765.5 MAP/12–450: Telegram

The Ambassador in Italy (Dunn) to the Secretary of State 1

top secret

2433. Tomap. RefEmbtel 2403 December l.2 At meeting with Italian defense group December 4 Italians produced final statements their production program for army, navy, air and civilian anti-aircraft protection (subsidiary air force program). Breakdown of high priority for Italian use and air force program have been summarized in previous telegrams. Since army program is rather lengthy, photostats of all schedules are being made. Jacobs3 will carry copies to Washington leaving Rome morning December 6 and copies will be pouched London.

Italian estimate cost in millions of lire, for four FY’s; ’51 through ’54 is army 84,386; navy 45,140; air 53,221; civilian anti-aircraft 6,080. Total: 188,827 (approximately $302 million).

Program contains approximately 32 million lire for procurement items (clothing, etc.) for which US aid is not available.

Since cost foregoing program is to be met from so-called “additional” funds of 50 billion lire per annum for four fiscal years or 200 billion lire total given above (188,827 billion lire) is approximately 11 billion less than total. This difference plus other funds from regular budget will be devoted to pay of proposed increments in personnel.

Foregoing is strictly Italian production program for Italy and no aid has been sought from US except US assistance for certain AMF projects already submitted and included therein.

Since all are agreed that foregoing program is no strain upon Italian economy and falls short of what Italy can do to meet its own requirements in keeping with its NAT commitments highest Italian officials concerned are now meeting to determine what additional amount can be programmed to meet those commitments. We cannot therefore proceed with preparation of over-all integrated production program with US aid until this additional contribution by Italy is known. Italian officials are alerted to need for urgency and we hope to have something soon.

Jacobs will advise concerning present status.

  1. Repeated to London and Paris.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Joseph E. Jacobs, Minister in Rome.