865.7962/6–345: Telegram

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

1500. RefDept’s 861, May 22, 11 a.m. Even with informal and oral soundings it has been impossible to obtain a satisfactory indication as to whether it would be possible to negotiate aviation agreement with Italy now giving us landing rights without committing ourselves [Page 1326] on reestablishment of air services by Italy although the opinion was proffered by a Foreign Office official that it would be highly difficult for the Ital Govt to make a unilateral concession because aside from the important question of treatment of Ital aviation, by doing so the Govt would lay itself open to demands from contiguous countries for similar privileges.

In connection with further soundings which will be made I should appreciate being informed whether it would be feasible to propose to the Ital Govt some kind of interim agreement which would be subject to revision at such time as Ital civil aviation had reached the stage of transoceanic flights.