860S.00/4–1448: Telegram

The United States Political Adviser ( Joyce ), at Trieste, to the Secretary of State


211. Remytel No. 199, April 10.1

Committee of pro-Italian political parties will sponsor mass meeting tomorrow evening April 15 to express gratitude to western allies for proposal return Trieste to Italy. AMG has authorized processions to form in several squares in center of city and converge upon Piazza Unita. AMG has also authorized at request of Italian Lega Nazionale a mass meeting of 30,000 people at Piazza Unita on Saturday April 17 to present declaration “to the Italian people pledging unwavering loyalty to Italy”. Pro-Italian papers announce 124,000 signatures already obtained. Local Italian municipal leaders have requested that a prominent personality come to Trieste from Rome to accept declaration in name of Italy. This gesture is in reality a vicarious vote of Triestini for De Gasperi Government as well as gesture against Communism in FTT. AMG has declined to authorize admission to FTT of such person in connection with fixed policy of not permitting persons to come from the outside to participate in political events in Trieste. Italian officials have indicated they are not inclined to accept AMG ruling on lower level and will take up matter “a government level”. There is talk of inviting Garibaldi’s granddaughter to accept Lega Nazionale petition in Trieste.
Head AMG today called in president Trieste Municipal Council, president of Commune and Provincial president and warned them that AMG will not tolerate any disorders in connection with these mass meetings and would arrest disorderly elements immediately in the interests of law, order and security. Italian officials were advised to use their influence to keep pro-Italian demonstrations within orderly bounds. Local officials stated they realized that this was in interests all concerned and pledged their best efforts.
Communist controlled newspapers today feature Yugoslav note of April 122 to British and American Governments and state “democratic population” will permit no provocations. Civil police acts of terrorism against “anti-Fascists” are alleged and AMG accused of encouraging and protecting Fascist murderers and hoodlums etc.
We do not expect Communist inspired disorders but there is certainly possibility that pro-Italian demonstrators might get out of hand and engage in acts of violence against Communist centers and Communist sympathizers which will play into latter hands and perhaps supply martyrs. Situation here outwardly calm but underlying tensions are very real and potentially dangerous.

Sent Department 211; repeated Rome 78, Paris 19, London 15.

  1. In this telegram, not printed, Joyce reported that local pro-Italian press and political organizations were working up to an emotional pitch and were inclined to assume that the return of Trieste to Italy was already an accomplished fact. General Airey wished to moderate but not discourage pro-Italian demonstrations. 860S.00/4–1048)
  2. See footnote 2, p. 523.