120.43/3–2450: Telegram

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

top secret

1241. From Perkins to Rusk1 for appropriate distribution. Summary of points which were generally agreed to at meeting of Ambassadors in Rome March 22–24:

That as rapidly as practicable anti-Communist activities be developed on an expanded scale and that all necessary facilities including adequate financing be made available to this end.
That the launching of a vigorous propaganda offensive designed to deprive the Soviet Union of the initiative gained through its peace campaign and recapture for the West the leadership in the world movement for peace is of high importance.
That it is desirable that the North Atlantic Treaty Council be convened early in May. In this connection it is felt that an enunciation of principles of peace by the North Atlantic Treaty Council might be a suitable means of recapturing the propaganda initiative and of reestablishing the basic principles to guide the members of the North Atlantic Treaty.
That there is an urgent need for an effective and continuing program of propaganda carefully prepared in consultation with missions in member countries in connection with the implementation of the North Atlantic Treaty.
That at its next meeting the NAT Council consider the establishment of a strong high-level means of direction within the NAT as a focus of decision and coordination of the political, economic and military policy of the participating countries within the objectives of the Pact.
That, as a matter of urgency, a US interdepartmental planning group determine the requirements necessary for establishing an adequate and timely military position for the North Atlantic area, evaluate the maximum practical economic, financial, and other capacities of the nations involved to meet these requirements with appropriate US military and economic aid and recommend a comprehensive program of action for the NAT, and the US, to achieve the requisite military position at the earliest practicable time.
Recognizing the political considerations that render it impracticable at the present time to utilize German manpower in the defense of Europe, the meeting, nevertheless, feels that as a short range objective, serious thought should be given to the immediate employment of German capacity to contribute to the defense of Europe by furnishing material and supplies as distinguished from military equipment for the purpose.
There should be a clarification of the relationship between the US and the UK throughout the world, including the role that the UK will play in European affairs.
That a study be made of overall world trade patterns, present and potential, in their relation to the exigencies of the cold war with a view to developing policies in regard to these patterns designed to maximize their value to the West and minimize their usefulness to the USSR. The future of Southeast Asia as a source of raw materials and as a contributor to the dollar needs of Western Europe would be a case in point.
That the preservation of Southeast Asia from Communism should be a cardinal point of our foreign policy and that all steps consistent with our capabilities and the local situation should be taken to hold that area. It was also felt that if Southeast Asia were lost, the effects on Western Europe would be grave and would seriously jeopardize the possibility of maintaining the European economic position at a level which would permit the containment of Communism in that [Page 826] area. Furthermore, it was felt that this problem is of the utmost urgency and that immediate action should be taken to forestall such a disaster.
That attention be given to all aspects of the general problem of overpopulation in Europe. (This problem is of particular interest to the French and may be raised by Schuman.)
Meeting discussed Germany at length, recommendations follow separately.

Sent Department 1241, repeated Frankfort 42 for McCloy, Paris 131 for Harriman, pouched Moscow, London.

  1. Dean Rusk, Deputy Under Secretary of State.