110.11 DU/2–153: Telegram

The Ambassador in France (Dunn) to the Department of State 1


4275. From the Secretary. Following is summary of our meetings and conversations with Italian Government in Rome January 31:

Mr. Stassen and Secretary met alone with De Gasperi at 4:30 p.m. Following is summary of conversation:2

De Gasperi first discussed status of EDC.3 Expressed his strong support but also concern over nature of prospective French additional protocols,4 as to which he said he was completely in the dark. Had heard that one might relate to incorporating the French Union or at least African part of French Union into the defense area. He said this might not be particularly objectionable to his government, but he foresaw it might raise some difficulties. Dulles said that one of the reasons why he and Stassen had come first to Rome has been because of the knowledge that Mr. De Gasperi had the conviction about the necessity for European political unity and they knew they would be talking with a friend who could advise them wisely.

There was considerable discussion as to the undependability of a purely military alliance under NATO unless it was brought within the framework of a considerable measure of political and economic unity.

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De Gasperi said that he thought that Dulles should politely but nonetheless definitely make known to the leaders of France and Germany that a collapse of EDC would have serious repercussions in the United States. He felt that the suggestions along this line already made by President Eisenhower and Dulles were helpful and should be reinforced in private discussions.

Dulles asked when De Gasperi would himself seek ratification of treaties. De Gasperi said that it was difficult to do so while question of protocols was in the air. Mr. Dulles suggested that if the Italian Parliament proceeded to ratify the treaties without protocols that would tend to promote ratification everywhere and create a climate less receptive to protocols which might have a disturbing influence. Mr. De Gasperi seemed receptive to this suggestion and indicated that he might seek ratification within two or three weeks unless the protocols situation had been so brought into the open that it would have to be taken into account.

Mr. De Gasperi then took up the question of Trieste,5 as a matter of the utmost importance and of the utmost secrecy. He stated it would be difficult to work out a Balkan defense program including Turkey, Greece, and Yugoslavia unless this were done within the framework of NATO and this in turn would be difficult so long as there was an outstanding territorial controversy between Italy and Yugoslavia.

Mr. De Gasperi suggested that it might be possible to arrive at a “provisional” solution which would involve giving Italy administrative control of Zone A and Yugoslavia administrative control of Zone B, provided that both agreed that this did not foreclose the possibility at some future date of adjustments pursuant to plebiscite or mutual agreements. Mr. De Gasperi recognized that the “provisional” solution would in all probability become the definitive solution in fact, although there might be some minor exchanges of territory on a mutual acceptable basis.

Mr. De Gasperi said that his suggested solution would be totally unacceptable if Tito should move to unilateral annexation of Zone B. Mr. De Gasperi also pointed out that his suggestion would be ruined if there were any publicity and that he had not even discussed the matter with his Cabinet.

Mr. De Gasperi urged that NATO should take over and unify cold war propaganda. He expressed concern over United Kingdom attitude toward OEEC and EPU. He urged that United States and United Kingdom do all possible to reassure France as against fear of Germany.


Following above meeting De Gasperi, Secretary and Stassen were joined by Pacciardi, Pella, Ambassador Bunker, Parker and other United States and Italian officials.6 De Gasperi explained he had had a general talk with Secretary and Stassen and he would now ask Pella and then Pacciardi to explain in greater detail certain of Italy’s economic and defense problems. Before doing so he wished to read aloud [Page 1553] a letter from President Eisenhower for which De Gasperi was most appreciative.7

Pella then gave Secretary and Stassen a paper on Italy’s economic and financial problems8 (Embassy and MSA Rome will analyze and comment to Department on paper) and outlined paper verbally. Pacciardi followed with a brief verbal report on status of Italian armed forces. Pacciardi indicated that level of Italian forces by end of 1953 would exceed Lisbon goals,9 but added that forces would lack certain supporting elements, as well as equipment and therefore would not be fully effective.

Meetings with Italians concluded last evening with official dinner offered by De Gasperi.10

  1. Repeated to Rome.
  2. Dulles’ memorandum of this conversation, which took place in De Gasperi’s office, is in the Conference files, lot 60 D 627, CF 137. A photograph of Dulles and Stassen with De Gasperi is printed on page 566.
  3. For documentation concerning the attitude of the United States toward the establishment of a European Defense Community, see pp. 571 ff.
  4. For a summary of the French protocols, see telegram 3975 from Paris, Jan. 15, p. 702.
  5. Documentation concerning Trieste is presented in volume viii.
  6. A memorandum of the conversation which is summarized in the following paragraphs is in the Conference files, lot 59 D 95, CF 137; this memorandum is not an official record of conversation but is based on the recollection of several participants of the U.S. Delegation.
  7. Not printed here; a letter of greetings expressing the hope that the European nations would continue their progress toward a more complete unity (Conference files, lot 59 D 95, CF 137).
  8. Not printed.
  9. For documentation concerning the defense capability goals established at Lisbon, see pp. 107 ff.
  10. In telegram 4432 from Paris, Feb. 7, Dunn reported that Malfatti, head of the Italian EDC Delegation, had stated that he cabled Rome asking what action the Italian Government contemplated to carry out De Gasperi’s statement to Dulles that he would seek immediate ratification of the EDC Treaty. De Gasperi replied that he intended to set up a special parliamentary commission to help push ahead. Since there was “considerable resistance to De Gasperi’s decision among all echelons in Italian Government,” Malfatti suggested that U.S. representatives in Rome keep in close touch with De Gasperi himself. (740.5/2–753)