865.5045/12–1747: Telegram

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


4065. My 4019 December 13.1 Entry of Republicans and PSLI into Government,2 after negotiations which proceeded with varying degrees of intensity ever since fourth De Gasperi cabinet was formed,3 is not, we believe, likely materially to alter Government’s policies nor direction which they have taken. Sforza’s comment to me that it will be a care-taker government is probably the best estimate. The sheer task of governing will, of course, be more complicated since the political objective of broadening the base has been achieved by expedient of increasing the size of the government, but De Gasperi has been in pains at final phase of negotiations clearly to define his terms, so that the price has not been excessive and should not be subject to renegotiation.

The gains to Italy and to the parties concerned must be measured in political terms and in light of fact that elections will be held in three or four months. Even though Republican and PSLI electoral strength is relatively slight, government now enjoys parliamentary stability through addition of 75 votes in Constituent Assembly (and thus in any interim assembly which may be convened between January 1 and convening of new parliament). Assuming the continued support of liberal deputies and even without that of Qualunquists, government can muster at least 303 certain votes (of total of 550) to 180 and [at?] command of Communists and Socialists.

Also, before electorate, the Christian Demos are now in large part relieved of the course of dependence on, if not alliance with, the extreme right, at same time that isolation of extreme left is correspondingly increased. The sarcasm and vilification with which the Communists and Nenni Socialists have greeted the new government are a measure of the discomfiture which they feel at their exclusion. The extreme disgust which many rightists entertain for Pacciardi may cost the Christian Demos some votes; a compensation is that De Gasperi now able to demonstrate the sincerity of his professions that the CD party, far from wanting a monopoly of government, welcomes support of any truly democratic group. Both Republicans and PSLI, whatever their failings, have the reputation of meeting this definition.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Sent Department as 4065, Paris 490.

  1. Not printed.
  2. On December 15 Giuseppe Saragat, secretary of the Partito Socialists dei Lavoratori Italiani, and Randolfo Pacciardi, secretary of the Partita Repubblicano Italiano, were each appointed Minister without Portfolio with the rank of Vice President of the Council of Ministers. At the same time Cipriano Facchinetti (P.R.I.) was named Minister of Defense (succeeding Mario Cingolani): Lodovico D’Aragona (P.S.L.I.) was named Minister of Posts and Telecommunications (succeeding Umberto Merlin); and Roberto Tremelloni (P.S.L.I.) became Minister of Industry and Commerce (succeeding Giuseppe Togni).
  3. May 31, 1947. See Foreign Relations, 1947, vol. iii, pp. 911929, passim.