860S.00/3–1648: Telegram

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

top secret

Niact 1154. Since I received information from my French and British colleagues that their governments were agreed in principle to Trieste declaration and my seeing De Gasperi about it and in order to avoid delay which might be caused by Prime Minister’s campaign commitments, I took opportunity my visit last evening to discuss in strictest confidence with him proposed declaration on Trieste. He immediately expressed preference for declaration returning whole Free Territory to Italy. He felt such a move would be very helpful. (Reference Department’s 682, March 13).1

In my opinion for purposes here in Italy, declaration might be shorter and when unworkability of Free Territory is mentioned, it seems to me our reasoning should be set forth in same sentence or at least same paragraph.

Declarations propaganda value in Italy depends on its being announced ahead of any statement which the Yugoslav or Soviet Governments may be contemplating re Trieste. Speed in announcement is therefore essential, and I urge that the March 18, 11 a. m. EST date be met.

I am, of course, informing French and British Ambassadors De Gasperi’s opinion expressed to me.

Sent Department 1154, London 116 and Paris 162.

  1. The Department’s telegram 807 to Paris is 682 to Rome, supra.