750G.00/10–754: Telegram

No. 297
The Ambassador in Italy (Luce) to the Department of State
top secret

1399. Paid call on Prime Minister today to express extreme pleasure of President and Secretary for Scelba’s acceptance and presentation [Page 579] of the Trieste solution, expanding on now familiar theme of opportunity it provides Italy for new era of European and Mediterranean cooperation and U.S. confidence that Italian statesmanship will fully realize opportunity. President Scelba responded warmly praising efforts of U.S. negotiators in London and then asking me to extend his most special thanks to President, Secretary, and Mr. Murphy whose mission had brought off the conclusion at the “psychological moment.” He said Trieste is great weight off Government’s shoulders, and this combined with successful outcome of London conference have cleared the way for much future progress in Italian foreign relations. He then brought up facilities agreement saying all documents were now in order and that he personally was prepared to sign on 12th (see Embtel 1376, Oct. 6, 19541), but Foreign Minister Martino preferred 18th or 19th when debate on Government action on Trieste and on London conference will be concluded. Smallest leak even speculation about facilities agreement during debate would open Government to opposition charge it had signed as “price of Trieste” or under pressure at London. He said he would nevertheless discuss matter with Martino again and would let me know shortly exact date of signing which would in any event be no later than 19th.

I then told him of Deputy Secretary Anderson’s stay in Rome from 10th to 15th, suggesting that if it were possible to sign during Secretary’s visit this might be a matter of great satisfaction to the Secretary and would permit of some useful conversations. He repeated his own willingness to sign but reiterated the danger of a leak and I replied that while I did not believe the danger was great I felt certain my Government would be glad to abide by his best judgment. Interview ended with Scelba radiating confidence and smiles for first time.2

  1. supra.
  2. The military facilities agreement was signed in Rome on Oct. 20.