286. Editorial Note

During a luncheon conversation between President Kennedy and Prime Minister Fanfani on June 13 in Washington the following exchange took place:

“The President inquired about the geographical strength of Communism in Italy. Mr. Fanfani replied that the Communists derived much of their strength from the central and northern parts of Italy and that as a result of the increasing migration from the rural areas into the urban areas, there was a danger that a large part of the migrating workers would be won over by the Communists.

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“The President asked Mr. Fanfani what effect the opening to the left would have on the political balance of power in parliament. Mr. Fanfani analyzed the various shifts of votes which would result from the opening to the left and concluded that in the end the Socialists would be left with 60 deputies and the Democratic Center would gain 30. The final outcome would be a Chamber of Deputies whose composition would give the Communists 30% of the deputies and the Democratic Center 65%.

“The President raised the subject of Nenni and Mr. Fanfani remarked that no one as yet knew where Nenni would go and that it would be best to let Saragat solve the Nenni problem. The President made no comment.” (Memorandum of conversation; Department of State, Italy Desk Files: Lot 68 D 436, Italy—Nenni’s Possible Visit—1962)