740.00119 Control (Italy)/12–1147: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Secretary of State, in London

us urgent

Telmar 70. Following statement on Italy, concurred in by Army, Navy and Air Force and Secretary Forrestal, has been approved by the President subject to your concurrence and will be released if you approve at 6:00 p. m. EST Dec 13 for publication 9:00 p. m. that date:

“Although the United States is withdrawing its troops from Italy in fulfillment of its obligation under the treaty of peace, this country continues its interest in the preservation of a free and independent Italy. The United States Government has been giving careful attention to recent events in that country and notes that a minority political faction has been making serious and intensive preparation for seizure of power in Italy by force and in pursuance of its expressed opposition to the European Recovery Plan has been endeavoring to disrupt efforts to achieve economic stability and recovery. It also notes that this faction which plainly operates under foreign inspiration has taken a position deeply hostile to this country.

“If the Italian Government with which the Allies so recently concluded a treaty of peace should lose control of any appreciable amount of Italian territory before the ink is really dry on that settlement, and particularly if this territory were to fall into the hands of elements openly hostile to the maintenance of a Government of free people in Italy, that would constitute a challenge to the Allied victory in Italy and a mockery of the sacrifices made by the men of the American armed forces and by the Italians themselves in that area. This country did not fight the war in Italy to see the Italian people again subjected to the totalitarian rule of a foreign-inspired minority. The responsibilities which the United States has assumed to the Security Council with respect to the administration of the Free Territory of Trieste are such that for this reason alone, if for no other, it could not be indifferent to a disruption of the stability of that general area.

“For these reasons it must frankly be stated that if any appreciable amount of Italian territory falls under the control of elements defiant of the legitimate Italian Government, this may undermine the entire basis of the Italian peace settlement and will oblige this Government in the light of its responsibilities as a member of the United Nations and of its continued interest in the welfare of this area to consider the situation and to review the obligations which it has assumed under the Italian peace treaty and under the Charter of the United Nations with respect to the maintenance of peace and security.”

Sent London as Telmar 70 rptd Rome as 2598.