865.00/8–2545: Telegram

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

1528. Urtel 2465, Aug. 25. You should see Parri again to inform him that this Govt is unimpressed by arguments cited for postponement of elections and that you desire therefore to reiterate this Govt’s view that local elections demonstrating workable electoral machinery should precede call for national elections and should begin immediately. Important thing is for a govt. which insists upon its democratic character to take initial step to see that at least local officials in some parts of country derive their powers from election by their fellow citizens.

You may inform Parri that this Govt. perceives no reason why local elections in those communes first returned to Ital administration should be further postponed while Cabinet debates question of holding national election first. Law for Constituent Assembly is still under discussion, and national election could not be held for some weeks yet, while local elections could begin in some communes immediately. It would seem highy desirable, in view of Ital Govt’s many previous declarations on this subject, to begin holding local elections now; if subsequent decision is taken to hold national election at once, local elections could then be suspended until national balloting is completed.

In conclusion, you may tell Parri that this Govt will watch with interest steps taken in this connection by Ital Govt. For your information, Dept in separate telegram to AmPolAd55a is urging that local Govt Subcommission of AC should reach speedy agreement with Ital Govt re local govt law of 1915 lest Allies seem in any way responsible for additional delays in holding of elections.

  1. American Political Adviser. Alexander C. Kirk, Ambassador in Italy, was also Political Adviser to the Supreme Allied Commander, Mediterranean Theater; in this capacity, his office was located at Caserta.