765.5 MAP/6–2650: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Italy


284. Luciolli, Counselor Ital Emb, has informed Dept of instrs recd from Zoppi re embarrassment to Ital Govt in signing document affirming Italy’s intention live up to terms Peace Treaty, reurtel 2668 Jun 26. Luciolli was informed that statement from Ital Govt was desired for the record in event that Sov shld charge Treaty provision being violated by shipment aircraft and wld not be used unless there were gen Sov charge. Declaration necessary, however, in view number planes now listed in registry Ital Air Force, and US policy maintaining accurate record of its internatl activities, particularly when they had direct relationship to Treaty commitments. He was also informed Dept had no desire to obtain periodic declarations from Ital Govt to effect that Treaty wld be observed since it was generally assumed by both sides that such was the case and that declaration cld be worked out in Rome which wld take into account embarrassment which wld be caused Ital Govt by signing document reaffirming its intention carry out obligations of Peace Treaty in lieu referring to Treaty.1

At the same time, and as indicated in Dept’s A–550 June 2,2 we attach great importance to our being, together with Ital Govt, in a position to refute categorically and on basis record any unfriendly allegations of violation Peace Treaty. Among other factors, we have three in particular in mind:

As an applicant for membership in UN, it is in Italy’s own interests that she avoid getting into position where opponents of her application can readily charge violation of an internatl obligation, however unpalatable that obligation may be to Ital people and Govt; this is particularly applicable re section Peace Treaty which specifically provides for its revision only after Italy admitted to UN.3
We are increasingly concerned at prospect of a gen Sov assault on us and probably other West Powers, as well as Italy, re our observation Ital Peace Treaty. Such an assault, which might come either through dpi channels or in UN, might very well be concentrated on mil clauses of Treaty and on provisions having mil implications, including Trieste provisions. We have no need nor desire to be defensive about such an assault; but we might very well be put in a defensive position if record is not entirely clear; and
At time of Italy’s adherence to NAT, Dept gave specific commitments that that adherence wld not involve violation of Ital Peace [Page 1510] Treaty (Deptel 1255 Jim 22, 19494) and we wld not want to be in position of doubt about effective implementation that commitment.

In light foregoing, we do not find acceptable alterations suggested in urtel 2668, principally because they smack of private deals which, if and when brought out into open, might well have psychological effect of creating impression we are trying to hide something. We are not.

Dept suggests that a way out of present difficulty may be found in replacing Aide-Mémoire transmitted urdesp 669 Mar 65 with another incorporating new wording. Specifically, last half of first para cld be altered to read:

“It is intention of Ital Govt that IAF, including its naval air arm, shall not exceed a force of 200 fighter and reconnaissance aircraft and 150 transport air-sea rescue training (school type) and liaison aircraft. These totals shall include reserve aircraft.”

This wld require a further modification of end of second para, which might be reworded: “wld become surplus with respect to Air Force specified above.”

Dept suggests that you discuss this matter thoroughly with Ital auths in light of foregoing and seek wording for their written commitment which, if it does not specifically refer to Treaty, will at least borrow language of Treaty.

  1. This information was conveyed to Luciolli on July 14 by Francis T. Williamson, Deputy Director of the Office of Western European Affairs (memorandum of conversation, not printed, 765.5 MAP/7–1450).
  2. See footnote 1, p. 1508.
  3. For documentation concerning Italy’s candidacy for admission to the United Nations, see vol. ii, pp. 1 ff.
  4. Not printed; it reported that on April 28, 1949, a State Department representative had informed the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations that all parties to the North Atlantic Treaty agreed that participation of Italy in NATO would not affect the provisions of the Treaty of Peace with Italy. Any Italian contribution to the defense of the North Atlantic area must be within the limits fixed by the military provisions of the Peace Treaty (840.20/6–149).
  5. See footnote 3 to telegram 2668 from Rome, June 26, supra.