140. Telegram from the Embassy in Italy to the Department of State1

7466. Subject: Sale of P3B Aircraft to Italy. Ref: State 212833.2

I discussed our P3B proposal this morning with Minister of Defense Gui and told him USG considered this matter important and hoped GOI would decide to purchase this aircraft. Gui told me P3B and “Atlantique” proposals still under study by GOI and that he had no idea when decision would be made.
During courtesy call on Minister of Industry and Commerce Andreotti yesterday, I also took occasion to mention our interest in this project. He seemed well aware of both our proposal and that of European consortium. He, like Gui, was noncommittal regarding GOI decision on matter.
We have taken steps to bring our interest informally to the attention of the Quirinale.
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, DEF 12-5 IT. Confidential. Also sent to the Department of Defense and repeated to USCINCEUR.
  2. Telegram 212833 from Rome, August 1, reads: “Request Ambassador convey to Formin or Defmin as appropriate proposed message para 7 reftel 7330 as general position USG rather than as specific personal message from SecState or SecDef. Dept will take similar line with Ambassador Ortona when he returns to Washington this week.” (Ibid.)