118. Telegram From the Embassy in Italy to the Department of State 1

532. Dept pass Ambassador Reinhardt. [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] briefed me this morning (Oct 14) on reports of alleged US intervention in consideration of Generals Vedovato and De Lorenzo to succeed General Aloia as Chief of Staff Italian Army. These reports fitted in with recent private conversation with Malfatti who had told me it was being said US opposed De Lorenzo. Malfatti said De Lorenzo was Saragat’s candidate and anything we could do to refute reports of American opposition would be helpful.

I have been to see Cottafavi in Moro’s office later this morning on other matters and have taken occasion to make clear to him for private information of PriMin that US is not intervening or taking sides in this internal Italian matter and that we have an equally high regard for all possible candidates.

Cottafavi said matter would probably not be decided much before the end of the year although earlier decision had at one point appeared likely. He appreciated US position and said main obstacle to appointment de Lorenzo was fact such appointment would open question of his successor as Commander of Carabinieri which was of great importance on Italian scene. This would not be case should Vedovato be made Army Chief of Staff and De Lorenzo remain in command of Carabinieri.

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 15-1 IT. Secret; Roger Channel. No time of transmission appears on the telegram, which was received at 12:58 p.m.