760H.6527/5–1348: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Italy

secret   urgent

1404. As previously suggested, Dept believes Itals would be best advised to await Yugo proposal before deciding what position they should take (re Embtel 2162, May 131). Since Yugo has taken initiative and pressing for agreement, Itals perfectly justified in awaiting terms Yugo prepared to offer; basic and time-tested rules of diplomacy indicate advantage in not showing one’s hands until necessary. Once Yugo proposal made, Itals perfectly justified in taking their time to consider terms offered and to weigh its implications.

For Emb info only: General review of aviation policy toward USSR-satellites, now in progress in Dept, renders it especially desirable that Emb impress on Itals wisdom stalling tactics present juncture, lest hasty action for temporary advantage prejudice interests Ital as well as US and other Western European nations. In this connection [Page 447] Emb requested inquire about status Italo-Bulgar air negotiations reported Sofia’s 579, May 10, repeated as 18 to Rome2 and advise caution.

Sent Rome as 1404, rptd Bern as 697, Paris as 1710, London as 1798.

  1. Not printed. The Embassy in Rome was maintaining informal discussions with the Italian Foreign Ministry on the question of negotiating civil air agreements with various East European states, particularly Yugoslavia.
  2. Not printed.