740.00119 Control (Italy)/9–2446: Telegram

The Chargé in Italy (Key) to the Secretary of State


3878. Re Moscow’s 3495, September 17 to Department, repeated Rome as 48. For Alcorn’s comments on procedure for travel of Russians in Italy see Embtel 2039, April 18.55

It might be suitable in reply to this old chestnut to point out that Russian delegations in northeast Italy reported in Caserta’s 538, September 1456 (see also Department’s 215, September 18 to Caserta) not only seem to have informed no one of their presence but are, as Cole suggests on his report 73, September 17, travelling about completely unfettered and contributing nothing to good will or friendly relations. In any event Alcorn’s procedure seems to be based on desire to help Russians in Rome by having advance knowledge their movements and is not used to impede these movements.

We are not taking matter up at this time with Alcorn pending receipt Department’s instructions and comments on allegations anent travel facilities for our people in the Balkans.

Sent Department 3878, repeated Caserta 1047, Moscow 197.

  1. Not printed. In regard to travel by the Russians this telegram stated: “AC report concluded that there is no general restriction on Russian member of AC visiting any part of Italy provided that permission be obtained from AC and AFHQ together with proper travel orders; that they are not encouraged to visit AMG territory which is described as outside scope of AC and that mention in Vyshinski’s note of 50 kilometer limit outside Rome on their movements is consequently entirely inaccurate/’ (740.00119 Control (Italy)/4–1846)
  2. Same as telegram 750, September 14, from Caserta to the Department, not printed. It reported certain civil disorders in the Venice–Mestre area and stated: “According to General Harding there is a Russian Consulate in Venice as well as a large Russian Film Delegation which is known to have had frequent contact with Communist elements in neighboring districts. General Harding considers that withdrawal of this Russian Mission is an important factor in maintaining law and order in Venice–Mestre area which he considers vital from military point of view.” (740.00119 Control (Italy)/9–1446)