Memorandum by the Director, Plans and Operations, General Staff, U.S. Army (Norstad) to the Secretary of State 1

top secret

Subject: U.S. Military Supplies and Equipment for Use in Controlling Internal Disorders in Italy

The Department of the Army has carefully reviewed the list of military supplies and equipment, as submitted by the Military Attaché, Rome in his dispatch MAR 345 dated 7 December 1947,2 and has divided this list into two categories, (1) those which can be effectively employed in the immediate future (i.e., within the period of foreseeable emergency), such as small arms and ammunition, and (2) those which would be desirable on a longer term basis. Analysis of the quantities requested indicates, on the basis of information available [Page 750] to the Department of the Army, that in some instances the request is excessive and should be reduced. However, it is considered that the items which can be effectively employed in the immediate future, in reasonable quantities, represent a proper requirement for materiel essential to the maintenance of internal order in Italy.
In view of the urgency of the situation and in anticipation of appropriate authorization, it is considered that the Department of the Army should immediately initiate necessary action to furnish to the Italian government those items which fall into category (1) and which are surplus to the needs of the Department of the Army. To this end the Department of the Army is prepared to furnish to the Italian government the following items of equipment and ammunition:
Rifles, U.S. Cal. .30 M1903 50,000
Pistols. Auto. Cal. .45 M1911 5,000
Gun, Submachine, Cal. .45, Thompson 20,000
Cartridge, Ball, Cal. .30 30,000,000
Cartridge, Ball, Cal. .45 20,175,000
The Department of the Army can furnish the above equipment without cost to the Italian government. However, no funds are available to pay the cost for procurement of ammunition, the cost of inspection, or the cost of packing, handling and shipment of the equipment to Italian ports. It is estimated this cost will amount to approximately $3,754,190 for the items listed in paragraph (2) above.
If considered necessary by the Italian government and the Department of State, a token quantity of the above equipment could be shipped by air to Italy within 5 or 6 days with the remainder transported by water shipment and arriving in Italy in approximately 45 days.
For the Director, Plans and Operations:
W. H. Arnold

Major General, GSC
Deputy Director, Plans & Operations
  1. The memorandum was addressed to Mr. Samuel Reber of the Office of European Affairs.
  2. Not printed.