394.31/9–551: Telegram

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


1094. Re: Depcirtel 199, August 28. Preliminary approach made to FonOff along lines reftel and following reaction obtained. Govt has not made final decision as to its vote on US proposal but at moment inclined toward abstention. Stated that both from political and economic point of view Italy had little to gain and considerable to lose. Could not agree our contention that vote with US did not mean siding with US on political dispute and that US action not reprisal for imprisonment Oatis. Further informed us confidentially that inquiry has recently been made by Ital reps in other interested western European countries re their attitude, with results indicating general objections to US proposal, including UK, France and Benelux. Further answers being awaited. Also Emb, Wash queried to ascertain whether US intends withdraw concessions initially negotiated Czecho from other CP’s.

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During lengthy discussion FonOff official took occasion mention (1) recent US action affecting Ital cheese exports, (2) possible US establishment quantitative restrictions imports almonds, and (3) effect on Ital hat industry of increase US tariff on felt hats. Although FonOff insisted political considerations dominant their thinking we obtained impression some action by US favoring Italy on one above points might influence position.1

FonOff agreed give further consideration question taking account discussion and importance we attach successful outcome, and meet with us again end of week. We feel Itals will probably go along with position taken by UK and France but would prefer abstain from voting on issue. Emb would appreciate prompt indication position UK and France as result approaches there.

Will report after next meeting. Informed Ital del will be headed by Di Nola ECE rep and that official higher level not available.

  1. For documentation regarding these matters, see pp. 1522 ff.