The Chargé in Italy (Key) to the Secretary of State
[Received 7:15 p.m.]
1624. Inform Treasury from Tasca.33 My telegram 1247, 5 p.m., March 8.34 Embassy strongly recommends Department consider possibility of terminating in immediate future, separately, or preferably in conjunction with British, occupation cost regime in Italy. Department is aware of persistent attacks on Allies in Communist press regarding financial burden of Allied occupation in Italy.
Press attacks appear to be a clear attempt to discredit Allies, particularly US, to influence the forthcoming elections for the Constituent Assembly. It is important that we counter this maneuver in part by clearly and publicly announcing immediately termination of the occupation cost regime.
Proposal in your telegram 540, March 7 regarding credit of remaining dollars in suspense account to Italian Government combined with above would tend to make Italians vote more objectively during forthcoming national elections. [Tasca.]