248. Memorandum of a Conversation Between Secretary Dulles and the Director of Political Affairs of the Italian Foreign Office (Magistrati), Palais des Nations, Geneva, July 23, 19551


The Secretary saw Ambassador Magistrati in Geneva on Saturday afternoon, July 23, just before the final Plenary of the Conference of Heads of Governments. Magistrati had been pressing for a talk with the Secretary, in order to impress Italian opinion with the importance of the role which Italy continues to play as a NATO partner in the eyes of the United States. Magistrati had seen the other Foreign Ministers before seeing the Secretary but did not reveal anything of significance in his brief reference to his visit with them.

The Secretary told Magistrati that on the whole he felt real progress had been made in Geneva. The West had not achieved all that it would have liked; but, on the other hand, the West had moved forward without making concessions on any basic principle. He said the problem of German reunification would be considered by the Foreign Ministers in relation to the broader problem of European security. He added that, with regard to disarmament, it had been agreed to refer the matter to the United Nations Subcommittee.

The Secretary said that at all times the United States had kept in mind the importance of the participation and consultation of its NATO allies, wherever possible, in the discussions which would take place. He pointed out that Italy, like other non-member nations, had access to various committees and agencies of the United Nations. The Secretary said that we look forward to the possibility of broadening out the membership and functions of the United Nations Subcommittee on Disarmament so as to give Italy an increased role in these matters. Similarly, the terms of the Foreign Ministers meeting which would be held in October would provide for the participation and consultation of other countries on appropriate issues. The Secretary stressed the importance which the United States attaches to the NATO front remaining fully united and well informed.

Magistrati expressed his belief that the results of the conference seemed a real achievement. He thanked the Secretary, and said he greatly appreciated his having given him this time while he was under such tremendous pressure. He added that he had that afternoon talked with Blankenhorn, who had expressed himself as well [Page 514] satisfied, and reassured that Germany had not been abandoned by the West.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 396.1–GE/7–2355. Confidential. Drafted by William Tyler on July 23. A summary of this memorandum was transmitted in Secto 78, at 7 p.m. on July 23. (Ibid.)