865.00/6–1146: Telegram

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

us urgent

2878. At 6:00 last evening first President of Court of Cassation made interim announcement to Cabinet and other assembled high government officials concerning its findings to date on results referendum.

According to Messaggero, after reading results by electoral districts, President announced that total votes on referendum based on reports received to date from the several electoral districts were: for republic, 12,672,767; for monarchy 10,688,905; reports from 118 precincts not yet received.

President of Court continued that, in accordance with decree law 219 of April 3, 1946, Court would issue in another meeting final judgment re contested votes, protests and complaints submitted to the proper authorities relating to referendum; that Court would coordinate the results with the votes of precincts not yet heard from and at that time indicate overall total of electors voting and of those votes which were found null and void.

Following report of Court, according to Messaggero, Prime Minister visited Royal Palace and informed the King.12 Subsequently De Gasperi convened Council of Ministers which was in session until early this morning with only one recess.

When Prime Minister visited the King again shortly before midnight, at 2:35 this morning, Government issued following communiqué:

“The Council of Ministers has taken note of the proclamation of results of the referendum made according to the law of the Supreme Court of Cassation and which assures a majority to the republic. Council reserves its decision on the concrete problems arising therefrom until tomorrow’s session. The Council has confidence in the civic sense of all Italians and appeals to the country which has manifested its republican majority in order that, conscious of its force and its right, it does not lend itself to provocations of factious elements in the assurances that no one can snatch away the victory acquired in the legality of the popular consultation of which the government remains the complete guarantor. In conformity with the preceding deliberations, the date of June 11, Tuesday, is considered a holiday in every respect.”

  1. Victor Emmanuel III abdicated his throne on May 9, 1946, and was succeeded by his son Humbert II.