91. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • U.S.-Italian Air Transport Problem
[Page 179]


  • United States
    • The Secretary
    • Mr. William R. Tyler, EUR
    • Ambassador G. Frederick Reinhardt
    • Mr. Francis E. Meloy, Jr., WE
  • Italy
    • Foreign Minister Giuseppe Saragat
    • Amb. Sergio Fenoaltea, Italian Embassy
    • Amb. Cattani, Foreign Ministry
    • Amb. Mario Toscano, Foreign Ministry
    • Min. Federico Sensi, Foreign Ministry
    • Min. Franco Malfatti di Montetretto, Foreign Ministry
    • Min. Gian Luigi Milesi Ferretti, Italian Embassy

The Secretary said he hoped Foreign Minister Saragat will give his personal attention to U.S.-Italian differences over air transport. We understand there will be negotiations in March. The Secretary said he hoped the Foreign Minister could keep the situation from deteriorating between now and then. He was not asking for a decision now but wished to avoid any worsening of the problem.

Foreign Minister Saragat said that he had talked with the President of Alitalia about the air transport problem and is surprised by what has happened. The President of Alitalia is pro-American but is very much exercised over the matter. He asked Ambassador Cattani to speak to this subject since he was not informed in detail.

Ambassador Cattani said he was sure that between now and March the situation can be kept from deteriorating. If the Secretary were asking Italy to grant now what is being asked by the American side, the Italian position would be much more reserved. Italy wants the authorities here to realize something must be done to balance the points of difference. The Secretary said he understood there was a difference of view regarding the interpretation of the existing agreements and hoped the Foreign Minister would personally look into the problem and keep in touch.

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Italy, Vol. 1. Confidential. Drafted by Meloy and approved in S on January 27. The memorandum is Part I of III. The meeting was held in the Cabinet Room at the White House.