Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. Kingsley W. Hamilton, Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State for Economic Affairs (Clayton)

Participants: Mr. Tarchiani, Italian Ambassador
Mr. Clayton
Mr. Hamilton

The Ambassador called to say he was returning to Italy on a visit.35 He also wished to inform Mr. Clayton that he had recently spoken with the President in regard to Italy’s financial position.36 He had indicated that it would be very helpful if Italy could receive the $150,000,000 owed it for advances plus a loan of $150,000,000. This would be particularly important in view of the forthcoming elections. The President had received the suggestion sympathetically and had said he would have it looked into but it would be largely a matter for the government’s financial experts to determine.

The Ambassador also referred to Italy’s food problem. The pasta ration has been reduced from 2 kilograms to 500 grams while the bread ration is only 200 grams and it is improbable whether even this can be maintained. Argentina had previously promised 100,000 tons of wheat and every effort will be made to obtain it although shipping is a problem. The whole food situation was particularly difficult and significant because of the forthcoming elections.

Mr. Clayton thanked the Ambassador for informing him of his conversation with the President and sketched the outstanding problems of the world food situation. He assured the Ambassador that Italy’s needs would receive most sympathetic consideration.

  1. Ambassador Tarchiani was absent from Washington from March 31 to April 16. During this time the Counselor of Legation, Mario di Stefano, served as Chargé.
  2. No record of this conversation has been found in Department files.