310. Telegram From the Embassy in Italy to the Department of State 0

1336. Paris pass Finletter and CINCEUR. Embtel 1327.1 When I saw Foreign Minister Piccioni this afternoon I covered Jupiter proposal and asked for his reactions.2 He said he had met with Fanfani and Andreotti at noon, that they had discussed problem in some detail, but agreed that [Page 854] it should be carefully studied before formulating position. He said Fanfani had reserved to himself to express Italian reactions when he reached Washington early next week.3

I have just come from Fanfani who said he understood importance of proposal and whose preliminary opinion was that from military and technical point of view it posed no insuperable problems. Yet he was, he said, much concerned with relationship of the exercise to forthcoming Parliamentary elections here. If elections were to be held early in April and Jupiter replacement could be postponed until just after that date, there would be no problem. Unfortunately however date of elections was still uncertain and could conceivably be later in spring. He said he wanted to ponder matter for few days and would be prepared to discuss it fully upon his arrival in Washington. He had a few detailed questions but nothing that went beyond my instructions.

I intend to try to see him again before his departure for Washington, to ascertain results of his reflections. If he seems inclined to postpone implementation of plan I would point out that given improbability that it can be withheld indefinitely from public domain, it might be politically advantageous to be able to announce an early decision and thus preclude left and right opposition from reaping benefits of long drawn-out and built-up propaganda campaign.

  1. Source: Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 66 D110, CF 2221. Secret; Priority; Limit Distribution. Repeated to Ankara and Paris.
  2. Telegram 1327, January 9, discussed the replacement of Jupiter missiles in Italy. (Ibid., Central Files, 765.56311/1–963)
  3. In a conversation with Italian Defense Minister Andreotti during the December 1962 NATO Defense Ministers meeting in Paris, Secretary McNamara suggested the early replacement of Jupiter missiles with Polaris missiles to be installed on three U.S. submarines assigned to the Mediterranean. McNamara stated the first of these submarines would be on station in the Mediterranean by April 1, 1963. The U.S. proposal was outlined in a letter from McNamara to Andreotti, January 5, 1963. A copy of the letter is ibid., Italy Desk Files: Lot 68 D 436, Prime Minister Fanfani’s Visit to U.S.
  4. Telegram 1242 from Rome, December 21, reported on a meeting with Fanfani during which he expressed concern about the international situation and indicated his desire for a meeting with the President. Reinhardt endorsed the idea of a Fanfani visit. (Washington National Records Center, RG 84, Rome Post Files: FRC 68 A 5612, 320 Italy) President Kennedy’s invitation for a visit was delivered on January 8, 1963. Fanfani accepted on January 9.