865.5043/5–549: Telegram

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


1325. Deptel 682, April 12.1 Simonini at lunch May 4 with Lane said he gave full approval to program presented by Canini, Pastore [Page 705] and Rocchi to Antonini2 and Baldanzi3 at New York re timing and selection of D’Aragona as President. Simonini indicated Canini had been somewhat slow giving support to the plan. Re Faravelli (Embtel 1212, April 274) Simonini said there would be no difficulty respect PSLI leaving CGIL. He said his break with Faravelli was over approval of Atlantic Pact, that he, Simonini, would not accept presidency of a new labor organization but would attempt to regain control of the political reins of PSLI at mid-June Congress Rome.

He said his main fear at the moment was possible formation of two non-Communist Italian Socialist Parties. In any event, he said, his group would not yield to Faravelli and the left in the PSLI. He spoke disparagingly of Romita and said Lombardo had arrived too late and had brought no other support with him to the PSLI. Carmognola, Turin labor leader, was referred to as a corpse and Gronchi as a politician trying to “muscle in” on the labor movement.

Canini joined Lane and Simonini later. Simonini warned Canini to be very cautious in his dealings with Dalla Chiesa and Bulleri (PSI assistant secretaries of CGIL) and people like them, who he said were only seeking position.

Simonini expressed desire to visit US after June PSLI Congress. He said he felt frustrated that he could not speak English, as he would like to speak directly to American Trade Unionists and others re his views on Italian labor and political situation. He said he had used Cappelletti5 as an interpreter and now Cappelletti was in US speaking not for Simonini but for Cappelletti.

He said his main difficulty in the past had been that American Trade Unionists and Socialists had corresponded directly on official matters concerning the party with such people as Faravelli and had not given him the recognition he felt he had deserved as PSLI secretary.

  1. Not printed; it stated that in a visit to the United States and Canada the Italian labor leaders Giulio Pastore, Giovanni Canini, and Appio Claudio Rocchi had reached a preliminary agreement to form a united, free labor federation with Ludovico D’Aragona (PSLI) as president and Pastore as the responsible secretary. The plan called for the PSLI and the Republicans to leave the CGIL by the end of June and to merge with the LCGIL by November. The intervening time was to be used for local reorganizations and other preparations. The Department of State was pleased with the plan but regretted the slowness of the schedule. (865.504/4–1249)
  2. Luigi Antonini, first vice president of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union; president of the Italo-American Council of Labor.
  3. George Baldanzi, member of the executive council of the Congress of Industrial Organizations; secretary of the Free Italo-American Labor Council.
  4. In this telegram, not printed, Dunn reported that Giuseppe Faravelli, a leader of the PSLI, had told Lane in Milan that the autonomous Socialists would join his group at the PSLI congress in June and that a Socialist-sponsored trade union congress would be called in July. He felt that all Socialists should remain in the CGIL and fight it out with the Communists and either take over the CGIL or withdraw. (865.5043/4–2749)
  5. Alessandro Cappelletti, a member of PSLI and head of the LCGIL agricultural workers’ union.