865.5043/9–2349: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Embassy in Italy


2357. Fol is text of Thomas tel as recd in Dept, presumably same as qted in Mont. art in Umanità (urtel 2912 Sep 201):

“Have just recd from Ital news that the effort strongly supported by Amers to force prematurely an artificial unity of autonomous trade unions with the Catholic Federation does not further union but has already created a new split among anti-totalitarian unionists and tends to strengthen the large commie dominated federation. Since Amer influence was behind effort to enforce premature union, I strongly urge immed investigation by competent Amer experts of reasons for continuing strength of commies largest Ital labor federation, the econ reasons for the frequent strikes and the whole situation as affecting the struggle against totalitarianism of the right or the left. Norman Thomas, Chairman Post War World Council”2

Since Thomas does not specifically request ans and his tel has recd no publicity in US, Dept considers preferable let publicity in Ital die out rather than stimulate it further with ans which wld surely find its way into Ital press (urtel 2943 Sep 233).

In event of direct inquiries Rome, Emb may if it wishes state that of course no US official attempting direct Ital labor developments, which US Govt regards as Ital internal affairs.

  1. In this telegram, not printed, Dunn reported that in an article which appeared in Umanità, Vanni Montana quoted a telegram addressed by Norman Thomas to the Secretary of State requesting an investigation whether American elements were responsible for Italian trade union discord. (865.5043/9–2049)
  2. Mr. Thomas’s telegram as received in the Department of State was dated September 14 at New York; the words abbreviated here were spelled out in full. (865.5043/9–1449)
  3. Not printed.