Prime Minister De Gasperi to the Secretary of State 1


My [Dear] Secretary of State: It has been a great pleasure for us to receive in Rome during the last few days the visit of Ambassador Bruce. In his person and in the task entrusted to him we see another clear evidence of the interest and sympathy whereby the United States of America follows the process of European integration.

With Ambassador Bruce I have talked at length on that general Europeist policy of which—as you know—I have been since the beginning, and still am, a convinced advocate. We have also spoken of the ratification of the Treaty establishing the European Defense Community. However, I wish also to write to you personally on the subject, [Page 781] referring to the conversations I had the pleasure of holding with you during your welcomed visit in Rome.

There is no need for me to assure you that the realization of the European Defense Community occupies always the foremost place among the objectives of the Italian Government. It was my firm intention after the Treaty has been—as you are aware—approved by a large majority by the competent Commission of the Chamber of Deputies (already a notable result which has its value) to bring the debate on the floor. But the opposition’s filibustering in the Senate against the electoral reform—a law of which I am sure the American parliamentary circles and public opinion appreciate all the special importance—dominates at the present moment the whole political situation and absorbs our efforts as it will certainly do for all the time available before the Chamber of Deputies dissolves.

Anyway, I hope to make during the next few days at the Senate or before the Chamber of Deputies precise statements such as will leave no doubts—in whomever might still have them—on the intentions of the Italian Government and on our maintaining our firm purpose to do all that is in our power so that, as soon as possible, the CED Agreements may obtain the sanction of Parliament, transferring, when necessary, the discussion of the Bill from the Chamber of Deputies to the Senate. Moreover, as I believe you already know, the Democratic Parties have publicly mainifested their decision to place among the fundamental elements of the electoral platform that of the policy of European integration; which will give to that policy a basis and an emphasis even more distinct.

I hope that the parliamentary and the public opinion of the friendly nations, and especially of the United States of America, will be able to fully understand the position of the Italian Government, a position that, allow me to say it, has always been absolutely clear and straightforward, such, in other words, as to represent a substantial contribution to the idea of European integration and an encouragement for all who believe in this cause.

Accept [etc.]

Alcide De Gasperi
  1. Source text reads: “Copy of Translation.” A covering memorandum of conversation, by Byington, dated Mar. 27, reads: “The Italian Ambassador informed me that he would ask to see the Secretary of State some time next week but that in the meanwhile he wished to give me informally a copy of a letter from Prime Minister De Gasperi to the Secretary of State concerning Italy’s firm intention to ratify the European Defense Community” (740.5/3–2753).