Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. Howard J. Hilton of the Office of Western European Affairs
Subject: Limitations in Military Clauses of Italian Peace Treaty.
|Participants:||Mr. Burrows, Counselor of British Embassy|
|Mr. Boyd, First Secretary, British Embassy|
This informal meeting was held pursuant to the meeting held September 11 during which Mr. Burrows and Mr. Boyd left a copy of the informal working paper setting forth “notes of discussions with US authorities on the coordination of policy toward the Italian Peace [Page 1515] Treaty”. In opening the meeting Mr. Byington permitted Mr. Burrows and Mr. Boyd to read a copy of a paper entitled “Limitations in Military Clauses of the Italian Peace Treaty”, which had been prepared in WE. A copy is attached to the original of this memorandum. He emphasized that this paper did not represent the views of the Department and that he, likewise, was merely expressing the views of EUR and was not speaking for the Department.
Mr. Burrows in reply stated that the views which he expressed had not been fully considered by the British Government and represented only the thinking of senior officials in the Foreign Office.
After reading the paper Mr. Burrows expressed his agreement with the necessity for setting forth in detail the revisions which would be necessary to permit Italy to carry out the tasks assigned by the NATO. Once this exercise had been completed, it would be possible to determine the procedure by which the Treaty could be revised. He felt that it might be possible to follow the course suggested in the original working paper which he had submitted, namely, ignore the Treaty in minor respects, which would, for example, permit the supplying to Italy of a few assault landing craft, or of planes slightly in excess of the stipulated amount; then when a major step, clearly violating the Treaty, would be contemplated, action could be taken to make a public declaration that the Treaty would no longer be considered as limiting, in certain respects, Italian participation in NATO.
Mr. Byington in reply stated that it would be essential to have such a declaration of intention made by the US in order that the US position would be publicly known and would, therefore, answer any charges of connivance in violations of the Italian Peace Treaty. Mr. Burrows pointed out that an analysis of the probable positions which various signatories might take on the question of a declaration involving changes in military clauses of the Italian Peace Treaty indicated only 11 of the signatories as probably being favorable with 5 opposed and 4 doubtful. Taking the adherents there would be an additional 3 in favor and 1 opposed. The probable division on this basis would be as follows:
It was agreed that Mr. Burrows would endeavor to obtain a definitive statement of the necessary revisions of the military clauses of the Italian Peace Treaty required to permit Italy to carry out the tasks assigned by the NATO in accordance with the medium-term plan. Mr. Byington indicated that the Department would also endeavor to secure a similar statement and a subsequent meeting would be held to consider further action which might be taken.