865.105/2–2646: Telegram

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


980. Italian Prime Minister19a has repeated to AC request made by his predecessor20 to raise ceiling Carabinieri Corps from 65,000 to 75,000. Reasons advanced for request are:

Weakness law enforcement forces in face of present unsatisfactory state public order;
In pre-war normal times with efficient communication and transportation facilities forces of public order totalled 207,000;
Of these 130,000 belonged to specialized corps of militia for railroads, harbors, roads, posts and telegraph, frontiers, coasts and forests. Carabinieri are now attempting to carry out these specialized tasks and in addition are called upon by Allied armed forces, other Allied organizations and various Italian Government organizations;
In provinces and in isolated places where disturbances of public order are most frequent, police duties devolve on Carabinieri only;
Forthcoming local and national elections covering period several months present paramount problems security and public order at time when efforts to implement policy of democratic government will be on trial before world and at time when number of Allied troops in Italy may be greatly reduced.

Chief Commissioner,21 in submitting Italian request to SACMED,22 adds cogent reason that whole of Italy has now been liberated in accordance with Allied policy for sovereign Italian State to assume full responsibility for administration and control of country. Therefore Italian Government should not be expected to assume task of governing country if it is refused means with which to do so.

Chief Commissioner strongly recommends approval Prime Minister’s request. In view particularly of vital role of Carabinieri in maintaining order during impending elections, Embassy thoroughly concurs with recommendations of Chief Commissioner.23

Sent Department 980; repeated London 144; Caserta 341.

  1. Alcide de Gasperi.
  2. Ferruccio Parri, President of the Council of Ministers, June 28–December 8, 1945.
  3. Rear Adm. Ellery W. Stone, U.S.N.R.
  4. Lt. Gen. Sir William D. Morgan.
  5. In telegram 346, March 21, 1946, from Caserta, the Deputy U.S. Political Adviser reported that the Italian request was approved, but without prejudice to any decision which might subsequently be taken in the peace treaty (740.0019–Control (Italy)/3–2146).