860S.00/5–548: Telegram

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


264. Re Rome’s No. 1997 May 1.1 My next succeeding telegram commenting on Rome’s No. 1997 from an economic and fiscal viewpoint was prepared at my request by FSO Ivan White Director of Finance and Economics of AMG. White’s message has my concurrence and was discussed with and approved by head of AMG Trieste who is American Brigadier General.2

I have not taken up officially with General Airey contents Rome’s [Page 561] 1997 but I am confident that the following observations from a political point of view would have his entire approval:

Italian Government’s position apparently supported by Rome Embassy if accepted would effectively destroy last vestige of Anglo-American independent administration British-US zone FTT. Embassy’s message apparently does not taken into account the fact that Airey’s administration this zone has invariably done its utmost to follow and support Washington and London Italian policy.
Rome’s government’s policy appears to be entirely incompatible with Anglo-American position under the as yet unrevised peace treaty.
With regard to Italian Government line that wherever possible “FTT for practical purposes is still part of Italy” I can only state that acceptance of such a position would mean abdication of Anglo-American control in this sensitive area. In addition, new Italian Government after electoral victory will almost certainly take a much stronger attitude toward Yugoslavia relying on economic, political and perhaps even military support from western democracies. Effective economic and political control of British-US zone FTT from Rome would mean that we should be at the mercy of vagaries of Italian politics and that Italian policy in this area inevitably has to be supported by American and British troops acting as police force for Rome.
We feel here that under great difficulties there has slowly been built up a sound, efficient and above all secure administration and should the government at Rome be successful in obtaining “practical hegemony” over this zone the entire Anglo-American position would not only be undermined but would immediately become seriously endangered.
It should not be forgotten that in any serious deterioration of Italo-Yugoslav relations in this area the British-US zones power and even water supply is dependent upon Yugoslavia.

It is earnestly recommended that the basic considerations set forth in the Department’s No. 1192 of April 24 to Rome be adhered to as essential for the maintenance of the Anglo-American position in Trieste and that the recommendations set forth in Rome’s No. 1997 to Department should not be accepted.

Sent Department as 264; repeated Rome 98, Paris 36, London 27.

  1. Not printed: in it Dunn forwarded the arguments brought up by officers of the Italian Foreign Ministry against the inclusion of the Zone in OEEC (840.50 Recovery /4–2948).
  2. Brig. Gen. Ridgely Gaither, U.S.A.