740.00119 Control (Italy)/8–2145: Telegram

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

2407. Department’s 1325, August 9.21 Chief Commissioner has submitted a brief report from Regional Commissioner of Venezia Brigadier Dunlop (British) on sentiment of people of Bolzano for union with Austria.

Memorandum in paraphrase follows:

Reaction of German speaking population of Bolzano at present time is of course conditioned by uncertainty with respect to future policy of Italian Government toward Bolzano and ignorance of future organization and govt in Austria. This section of population a community of Germanic stock is strongly individual in culture and race. Italian promises are distrusted and things Italian are disliked. They are clearly apprehensive of union with Austria of tomorrow although sentimentally closely linked with Austrian Tyrol and govt from Vienna would be resented. Aside from extremist views this population like many other minorities strives for national independence under Allied guarantees or as second choice considerable autonomy within Italy with Allied guarantee of such autonomy. End of Allied Commission report.

This report follows very closely the lines of a report brought back recently from Bolzano by British political adviser to Allied Commission. As Department may be aware British Foreign Office has now decided Bolzano should be left to Italy in final determination of northern frontiers and for that reason is opposed to any action (including maintenance of Allied Military Government there) which would indicate that Province of Bolzano is a “disputed area”.

For Department’s strictly confidential information I feel that both British political advisers report on Bolzano and above quoted report from Allied Commission (prepared by a British Brigadier in Rome last week) are strongly colored by official British policy.

  1. Not printed.