Memorandum by the Acting State Member (Matthews) for the State–War–Navy Coordinating Committee30
Subject: Modification of Italian Armistice Regime
It is requested that the following memorandum from the Secretary of State be transmitted to the Joint Chiefs of Staff as a matter of priority:
“There is enclosed the text of an agreement modifying the Italian armistice regime, which was approved on May 16, 1946, by the Governments of the United States, United Kingdom, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and France. The agreement is to be signed between the Italian Government and the Supreme Allied Commander, Mediterranean.
“It is requested therefore that the agreement be presented to the Combined Chiefs of Staff for transmission to the Supreme Allied Commander, Mediterranean, with instructions that he submit the text thereof immediately to the President of the Council of Ministers of the Italian Government. He should inform Signor De Gasperi that, if the agreement meets with the approval of the Italian Government, he has been authorized to proceed with its signature simultaneously [Page 843]with the conclusion of separate agreements between the United States and Italy, and between the United Kingdom and Italy, regarding the maintenance of American and British forces, respectively, in Italy.
“As regards these latter agreements, it is desired that the Supreme Allied Commander, Mediterranean, inform Signor De Gasperi that they are now under consideration by the American and British Governments, and will be submitted to the Italian Government in a very few days.”
An office memorandum attached to this paper reads:
“The text of the revised armistice as agreed by the four Foreign Ministers at Paris on May 16th to be officially communicated to Signor de Gasperi at 11 a.m. on June 1st.
“The agreed revised armistice terms will be signed by SAC & Ital. Govt, at the same time as 2 supplementary agreements between the U.S. & Italy & the U.K. & Italy respectively re maintenance of troops in this country.”
A handwritten notation at the head of the document reads: “Signed and Received in SWNCC 5/21/46 H. W. Moseley”.
- This exact text was forwarded to the Ambassador in Italy in Department’s telegram 1120, May 21, 1946, with the following information: “Agreement modifying Ital Armistice regime will shortly be transmitted to SAC by CCS with instructions to communicate it to Ital Govt and to inform latter that if agreement is acceptable he has been authorized to proceed with signature simultaneously with conclusion of civil affairs agreements between US–Italy and UK–Italy. As regards latter agreements, he will be instructed to say that they are under consideration by US and UK Govts and will be submitted to Ital Govt in a few days.” (740.00119 EW/5–2146)↩
- In the revised United States draft of May 14 (C.F.M.(46) 84) this sentence had read: “It is considered that the Armistice terms should be modified by an interim agreement pending the coming into force of a definitive treaty of peace.”↩
- In the revised U.S. draft of May 14 this sentence had read: “The employment and disposition of the Italian Navy shall be under the command and control of the special section, authorized and directed to be established in accordance with sub-section A above.”↩
- This sentence had read: “Pending the coming into force of a treaty of peace, Allied Military Government shall be continued under the Supreme Commander, Mediterranean, in Venezia Giulia and so long as military necessity may require in the Province of Udine.”↩
- In the May 14 draft the words “maintenance of” had been used preceding the words “Allied lines of communication to Austria”.↩
- In the draft of May 14 the word was “for” rather than “as”.↩
- In the May 14 draft clause IX had read: “The Italian Government will cooperate with the United Nations in, and will provide at its own expense for, the search for and restitution of property wrongfully removed from the territories of the United Nations and located in Italian territory.”↩
- This final clause had read: “The present agreement shall enter into force upon signature thereof by the President of the Council of Ministers of Italy, and by the Supreme Allied Commander in Italy, and shall remain in force until superseded by other arrangements or until the coming into force of the peace treaty with Italy.”↩