113. Memorandum for the Record1


  • Minutes of the Meeting of the 303 Committee, 25 June 1965


  • Mr. Bundy, Ambassador Thompson, Mr. Helms, Mr. Vance
  • Mr. Glenn Fields was present for Item 1.
  • Mr. Desmond FitzGerald was present for Items 3, 4, 5, 6.
  • Mr. Frank Friberg was present for Item 7.
  • Mr. Cord Meyer was present for Item 8.

[Here follows discussion of items 1-6 covering other national programs.]

7. Italy—Covert Action Program in Italy for FY 19662

The Italian proposal was generally viewed as a “necessary evil” and approved with the following proviso: Mr. Bundy, deploring the chronic failure of the Italian democratic political parties to utilize their own bootstraps, used the term “annual shame” and stated that he felt obliged to advise higher authority of this continuing subsidy. Until such time as the attitude of higher authority is known, final approval remains pending.

[Here follows discussion of item 8.]

  1. Source: Department of State, INR Historical Files, 303 Committee Files. Secret; Eyes Only.
  2. According to the proposed agenda for the meeting “[less than 1 line of source text not declassified] proposed spending [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] for its covert action program in Italy in FY 1966. Its purpose is to strengthen the center left government. While the program has some new emphasis on ‘flanking organizations’ it is in general a continuation of policies that have been successful in Italy.” (Ibid.)

    According to the [text not declassified] proposal to the 303 Committee, June 11:

    “The basic political problem to which the FY 1966 program is addressed is that Italy’s four-party, center-left coalition Government, which was formed in December 1963, is faced with a profusion of problems which makes it a fragile working partnership. The Italian Communist Party has skillfully exploited the Government’s vulnerabilities and has steadily increased its electoral appeal during this period when the vote of the two major coalition partners, the Christian Democrats (CD) and the Socialists (PSI), has declined. A basic premise of the FY 1966 program is that if the strength and unity of the Government coalition can be increased, thus permitting implementation of its program of basic social, economic and administrative reforms, the democratic parties’ appeal in the next national election should increase and that of the Communist Party should decline.” (National Security Council, Special Group/303 Committee Files, Subject Files: Italy)