No. 243

865.062/1–1251: Telegram

The Ambassador in Italy (Dunn) to the Secretary of State 1


3013. Paris pass Brussels, Hague, London pass Moscow. Communist labor organization CGIL executive committee at conclusion meeting January 11 took step which has all earmarks of being Italian chapter of important new move in international Communist peace campaign. There seems to be involved carefully planned attempt to bring about alignment not only of Communist and non-Communist labor organizations in Italy but of ICFTU and WFTU as well in effort throughout world to bring about disarmament. Proposal made in identical letters addressed to anti-Communist Italians labor organizations CISL and UIL. Letter thoroughly gentle and moderate in tone and obviously drafted in such a way as to make rejection by CISL and UIL as difficult as possible.

After long introduction in which gently criticizes CISL support for rearmament and CISL statement that all Italians must be ready to make sacrifices for rearmament because of seriousness of Soviet threat letter gets down to brass tacks by making following three proposals to CISL and UIL:

That the three confederations while reserving their several positions and retaining each the fullest liberty of action, reach a joint agreement to consider all steps which might possibly prevent or eliminate danger of aggression and war, inspired by principles we feel are common to all labor organizations, namely, collective security, non-interference of state in internal affairs of other states and free and peaceful coexistence of all social systems and all human races.
That three confederations jointly request Italian Government to propose to UN convocation of international conference for general disarmament to be achieved, even if by degrees under direct control of UN and reinforced by an adequate representation of the international trade unions, in order to ascertain beyond peradventure of doubt that disarmament is achieved with same gradualness and in same concrete forms in all countries without exception. Mere acceptance of principle of this proposal and of conference by principal governments would bring about atmosphere of trust in which peaceful resolution of all problems presently causing bitterness and international disagreement, through direct or collective negotiations, would be much facilitated.
That three confederations of Italian workers by common accord proposed to two international labor organizations today existing [Page 548] that this same move be extended by workers to other countries and that they agree among themselves on common proposals to be submitted to UN to bring about relaxation of general situation, safeguard peace among all peoples, and realize conditions favorable to general disarmament.

“The executive committee declares CGIL is ready to give greatest consideration to any other proposals which may be advanced by CISL or UIL toward safeguarding of peace and preservation of peoples from all aggression through general disarmament”.

CISL directorate will consider reply at meeting Florence 13. Secretary General Pastore has already declared all Italian workers know how CGIL bound to Communist Party and USSR and is strange all at once CGIL leaders become proponents of disarmament when up till now have sung praise of Red army. Cited Red Square May Day speech 1949 of CGIL Secretary General Di Vittorio. Asked whether CGIL now ready voice condemnation Soviet armament program.

UIL spokesman Vigliaklef said “UIL does not let self be led by propaganda which masks, under cover of outward pacifism, forces actually committed to policy of imperialism and aggression.”

Contemporaneously with above, Communists continuing build up for disorders arrival Eisenhower.2 Are pretending strikes and protest meetings will be spontaneous and not ordered from above. Accordingly each category of workers holding meetings and voting to protest Eisenhower’s visit by strikes of agitations.

  1. Repeated to London, Paris, Brussels, The Hague, Frankfurt, Moscow, and Vienna.
  2. General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower, newly-appointed Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, was scheduled to visit various European capitals beginning January 7 prior to the establishment of SHAPE in Paris. For the report of his visit to Italy on January 18, see telegram 72 from Luxembourg, January 19, vol. III, Part 1, p. 438.