No. 332

Department of Defense files


Memorandum by the Chief of Staff of the United States Army (Collins) to the Joint Chiefs of Staff


Subject: Visits to Yugoslavia and other MDAP Countries2

A. Italy

1. During my recent visit to Europe I spent only one day in Rome. This was at the suggestion of the State Department since I was shortly going to visit Yugoslavia.

2. I had brief conferences with Signor Pacciardi, Minister of Defense (Tab A3), General Marras, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces (Tab B4), and General Cappa, Chief of Staff of the Army. They were greatly interested in the visit to Yugoslavia and evidenced some slight concern, without saying so, that any MDAP program to Yugoslavia would be to the detriment of Italy.

3. Both Pacciardi and Marras specifically stated that they hoped the introduction of Greece into NATO, and a possible affiliation of Yugoslavia with the West, would not affect the continuance of an Italian as the senior Army commander under Admiral Carney.

4. The MDAP program is apparently proceeding satisfactorily except for the slowness of delivery of motor transportation and signal communication equipment. The Italians, like all other countries, are anxious to secure more tanks. These matters, however, are all being handled in established channels and no particular action is required as a result of my visit.

During my conversation with Signor Pacciardi, he made one very significant statement. He referred to the fact that both he and Tito [Page 742] had fought in Spain. (I learned in Yugoslavia from General Popovic that despite published reports to the contrary, Tito had never fought in Spain.) He asked me to remind Tito of this and confidentially and “off-the-record” to tell him that the Italians were ready to negotiate a settlement of the Trieste question. Pacciardi did not go into detail but did indicate that the Italians were ready to trade certain areas occupied largely by Yugoslavs for other areas occupied predominantly by Italians. I transmitted this information to Tito when I saw the latter in Belgrade. Tito indicated that he was greatly interested and felt that a settlement could be reached.

5. I discussed with both Pacciardi and Marras the necessity of having some training areas in Italy for the use of American forces in Trieste. They both assured me that suitable areas would be made available shortly, though for political reasons arrangements would have to be under the guise of assisting in training the Italian Army. Later, in a conversation with our Minister Thompson, he stated that we should not press this matter for the present because of possible political implications in Italy. I do not agree with this and feel that the State Department should continue to assist us in an early solution which I believe can be readily had. I left word with General Harmony, our Military Attaché, to follow up on this matter in conjunction with General Sebree, the Commanding General in Trieste.

  1. The omitted sections of this memorandum summarize General Collins visit to Yugoslavia, Thailand, Indochina, the Philippines, and Formosa. Section B, which summarizes his visit to Yugoslavia, is not printed; the remaining sections concerning the Far East are printed in vol. vi, Part 1, p. 544.
  2. During the month of October 1951, Gen. J. Lawton Collins made a tour of several European and Asian countries and this memorandum, with its attachments, represented his trip report.
  3. Tab A, not printed, briefly summarizes General Collins’ conversation with Pacciardi on October 13 during which they discussed training areas for U.S. troops from Trieste. Pacciardi promised to provide these training areas in Italy in the near future.
  4. Tab B, not printed, summarizes General Collins’ conversation with General Marras on October 13 during which the matter of training areas was again discussed.