740.00119 EW 1939/5–945: Telegram

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

1217. Member of Italian Government has handed me personally a copy of a letter to Chief Commissioner of AC in which Premier Bonomi points out that with the liberation of northern Italy and the surrender of the German troops there large quantities of the enemy’s military material remain in Italian territory. The Italian Government, he says, requests that such of that material as can be used for civilian purposes be left at the disposal of the Italian authorities, a request which he bases (1) on the assistance which Italy has given in bringing about the liberation (2) on the serious spoliation of Italian property carried out by the Germans, and (3) the need for using the material in question immediately in works of reconstruction so as not to nullify the efforts made by the Italian Patriots to save Italy’s industrial equipment. Adding that the utilization of the material would serve to reduce unemployment and the prejudicial, political and social effects derived therefrom, he expresses his confidence that the Allied authorities will be disposed to give the most benevolent examination to the Italian Government’s request.

In connection with the foregoing I am exploring the matter with AC and AFHQ and will report any pertinent developments from this end.

Sent Department repeated to AmPolAd as 149.