military operations, such as food, fuel, clothing, medical and sanitary supplies.
Those supplies, the importation of which will reduce military requirements for the import of essential civilian supplies for the purposes referred to in this paragraph, such as fertiliser, raw materials, machinery and equipment.
Those materials essential for the rehabilitation of such of the Italian communication facilities, power systems and transportation facilities as will directly further the Allied military effort.
The programme for which the military authorities assume responsibility will be maintained for the duration of combined (United States–United Kingdom) operations in Italy. For this period, and within the limits defined in paragraph 13, Italy will be treated as a whole. The date of the termination of military responsibility will be fixed by the Allied Nations.
In addition to the programme of supplies for which the military assume responsibility for procurement (Category “A”) the Allied Commission will assist the Italian Government in the preparation of programmes of supplies designed to rehabilitate Italian industry. Such programmes, referred to as Category “B,” will be handled under procedures already notified. The purchasing of supplies in Category “B” programmes will be undertaken immediately without reference to the present difficult shipping position in order that the supplies so purchased may be called forward as and when shipping space becomes available.
The Allies desire that industrial rehabilitation in Italy be carried out by the Italian Government to the fullest extent permitted by Italian resources and such supplies as it may be possible to import under the terms of paragraphs 13, 14 and 15 above, and subject to the limitation in paragraph 19 below. The sole exception to this principle is to be made in the case of industries involving the production or repair of munitions or other implements of war, which will be rehabilitated only to the extent required by the Supreme Allied Commander in the discharge of his military mission, and to the extent necessary to further the Allied military effort in other theatres. The priority order in which Italian industry will be rehabilitated (after the rehabilitation of industries essential for Allied Military purposes) will be determined by the Italian Government, with the assistance and advice of the Allied Commission.
The prime responsibility for the control of inflation in Italy, including the imposition and administration of the appropriate financial [Page 1248] controls and economic controls, and appropriate utilisation of supplies, rests with the Italian Government. In this connexion, as in others, the Allied Commission stands ready to advise and assist.
The extent to which exports are to be stimulated and the development of machinery to handle export trade are for determination by the Italian Government. For the time being, the Italian export programme will necessarily be limited by certain shipping, military, financial and supply factors. The applicability of these factors to individual programmes will be worked out between the Italian Government and the Economic Section of the Allied Commission along the lines already discussed by the Economic Section with the Inter-Ministerial Committee for Reconstruction.
Nothing contained in the above should be taken as constituting a commitment by the Allied Nations with respect to shipping. Any supplies to be imported into Italy must be transported within such shipping as may be allocated from time to time by the Allied Nations.
Harold Macmillan
  1. Reprinted from Department of State Bulletin, November 11, 1945, p. 757.
  2. The Declaration was released to the press by the White House, September 26, 1944; for text, see telegram 205, September 27, 1944, to Rome, Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. iii, p. 1153.
  3. For the attached list, see Department of State Bulletin, November 11, 1945, p. 759.