765.5 MAP/6–2650: Telegram

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


2668. Tomap. Aide-mémoire in sense airgram 550, June 2, 19501 handed Foreign Office June 12. Subsequently Secretary General as acting Foreign Minister2 personally and officially expressed to me extreme embarrassment which would be caused government by signing another document reaffirming its intention carry out obligation of peace treaty in terms referring to treaty. This matter political principle and should such signature become known, as it inevitably would, outcry would be great and not confined extremist parties.

In light foregoing prefer solve problem by means other than specific reference peace treaty, if such can be found. Following alternative presented for Department’s consideration:

Italian Government might give Embassy list of planes constituting “present make-up air force” within meaning its aide-mémoire March 1.3 This list would contain all operational and true reserve aircraft and would be within 200 and 150 treaty limitations.
Italian Air Force already has made available MAAG its plans for phasing out aircraft to be listed in paragraph 1 upon receipt planes from MDAP and indigenous production.
Aircraft presently in IAF inventory in excess list to be submitted under paragraph 1 not considered as “reserves” within meaning treaty for reasons set forth Embtel 237, January 214 and 319 January 275 Italian Government could be pressed to relinquish title these nonoperational aircraft to another NAT nation, or dismantle them so they lose identity as aircraft and become spares or instructional material, or sell to a friendly country with NAT approval.

Awaiting reply before proceeding further with Italian Government this subject.

Sent Department 2668, airpouched London for EDECC.

  1. Not printed; it instructed the Embassy to request that the Italian Government provide specific written assurances that upon receipt of aircraft from the United States under MDAP, the Italian Air Force inventory would be reduced as necessary to keep within the limits set by the Treaty of Peace with Italy. The Department of State considered these written assurances important in order that it be in a position to refute categorically unfriendly allegations of any violations of the treaty (765.5 MAP/3–650).
  2. Viittorio Zoppi, Secretary-General of the Italian Foreign ministry.
  3. The text of the Italian aide-mémoire, which was given to the Embassy in Borne on March 3, was transmitted to the Department in Despatch 669, March 6 (765.5 MAP/3–650).
  4. Not printed.
  5. Not printed; it reported that aircraft held for cannibalization or for spare parts, aircraft distributed to civilian aero clubs, and aircraft intended for air-sea rescue need not be considered part of the “reserves” limited by the Treaty of Peace with Italy (765.5 MAP/1–2750).