750G.00/9–2854: Telegram

No. 287
The United States Political Adviser in Trieste (Sims) to the Department of State1
top secret

90. As settlement now appears imminent I would like submit for Department’s consideration following views on future FS representation Trieste as my understanding no final decision yet taken on what type or duration FS operation we should have here after settlement concluded. Admittedly my knowledge this region not seasoned but to best my ability I have endeavored acquaint myself our [Page 562] position vis-à-vis Trieste. I am aware proposals put forward operate on six-months basis taking look end such period.2 I am unable understand such strategy for following reasons:

We have been intimately connected with Trieste for eight years. It will be principally our diplomatic and financial efforts which will have produced settlement. To curtail drastically our operations on heels settlement would, I believe, be cause for strong Communist elements make rich capital to our detriment this area using theme our disinterest in Trieste. On other hand, there are independentist elements which will blame US for partitioning Trieste, in fact they are doing so already by leveling their attack at Murphy’s mission. It is possible new Italian provisional government will endeavor cover any early technical and economic bungling on its part by placing blame on past AMG inefficiency thereby implicating US. Regardless these possible anti-American developments I do not believe we should retreat. Contrariwise we should stand firm.
Communists this area number two political outfit and no indication they losing ground. Actually deep diversified public feeling on settlement offers custom situation for Communist objectives. Local Communist leader Vidali well known for his effectiveness and high position Cominform organization this part Europe all of which indicates to me this region in for intensive Communist treatment when AMG departs scene. If one of our main foreign policy objectives is roll back communism at all times all fronts, should Trieste be abandoned by USIS … at this juncture, especially in face upcoming Italian elections 55 and uncertain period Trieste Provisional Government?
Though we regard settlement permanent, no one can rightly predict what will happen Trieste during provisional period new government. See Scelba’s observations penultimate paragraph Rome’s telegram 1114 to Department September 20.3 If our desire bring about new era Italian-Yugoslav friendship, Trieste is focal point for such effort. Italian-Yugoslav relations this area will determine whether the two nations can work together in broader interests European defense. Tito’s new policy “normalize” Yugoslav-Soviet relations presents us with an interesting situation in this particular regard due traditional Italian/Yugoslav hate and proximity these mutual antagonists. Will there not be need therefore report on post settlement period enable Department and Embassy Rome take steps when necessary confine Italians and Yugoslavs their obligations under settlement?
Aftermath problems our 8 years military occupation such as American-Triestine marriages; dependents who will be left behind; claims against occupation forces; disposition property, et cetera will take more than six months resolve despite efforts small TRUST unit which will remain temporarily after evacuation.
Continuation refugee problem.

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In my opinion these factors justify recommendation following program for Department’s consideration:

Department make firm decision operate FS establishment here for minimum one year with proviso re-examine situation end this period. Minimum State staff should comprise two FSOs, one labor FSR administration office file clerk, combination code clerk steno, two stenos, four locals; USIS to consist of two American officers, one American steno, 22 locals; . . . ; USEP staff remain unchanged, terminate Coast Guard. Year period would enable us formulate and execute proper post settlement program conform to our objectives this region. We now have FS, USIS, … and USEP going programs, and it seems unbusinesslike re-establish these elsewhere at this time. Why not capitalize on these going operations and apply labor, USIS … coverage from here for northeast Italy . . . .

I can foresee no difficulties prevent us operate here unhindered under new provisional government. Actually I see distinct advantage due our long expensive efforts bring about Trieste settlement for Italians who if they grateful souls should facilitate our objectives. Moreover high exemplary conduct our military forces here over years has won us abundant Triestine good will. Hence we are on excellent footing with majority Italians and majority Triestines. As Italy has strongest Communist party in Europe outside curtain is it in our best interest risk our good position this area by withdrawing our services until reasonable time elapsed enable us properly gauge need our representatives in Trieste?

Substance this message discussed at length with Kenney, Dunham, Harrington and Train. All concur in my views.4

  1. Repeated for information to Rome.
  2. These proposals have not been further identified.
  3. Document 280.
  4. In telegram 197 to Trieste, Sept. 28, a joint State-USIA message, the Department of State replied that (1) USIA now concurred in the Department’s recommendation that no USIS establishment remain in Trieste; (2) that the USEP staff remain unchanged; (3) that the Consulate should perform all regular consular functions plus reporting; and (4) that the Coast Guard establishment should be terminated. The telegram also pointed out that the decision had already been made to maintain the Trieste post for the foreseeable future and that the review after 6 months would pertain only to the size and functions of the establishment. (750G.00/9–2854)