Position Paper Prepared in the Department of State


The Effect of the Italian Peace Treaty Upon the MDAP for Italy

(Proposed Revision of FMACC D–20, April 6, 1950)1

I. Problem: To measure what is, in the opinion of the US Government, the effect of the Italian Peace Treaty upon the participation of Italy in the Mutual Defense Assistance Program.

II. Discussion: The limitations on armed strength contained in the Peace Treaty are either complete prohibitions or numerical limitations. These limitations or prohibitions are placed variously on experimentation with, or acquisition, manufacture, production, or retention of specifically named items or installations. In addition, the Treaty places limitations on the number of personnel, and the organization and deployment of the Italian armed forces, with the intention of restricting the forces to those required for purely defensive purposes. None of the foregoing limitations has been changed. (See Appendices A2 and B3)

III. Summary of General Policy:

Participation by Italy in the MDAP is not of itself at variance with the Peace Treaty. In any instance where variance appears, the Peace Treaty must govern.
The Italian government has shown a desire for liberal interpretation of Peace Treaty limitations. The United States considers [Page 1507] that only so liberal an interpretation may be countenanced by the United States as may be legally defensible in terms not only of the words but of the intention of the Peace Treaty.
The initial responsibility for Italy’s compliance with the Peace Treaty in Italian territory is Italy’s. The United States has not undertaken to enforce compliance by Italy with the terms of the Treaty. Where United States participation in the MDAP is involved, however, the United States government may properly express to the Italian government its insistence on compliance with the terms of the Peace Treaty, by virtue of the fact that the United States and Italy are co-signatories, both of the Peace Treaty and of the NAT, and further, because the United States is motivated by concern for the moral stature of both Italy and the United States in the international community. Where, therefore, contemplated action under the MDAP is determined by the United States to be incompatible with the Peace Treaty, the United States will not participate in such action.

IV. Application of General Policy: The United States has seen fit to concern itself with certain instances of possible incompatibility of the Peace Treaty and action under MDAP, and has made the following applications of its general policy:


Italy can manufacture those items defined as war material by Annex XIII C only for the use of the Italian Armed Forces.

Conversely, the Peace Treaty does not limit the manufacture of any item which is not listed in Annex XIII C, and is not otherwise specifically prohibited by any other Treaty provision. Such items can, therefore, be manufactured for use by other countries. For example, since jet engines are not included in Annex XIII C, Italy would not be violating the Peace Treaty if it manufactured them, without numerical limitation, provided they are not of German or Japanese design.

In considering the question of the future disposal of war material which, while being utilized by the Italian Armed Forces, becomes obsolete, or which for some other legitimate reason is replaced, Article 67 (which is entitled “Disposal of War Material”) is no longer of effect, since it refers only to that war material which was in Italy, and excess to the allowed amounts, at the time the Peace Treaty became effective.
The United States must be satisfied that the possession of military items by Italy, as a result of United States co-operation, is not at variance with Peace Treaty limitations. A minimum requirement is that the Italian government dispose of certain military items to the extent that they become excess to Peace Treaty limitations, if Italy acquires similar items through US assistance.

  1. On April 6, 1950, the Working Group of the Foreign Military Assistance Coordinating Committee (FMACC) prepared a report entitled “Italy and the Mutual Defense Assistance Program” (FMACC D–20), not printed. After the report was circulated among the various representatives of the Working Group, the Department of State representatives were instructed by the Committee to redraft a position paper on this subject which would seek to harmonize the various views held by members of the Working Group. This position paper, printed here, was drafted by H. H. Adams of the Office of the Assistant Legal Adviser for Economic Affairs and by Warren A. Silver of the Mutual Defense Assistance Program; it was cleared with Joseph N. Greene of the Office of Western European Affairs and Ridgway B. Knight of the Office of European Regional Affairs. This revision, while not yet approved by the FMACC, was circulated as the new FMACC D–20 of May 26, 1950, and represented the position of the Department of State.

    For further documentation concerning this paper and its revisions, see file 665.001.

  2. Appendix A, not printed, contained a brief analysis of the relevant treaty provisions which affected the armed strength of Italy and the furnishing of assistance to Italy by the United States.
  3. Appendix B is not printed.