740.00119 Council/10–2346: Telegram

The Ambassador in France ( Caffery ) to the Secretary of State


5322. Delsec 1088. For the Secretary from Dunn.59 As you are aware the Italian Government has never signed the revised armistice agreement drafted by the CFM during the Paris meeting in May. Principal reason for the Italian Government’s lack of interest is dislike of the accompanying British civil affairs agreement. Furthermore Italians have felt that peace treaty was imminent and in these circumstances revised armistice had little meaning. For this second reason also appropriate British and American officials in Italy (in our case the military authorities) have not pressed agreement.

I discussed this matter several days ago with Tarchiani.60 He told me he and Carandini61 planned to press the Italian Government strongly on their return to Rome, to proceed to the signature of the new armistice agreement. Since on the most optimistic assumption it will still be some time before the treaty comes into force. I feel the Italians should be urged to resume active negotiations with the appropriate British and American authorities in Italy with a view to concluding the new armistice agreement and the separate civil affairs agreements with the British and ourselves. If for any number of reasons the treaty should be delayed the Italians would be in a much better position financially as well as politically under a revised armistice.

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While the negotiations on our side are being conducted by the American military authorities in Italy I think some action on the political side will be necessary in order to advance matters. I therefore suggest that the Embassy at Rome be instructed to urge on the Italian Foreign Minister the desirability of concluding negotiations on the American draft civil affairs agreement on which we are awaiting a reply from the Italians. The War Department should of course be informed of our action.

Sent Dept as 5322; repeated Rome as 272; Caserta as 12. [Dunn.]62

  1. James Clement Dunn (appointed Ambassador to Italy) was a member of the subcommittee to consider political features of the Italian treaty, Paris Peace Conference, July 29–October 15, 1946.
  2. Alberto Tarchiani, Italian Ambassador to the United States.
  3. Niccolò Carandini, Italian Ambassador to Great Britain.
  4. In reply to this telegram, the Department forwarded to Mr. Dunn a copy of telegram 4058, October 23, from Rome, not printed (740.00119 Contrails Italy)/10–2346). This telegram summarized the Italian arguments which were presented in the undated aide-mémoire, received in the Embassy in Rome on October 19 (see infra)

    Mr. Dunn replied in telegram 5391, October 26, that he still felt there would be advantage in concluding the revised armistice, but that the Department would have to judge the validity of Italian objections in the light of the political situation in Italy (740.00119 Control (Italy)/10–2646).