865.00/1–746: Telegram

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

secret

129. Urtel 80 Jan. 7. Agreement has been reached with British that US and UK Govts will separately express to Ital Govt their views on election of Constituent Assembly. Same procedure will be followed as in case of local elections (Deptel 1528 Sept. 690) and no formal representations will be made through AC.

Accordingly, you should see De Gasperi and after referring to this Govt’s views on local elections as expressed to Parri, say that we have continued to follow with closest interest preparations for elections in Italy, and, while disappointed that local elections have not yet been held in at least some communes, are pleased that dates have now been set for both local and national elections. We hope that De Gasperi will press forward with these plans, that all political parties will [Page 877]cooperate to ensure holding of free elections in orderly manner, and that laws which we understand are now under discussion will guarantee free and full expression of will of Ital people and of their choice of form democratic govt which they desire.

In this regard, you should explain that in matter of elections this Govt is keenly alive to its responsibility to Ital people by reason of reiterated promise, first given during hostilities and affirmed in Joint Statement of October 13, 194391 and in Moscow Declaration, that they would have free and untrammeled right to choose by constitutional means their own form of democratic govt, and with this responsibility in mind you have been instructed to bring to De Gasperi’s attention views summarized in Deptel 1899 Oct 2292 and instruction 812 Nov 16.93

Finally, you should say to De Gasperi that we look to Ital Govt to discharge its grave obligations in laying foundation for state based on sovereign will of people, which will be worthy of best Ital traditions and will command world respect.

Acheson
  1. Foreign Relations, 1945, vol. iv, p. 987.
  2. For text of Joint Statement by President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill, and Marshal Stalin, see Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. ii, p. 387.
  3. See Foreign Relations, 1945, vol. iv, p. 989.
  4. Not printed; it enclosed two copies of a memorandum prepared in the Department entitled, “Powers of the Italian Government versus the Constituent Assembly.” (865.00/9–645)