740.00119 Control (Italy)/7–2345

The Chief Commissioner, Allied Commission (Stone), to the Italian Prime Minister (Parri)96


My Dear Mr. Prime Minister:

I write with reference to the Aide-Mémoire of 24 February, 1945, which was communicated by the Acting President and the Chief Commissioner of the Allied Commission to the President of the Council of Ministers, outlining certain steps taken by the Allied Governments to hand over an increasing measure of control to Italian administration.
In order to implement further the declaration of 26 September, 1944, by the President of the United States and the Prime Minister of Great Britain regarding Italy, I am now directed by the Combined [Page 1272] Chiefs of Staff to inform your Government that the intervention of the Allied Commission in Italian fiscal matters and other internal financial affairs will in future be confined to cases involving Allied military necessity. The Allied Commission will assist or advise your Government on financial matters in territory under your jurisdiction only when your Government specifically requests such advice or assistance, which will be given at a high level between the senior officers of this Commission and appropriate officials of your Government.
I am further directed by the Combined Chiefs of Staff to inform your Government that, subject to certain exceptions and conditions which are indicated below, it is no longer necessary to obtain the approval of the Allied Commission prior to the execution of Italian external financial transactions.
The exceptions to this general rule are as follows:
The Italian Government is requested to consult with the Allied Commission before authorizing the use of Italian external assets for the purpose of paying claims arising prior to 8 September 1943.97 Thus all questions relating to the settlement of Italian clearing accounts should be discussed with this Commission before any action is taken.
The Italian Government is requested to direct its exchange control and other appropriate authorities to consult with the Allied Commission before authorizing any external financial transactions undertaken by Italian insurance companies or involving the foreign branches or subsidiaries of such companies.
The Combined Chiefs of Staff have stated that as a condition of the relaxation of Allied Control over Italian external financial transactions, the Italian Government is required to keep the Allied Commission fully informed as to the status of Italian external assets and of Italian external financial transactions. It is therefore requested that your Government:
keep the Allied Commission fully advised as to the policies that may be adopted by the Italian Government, or any agency or committee thereof (including the Banca d’Italia), regarding the utilization and control of Italian external assets. You may find it desirable to consult with the Allied Commission before authorizing new policies or types of transactions, in order that no conditions may arise that might be prejudicial to the interests of the United Nations.
submit fortnightly reports in triplicate to the Allied Commission listing all external financial transactions permitted or undertaken by the Italian Government during the period covered by the report, indicating the names of all parties to the transactions, a detailed statement of the nature and purpose of the transaction, the amount thereof, the currencies involved, the rates of exchange utilized, and any other relevant information.
In conjunction with the relaxation of control indicated in this letter, the Combined Chiefs of Staff have directed me to inform your Government that it will be expected to take the following steps:
to establish and maintain an effective foreign exchange control agency
to adopt measures in support of the economic warfare objectives of the Allied Governments.
The details of the economic warfare programme are to be communicated to your Government in the near future, by the British and American Embassies in Rome, and it is expected that representatives of your Government will work with the two Embassies in the development and implementation of this programme. I am further directed to inform your Government that failure to take the steps specified in (a) and (b) of this paragraph within a reasonable period of time will result in the reimposition of prior control of Italian external transactions by the Allied Governments through the instrumentality of the Allied Commission. I should be grateful if you would keep me as closely informed as possible of your progress in the development of the programme requested by the Allied Governments.
I would also request that you give assurance that you assume responsibility for ensuring that remittance payments are not made to undesirable persons in Italy.
The Combined Chiefs of Staff have also instructed that remittances to Italy from neutral countries are to continue to be channelled through banks in the U.S. and U.K. until the measures in support of the economic warfare objectives of the Allied Governments are taken.
The Allied Commission has, as part of the general suspension outlined in the third paragraph of this letter, suspended the supervision and control of arrangements concluded by the Italian Government with Allied and neutral countries concerning the financing of foreign trade, except that your Government is required to ensure that the proceeds of export sales will be made available for the purpose of making essential payments arising from import needs of Italy, Italian diplomatic, consular, or military expenditure, maintenance of the Italian merchant marine, and similar expenditure.
Finally, I am directed to state that the relaxation of control of Italian external assets is not to be construed as affecting the rights of the Allied Governments under the Armistice Terms with respect to Italian foreign assets, nor to prejudice or affect the status of Italian property in Allied countries which has been subjected to exceptional war measures, such as sequestration, vesting, and freezing.
Our supplementary financial directive from the Combined Chiefs of Staff deals with certain other matters relating to Allied Military lire currency and other Allied financial operations in Italy. [Page 1274] Clarification of certain points is awaited and I shall communicate with you further as soon as possible.

Yours very truly,

Ellery W. Stone
  1. Copy transmitted to the Department in despatch 1951, July 23, 1945, from Rome; received August 2.
  2. Date of the radio announcement by General Eisenhower of the Italian military armistice.