The Ambassador in Italy (Dunn) to the Secretary of State 1
4198. Brit Amb2 today gave me fol account of Anglo-Ital talks in London.3 As at Santa Margherita discussions opened by talk lasting several hours at which only PriMins and FonMins were present. Mallet said he had little info on this discussion.
Principal results according to Mallet, and this confirmed by Ital FonOff, was improvement in general atmosphere and preparation for more close and friendly relations.
Most important substantive discussion was on Trieste. Brit at first reluctant publicly confirm their continued adherence 1948 declaration on grounds this wld make more difficult solution Trieste problem and improvement Italo-Yugo relations. Itals argued no hope reach agreement with Yugo unless they cld base their initial position on the tripartite declaration. De Gasperi emphasized internal political difficulties caused him by Trieste issue. Sforza revealed that he had arrangements for secret contacts with Tito and was endeavoring to improve relations. He had recently rejected Yugo proposal to raise respective missions to Embassies on ground this shld only be done when it generally reflected the improvement in relations that he was attempting to achieve. When Brit realized Itals wld consider visit a failure without statement on Trieste they agreed to language of communiqué.
There was brief discussion of peace treaty during which Sforza said wld be dangerous revise only military clauses. When asked what other provisions of treaty he had in mind he evaded direct reply and merely indicated his belief that eventually entire peace treaty shld be superseded by another document. In this connection Itals stressed their failure to obtain admission UN but apparently did not press for any commitment on treaty revision.
On Libya Itals inquired whether Brit policy had changed from advocating loose confederation to unitary state. Brit maintained no change Brit policy and that they greatly preferred loose confederation. On Eritrea De Gasperi said was miracle that Itals there were asking nothing more than establishment Ethio-Ital relations and [Page 587] asked Brit assistance in achieving this. Brit undertook to do what they could.
On emigration Brit reviewed situation in England and in African colonies making clear that there was no prospect large Ital emigration to Africa.
Council of Europe was discussed at some length. Mallet said discussion boiled down to statement by Sforza that he realized Brit must sometimes say no but felt they could say it more politely.
Itals mentioned desire for membership on ocean shipping executive board but their pressure on this and similar issues was mitigated by their pleasure in learning their inclusion in international materials conference central group.
- Repeated to London, Trieste, and Belgrade.↩
- Sir Victor Mallet.↩
- Prime Minister De Gasperi and Foreign Minister Sforza arrived in London on March 12 for 3 days of talks with Prime Minister Attlee and Foreign Secretary Bevin. For the communiqué issued after these meetings, see Folliot, Documents on International Affairs, 1951, p. 89.↩