860S.00/3–1848: Telegram

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

top secret

Niact 1205. I have just been told by Count Sforza in the most confidential manner that he learned from Bidault of the plan to make declaration on subject of Trieste. Bidault also told him very confidentially that as he felt he had been responsible for suggesting the compromise about the free territory he wished to announce in his speech at Turin next Saturday that the free territory should be returned to Italy.1 Count Sforza feels that action along these lines by United States and Great Britain would be of greater importance than that of France. He hopes that the declaration to be made by the three governments as arranged would be announced no later than simultaneously with any announcement by Bidault. As he is deeply grateful for France’s attitude in this matter as well as that of the United States and Great Britain he wishes to be protected in the matter of his having informed me of Bidault’s intention.

[Page 516]

In view of all the circumstances and the fact that there has been so much correspondence and talk between the various Foreign Offices in the matter, I strongly recommend that the announcement be made tomorrow, Friday, the nineteenth. Bidault can take as much credit for the French action as he wishes and fact that the three have announced their intention would in no way detract from any mention he might make of France’s attitude during his Turin speech. (Dept’s 728, March 172 and Paris 1421 of March 17 repeated Rome 122).3

  1. In niact 1461 of March 18, not printed, Caffery reported having seen Bidault on his return from Brussels. Bidault wished to mention the matter in his speech scheduled for 5 p. m. Saturday (March 20) in Turin, and did not wish the joint statement to be issued prior to his trip there. Bidault stated that Bevin had agreed to this plan. (860S.00/3–1848)
  2. Departmental telegram 852 to Paris, 728 to Rome, not printed. It forwarded the text of the memorandum which the Department planned to present to the Soviet Embassy in Washington immediately prior to the issuance of the joint statement. This message was sent also to London, Belgrade and Moscow. (860S.00/3–1748)
  3. In niact 1421, not printed, Caffery reported that in the French Foreign Office it was regarded as certain that Bidault would have some observations and modifications to suggest, after his return from Brussels. Hence Caffery urged moving the deadline to March 20. (860S.00/3–1748)

    In telegram 1474 of March 19, not printed, Caffery reported that Bidault agreed to publication of the declaration on March 20 at 11:00 EST (860S.00/3–1948).

    For the text as issued see the Department of State Bulletin, March 28, 1948, p. 425.