865.00/6–647: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Italy


864. For the Ambassador. Demonstrations organized Rome and other cities show Communists intend charge new Ital Govt as undemocratic, without representation working classes, while attempting portray US as supporting reactionary Ital elements. Dept has no doubt govt program will in time refute these charges but propaganda value of such attacks can not be ignored, either as regards implementation Ital Govt program, some necessary measures of which are bound to be unpopular, or as concerns effectiveness of US assistance.

In view of foregoing, Dept feels that in conversations with Christian Democrats and PSLI1 leaders you might take occasion intimate some disappointment that agreement could not be reached for PSLI participation in cabinet. You might explain to PSLI leaders, … US view that Ital situation requires loyal cooperation all truly democratic elements in nat’l interest. With CD leaders, you might point out need, which applies to all European Govts today, for support of democratic left and of fullest possible representation working classes. To both, you might convey impression of US hope that way may yet be cleared for eventual PSLI participation in govt.2

  1. Partito Socialista dei Lavoratori Italiani, Socialist Party of Italian Workers, the followers of Saragat who had broken away from the Nenni Socialists because of that party’s pact of unity with the Communists.
  2. In telegram 1500, June 11, Dunn reported that he had conveyed this point of view to a principal leader of the PSLI, and he added in telegram 1534, June 13, that a CD leader had reviewed the situation with him and expressed the view that, while widening the cabinet was desirable and might later be possible, for the time being it was likely to provoke an undesirable crisis. Dunn recommended that no further steps be taken. (865.00/6–11, 6–1347)