The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Argentina ( Reed )

No. 6490

The Secretary of State refers to instruction no. 6260 of November 16, 1944,86 enclosing a memorandum concerning the policy with regard to deletion from the Proclaimed List of banks and other business enterprises in this Hemisphere which are controlled from Italy and stating that the memorandum was being forwarded to the Ministry of Economic Warfare for its views.

The Ministry of Economic Warfare has now informed the Department that the British Government has not yet agreed upon a general policy of deletion of Italian controlled concerns but that it has been agreed that deletion can take place on a case by case basis where there is a positive advantage to the United Nations, where satisfactory assurances have been received that effective control is exercised in Allied-occupied Italy, and where the record of the concern in the post-armistice period has been good. As an example in this regard the Banca Nazionale del Lavoro which was recently deleted from the Proclaimed List for Spain was cited. There is enclosed for the Embassy’s information a copy of the MEW87 memorandum of October 13, 1944,88 concerning this Bank, MEW added that deletion would not alter the enemy status of such concerns under the Trading With The Enemy Act nor would it be followed by the release of their assets held by the British Alien Property Custodian. New transactions with Great Britain could not take place unless a general license had first been obtained. It was felt that this should be made clear to the enterprises by the Missions concerned. MEW also stated that it felt there would be no harm in requiring an undertaking88 from deleted concerns providing for effective control of the assets. It concluded that very few cases have so far arisen which met these requirements.

The Department is therefore preparing to proceed with consideration of deletion of enterprises owned and controlled from Italy on a case by case basis, following in general the criteria outlined in the memorandum enclosed with instruction no. 6260.

MEW also raised a question with respect to implementation of armistice provisions concerning control of Italian assets abroad, exchange controls and trading with the enemy legislation. It is possible that in any case of an Italian controlled enterprise which is [Page 446] considered for deletion implementation of the armistice provisions may be a consideration. The Department is awaiting information concerning the Italian Government’s action in this regard from the Allied Commission for Italy.

An Italian technical mission on financial and economic matters89 composed of the following members is presently in Washington: Mr. Quintieri, former Minister of Finance; Mr. Mattioli, Vice President of the Banca Commerciale Italiana, and Mr. Cuccia, who is also connected with the Bank; and Messrs. Ortona and Morelli. They have requested information concerning the conditions which enterprises owned and controlled from Italy must fulfil in order to qualify for deletion from the Proclaimed List. In an attempt to illustrate the questions which would be involved in such deletion members of the Department agreed to discuss a sample case and the status of the South American branches of the Banco Francés e Italiano which was selected as the example was discussed with Messrs. Mattioli and Cuccia. Reports of these discussions are enclosed.90

The foregoing information has been furnished the Embassy at Rome and the Department assumes that the information, which Mr. Mattioli is to supply, referred to in the last paragraph of the attached memorandum of conversation,90 will be submitted by him to the Embassy at Rome. The Embassy at Rome has been requested to submit any information which is received to the Department with comments and recommendations, and to send a copy of the report to the Embassy at Buenos Aires. After the report has been reviewed by the Department and the Interdepartmental Proclaimed List Committee, the Department will communicate with the Embassy concerning the conditions to be fulfilled by the branches of the bank in South America.

Recently the French raised the question of the deletion of the Banco Francés e Italiano from the Statutory List. The British authorities in London drafted an Aide-Mémoire which was given to the French. A copy of this Aide-Mémoire is attached90 for the information of the Embassy.

The Italian Government in a memorandum of August 22, 1944, to the Allied Commission requested reinvestigation of the following Argentine cases in addition of [to?] Banco Francés e Italiano: Banco di Napoli, Cía. Aseguradora Argentina, Fiat Argentina, S.A., Fratelli Branca S. de R. L., and Giornale d’Italia. The Embassy at Rome is being informed that the case of Giornale d’Italia is presently receiving the consideration of the British and American Governments in Buenos Aires, Washington and London. The Embassy at Rome is also being informed that if the Italian Government wishes to [Page 447] submit any comments indicating that the home offices of the other concerns are in friendly hands and under effective control by the Italian Government or, if the home offices are in enemy-occupied territory, that persons fully empowered to issue instructions to the branch offices are cooperating in this regard, the Department will be prepared to submit such information to the Interdepartmental Proclaimed List Committee for consideration and, if the case warrants it, to correspond with the Embassy at Buenos Aires concerning the conditions to be fulfilled by the Argentine branch.

The foregoing should be considered as a reply to Embassy’s despatches no. 16168, 16310 and 16477 of September 23, October 7 and 27, 1944, respectively.91

  1. Not printed.
  2. Ministry of Economic Warfare.
  3. A formal commitment on the part of a business firm to have no dealings with an individual or company on the Proclaimed List.
  4. A formal commitment on the part of a business firm to have no dealings with an individual or company on the Proclaimed List.
  5. For information concerning this mission, see. vol. iv, pp. 1219 ff.
  6. None printed.
  7. None printed.
  8. None printed.
  9. None printed.