302. Memorandum From the President’s Special Assistant (Schlesinger) to President Kennedy0


  • [less than 1 line of source text not declassified]
As you know, the Italian political situation has entered a new phase of moderate left-of-center government. This experiment is generally agreed to be in our interest (a) because it gives the middle-of-the-road group a working majority and thereby makes for political stability in Italy; (b) because it means the defection of the Socialist party (PSI) from the pro-Communist left and thereby promotes the political isolation of the Communists; (c) because it makes possible programs of social and economic reform and thereby opens up an attack on the conditions which breed communism.
This new political situation, though promising, is still fragile. The Italian Communist Party (PCI) is doing its best to prevent it from succeeding. Pro-Communist elements in the PSI are fighting the Nenni policy of collaboration with the Christian Democrats. The PSI Congress will take place this winter; a general election impends next spring. It is essential to the success of the Fanfani experiment that Nenni maintain his leadership in the PSI and that the PSI do well in this election and not fall on its face, as a result of its new policy.

[Here follow paragraphs 3–5.]

[2 paragraphs (11-1/2 lines of source text) not declassified]

[Here follows the remainder of the memorandum.]

  1. Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Italy. Secret. Drafted by Komer.