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

No. 129

The Secretary of State refers to despatch No. 62120 of December 7, 1944 from the United States Representative on the Advisory Council for Italy21 concerning the Italian institutional question.

Preliminary studies in the Department on implementation of the pledge22 that the Italian people shall have an untrammeled decision on the institutional question have led to the conclusion that a properly supervised referendum would afford a more certain expression of popular will than would a constituent assembly. There is enclosed for the Embassy’s information in this connection a copy of a paper on the subject prepared by the Department’s Interdivisional Committee on Italy.23

In order that the Department may have all possible elements of fact upon which to base its ultimate recommendation, discreet soundings should be taken of views on the foregoing question among the various Italian parties and social categories. In particular an effort should be made to ascertain the fundamental reasons underlying the opposition, which certain parties manifest, to decision by referendum.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Alexander C. Kirk was United States Representative on the Advisory Council for Italy until December 8, 1944, when he became Ambassador to Italy.
  3. See joint statement by President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill, and Marshal Stalin released to the press October 13, 1943, Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. ii, p. 387.
  4. No copy found in Department files.