501.BC/8–3049: Telegram

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


2680. During conversation with Sforza this morning he [we?] referred to our talk with Guidotti (Embtel 2601, August 241 and Deptel 1892, August 222) and inquired whether he had come to a decision. He had previously sent word to Sforza re informal action taken by Ambassador Cannon (Belgrade’s 844 August 25, repeated Rome 783). Foreign minister replied that he had decided to agree to set aside for time being any diplomatic action with UN re currency question. However, treatment of Italians in Zone B was another matter. He expressed gratitude for informal action taken by Cannon but said that as late as last night he had received telephone report that Yugoslav repression of Italians in Zone B was still increasing. Public indignation in Italy was rising everywhere, particularly in northern Italy. He referred to the historic resentment of northern Italians over Austrian repression of Italians in Venezia Giulia and said that when the state of [Page 519] Piedmont was only a dot on the map of Europe Cavour had had courage to protest to the Austrian Empire.

Sforza went on to express doubt whether anything less than strongest representations to Tito would secure relief for Italian inhabitants, not because Belgrade Government was encouraging local officials in their acts but rather because anything short of direct measures from Tito would dissuade Slav inhabitants in Zone B from temptation to seize property of Italians. Rather than appealing to UN he had decided to address appropriate communication to the friendly powers.

Sent Department 2680, repeated Belgrade 121.

  1. Not printed; in it Dunn reported that he had informed Gastone Guidotti, Director of Political Affairs in the Italian Foreign Ministry, of the Department of State’s view that it was preferable for the Italian Government not to submit any note to the United Nations at that time. Guidotti agreed to hold up the note and expressed the view that President Tito and the government at Belgrade were not fully aware of the repressive acts of local officials in Zone B. (501.BC/8–2449)
  2. Not printed; in it the Department informed Dunn that it considered it preferable that Italy not submit any note to the United Nations; it wished to avoid any debate there with the possibility of reopening the question of the appointment of a governor (501.BC/8–549).
  3. Not printed; in it the Chargé in Yugoslavia (R. Borden Reams) reported that Bebler had given him an opportunity to raise the question of the treatment of Italians in Zone B. Bebler “seemed astonished” and declared that Yugoslavia wished a long-term improvement of relations with Italy. He explained that it was a military administration but added: “this is serious matter and the government will want to look into it.” (860S.00/8–2549)