No. 261

665.001/3–851: Telegram

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


3929. Sforza told me that at Santa Margherita they had asked the French if they would take the initiative in proposing a general revision of the peace treaty.2 The French replied they would do so, but there was no indication of the timing of the action proposed.

Sforza said he intended to instruct Tarchiani to propose to the State Department a declaration by the US, UK, and French favoring revision of the treaty. He said that there was virtually nothing left of that treaty to [work?] out since all the essential clauses had been executed. He said that we should re-negotiate those parts which were of continuing interest. He said he would suggest that the declaration be in the form of an invitation to the Soviet Government as in the March 20, 1948 statement.3 The declaration would call for either a revocation or modification of the peace treaty and would also confirm the March 20 statement and ask again that it be implemented.

If the Soviets refused this offer they would be put in position of again refusing to help Italy. Sforza said that if the Italian Government is to obtain more money from Parliament for rearmament, the government would find some favorable step in connection with the treaty extremely helpful. The above arose in connection with my reference to Malvestiti raising the question of the peace treaty in technical discussions over US aid. I said to Sforza that it seemed to me that if the question of the peace treaty were to be raised at all, it should be done on the plans he proposed instead of being injected into technical discussions.

  1. Repeated to London and Paris.
  2. Prime Minister De Gasperi and Foreign Minister Sforza met French Prime Minister Pleven and Foreign Minister Schuman at Santa Margherita February 12–14 for a series of discussions covering the whole range of French-Italian relations and their attitudes toward general European problems. For a summary of these talks, see telegram 3627 from Rome, Document 254.
  3. For the text of the parallel notes issued on March 20, 1948, by the United States, the United Kingdom, and France, which favored the return of the Free Territory of Trieste to Italy, see Foreign Relations, 1948, vol. iii, p. 517.