No. 255

765.5–MAP/2–2151: Telegram

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


3646. Tomap. This is joint Embassy–ECAMAAG message. Following report is submitted for information only.

1. Discussions on US aid:

Since presenting memorandum of February 5 (Embtel 3414, February 7, repeated London 390, Paris 4822) we understand subject matter has been discussed in and between various ministries: Foreign Affairs, Defence, Treasury, Commerce, as well as Prime Minister’s office. From what we learn privately and from press (which has gotten its information from Italian sources), Italian officials, especially [Page 575] Treasury and economic segments, have not been able make firm decisions. Undoubtedly enactment legislation authorizing necessary funds and controls are factors in situation.

On February 19 Italians advised us of prime minister’s approval continuance in modified form technical committee are Zoppi and Venturini of Foreign Office; Admiral Minotti of Defence; Ferrari-Aggradi (CIR) Magistrati and Malagodi (Italian delegates). In turn, we advised that our group would consist of Jacobs, Dayton, Schwarz, Kopf, Eicholz, Barnett and Colonel Vickers. Magistrati will be secretary of Italian and Barnett of our group.

Italians state that they hope to be ready for first meeting shortly, probably next week.3

2. Project statements for segments of new Italian military production program:

Assuming funds will be available Italian Defense has submitted number project statements as segments their new military production program (we are processing 22 ammunition projects as first consolidated project). On basis Italian statements, total cost would be about $46.8 million for which US aid of $12.2 million is requested. Militarywise, this consolidated project is highly desirable as it would provide about 58 percent of critical Italian ammunition requirements and can be gotten underway speedily. We feel, however, that amount of aid requested is excessive and ECA in attempting study question of raw materials on basis of which aid could be granted is finding difficulty in obtaining necessary information. This stems from fact Italian military and economic groups are still stand-offish in their relations with each other and we have not yet succeeded in getting together a joint military-economic Italian group with which ECA can discuss this problem. Every effort is being made to resolve difficulty and we hope substantial progress can be made at first meeting group referred to above.

  1. Repeated to London for EDECC, Spofford, and JAMAG, and to Paris for OSR and MacArthur.
  2. Telegram 3414 described a meeting between Dunn and various Italian officials during which Dunn expressed the desire of the Department of State that the Italian Government give assurances that Italy would carry out its role under NATO’s Medium-Term Defense Plan. (765.5–MAP/2–751)
  3. The first meeting between Italian officials and representatives of a joint ECA–Embassy–MAAG committee took place on March 5. These technical discussions concerning Italy’s defense program and U.S. military assistance are summarized in telegram 3920 from Rome, March 8. (765.5/3–851)