The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Italy
2334. Department fully endorses ur observations to Sforza and Pacciardi reported urtel 2324 Nov 27,1 and concurs ur estimate delicacy our position and necessity achieve our rearmament objectives without causing political crisis in Ital Govt.
It seems to us that Itals while seeking under pressure public opinion to advance Ital interests and secure for Italy position of prestige in NATO (viz. Embtel 2148 Nov 152) continue to wrangle over and delay concrete rearmament plans and implementation which are indispensable to Ital acceptance by allied official and public opinion as fully contributing member of team.
In conflict between Pacciardi and Pella appears from press interview reported urtel 2300 Nov 252 Sforza, though attempting take middle of road, has veered towards Pella’s side. If Pacciardi has developed plans it wld seem essential he submit them for examination Econ ministers. At same time, appears Pella must be convinced of urgency mil program and necessity some revision his basic philosophy. While Dept recognizes as you point out he has courageously held out against wasteful expenditures and has successfully defended lira, we do not fully share in view (last para urtel 2324) that his econ policy is sound in the circumstances we face today. In fact Dept believes more aggressive investment program was necessary before Korea, and considers implementation program agreed upon last Spring still possible and necessary; continuation over-cautious monetary [Page 1502] policies will prevent both investment program implementation and effective defense production program essential to Ital and Western armament.
We can understand Sforza (and also De Gasperi) attempting publicly take middle ground in view situation described urtel 2250 Nov 213 and in view lack concrete and realistic Ital plans. We hope, however, that govt can and will undertake to lead public opinion toward realization urgency of preparedness and that meanwhile Sforza can impress urgency on his cabinet colleagues. If Sforza’s influence is diminishing and if he is to be replaced, we feel some trepidation at prospect his replacement by a CD who might well be predisposed to side with Pella.
Fact is entire Western world is faced with most clear and present danger and it disconcerting to read in Cianfarra article (urtel 2268 Nov 223) that majority Ital cabinet appraising Italy’s commitments in light two premises: (a) disbelief in likelihood of war; (b) necessity subordinating rearmament expenditures to stability of lira. Whatever right or wrongs of carrying Ital internal dispute in US press, and with due allowance for source inspiration this article, it is of utmost importance to Ital, US and other NAT countries that all those who think thus be quickly disabused. Accordingly Dept hopes you will continue find occasion to speak to responsible Itals along line you took with Pacciardi; US has no intention urging Italy expand mil prod to a point endangering its internal economy but we are convinced there is much more that can be done without reaching that point.
Re Ital discouragement at Ital position in NATO which may in due course be overcome as concrete plans are effected, we have considered several possibilities which might meanwhile have beneficial effect. Pls give us ur early comments on:
- invitation to Pella to visit US (reDeptel 2155 Nov 213) during which every effort wld be made reorient his thinking;
- invitation to de Gasperi and Togni4 to visit US April ostensibly participate in formal dedication Memorial Bridge bronzes, and possibly receive academic degrees, but taking occasion thorough review major outstanding questions at that time.
These steps, if taken shld be accompanied by publicity here and in Italy designed to show that: (a) the west is in danger and the people [Page 1503] of the west must work together for self-preservation; and (b) Italy can and will play an important part in the common endeavor.