740.00119 Control (Italy)/8–145: Telegram

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

2158. My despatch 1910, July 13.5 Question of maintenance of AMG (American [Allied] Military Government) in province of Udine beyond August 31 is being discussed at AC (Allied Commission). Regional Commissioner has reported that Udine Province is not yet ready to be returned to Italian administration and recommends that its restoration be postponed for 3 months, that is until December 1. RC reports that Udine Province with a population of 800,000 still contains large number of unruly elements including unsurrendered German soldiers and heavy infiltration of Yugoslav Partisans. Italian administration will not have been sufficiently advanced to cope with administration of this area by September 1. Lines of communication to Austria most of which pass through Udine would be endangered and by December 1 winter weather will have disbursed [dispersed?] and neutralized most of these lawless bands and by next spring Italian administration should be strong enough to cope with situation and protect L of C.6

We agree that RC made a good case and concurred in his recommendations to Chief Commissioner that return of Udine Province to Italians be postponed for 3 months after turn back of other northern Italian territory (except Venezia Giulia etc). We pointed out [Page 1012] that under Fan 5367 Tarvisio and Environs (in Udine Province) were to be retained under AMG until final determination of northwest frontier. For administrative reasons AG officials consider this would be highly undesirable as recommendations will be submitted to AFHQ (Allied Forces Headquarters).

In event that turn back of Udine is postponed we recommended that Italian Govt be informed that this was necessary for military reasons and that province (except Tarvisio) would be returned to Italian administration not later than December 1.

Kirk
  1. Not printed.
  2. Line of Communication.
  3. Directive from the Combined Chiefs of Staff to Allied Force Headquarters dated April 28, 1945, not printed; but see telegram 323, April 12, p. 1120, which outlines substance of the directive.