Memorandum of Conversation, by the Appointed Ambassador to Italy (Dunn)

Participants: Secretary Byrnes
Prime Minister De Gasperi
Ambassador Tarchiani
Mr. James Clement Dunn

Mr. De Gasperi came in to see the Secretary this morning to express his deep appreciation of all that Mr. Byrnes had done for him and for all the Department of State and the Government were doing to be helpful in connection with his visit here. The Prime Minister expressed his deep regrets at the news of Mr. Byrnes’ resignation as Secretary of State.

Mr. De Gasperi then reviewed the subjects he was interested in while here, stressing particularly the importance of obtaining the $100,000,000 loan from the Export-Import Bank. He spoke of a new plan he was [Page 852] studying which would support the loan by pledging certain of the Italian industries to the repayment of the loan as well as the Italian Government, thus creating a rather direct relationship between the furnishing of raw materials to these industries and the granting of the loan for industrial purposes rather than reconstruction purposes. Mr. Byrnes then spoke to Mr. Clayton on the telephone and discussed this new plan with him. Mr. Clayton said that he was doing everything he could to promote the loan with the Board of Directors of the Export-Import Bank and with the NAC (National Advisory Council). Mr. Byrnes said that Mr. De Gasperi would be able to go into this matter more fully with Mr. Clayton at the meeting arranged between them for 3:30 this afternoon.1 Mr. De Gasperi then said he had had satisfactory interviews with Mr. Snyder, Secretary of the Treasury, and with Mr. Harriman, Secretary of Commerce.2 He said that he was leaving for Cleveland tonight or tomorrow morning but would leave his technical assistants here to continue conversations with the Export-Import Bank, with Mr. Clayton, and with the Treasury, on purely financial matters.

Mr. Byrnes and Mr. De Gasperi then both agreed it would be preferable not to have a communiqué issued today, the last day of the Prime Minister’s official visit to Washington, but that it would be better to wait until the end of his visit after he had been to Cleveland and returned to New York, perhaps next Monday or Tuesday, and that if necessary Mr. De Gasperi could come to Washington in order to issue a final communiqué, or it might be arranged by him in New York through the Embassy here. In any event, no communiqué will be issued until Mr. De Gasperi is about ready to leave the United States.3

On taking leave, Mr. De Gasperi then again thanked Mr. Byrnes for all he had done and the Secretary expressed his confidence that the results of the Prime Minister’s visit would be even better than he had hoped for.

  1. Post, p. 854
  2. See the editorial note, p. 842.
  3. For text of the communiqué, released to the press on January 15, see Department of State Bulletin, January 26, 1947, p. 165.