318. Telegram From the Embassy in Italy to the Department of State 1
Rome, December 22, 1970, 1750Z.
7341. Subject: Chirep in SC. Ref: USUN 3752.2
- USUN’s flagging of potential GRC credentials problem in SC coincided with first intimations here that issue could become troublesome.
- In recent talk with Ambassador, FonOff SYG Gaja hoped we intended to thoroughly review Chirep problem since it quite likely without [Page 557]new approach we could be exposed to defeat next year. Reflecting Moro’s belief that Secretary in New York had indicated awareness new Chirep policy essential, Gaja intimated that unless US produced one that Italians could support, internal pressures might cause increasing divergences between US and Italy on this subject.
- A further indication of this possibility came December 21, when Foreign Ministry’s UN Director told Emboff that question of GRC credentials in SC would have to be decided at “high political level.” He added, however, that UK and Belgium positions might conceivably affect Italian decision.
- Transmission of SC credentials matter to higher Italian political level could be very troublesome, if it should involve political parties, as did earlier Chirec and Chirep decisions. At such level Italian Socialists assume a purposeful intransigence that is worrisome to government in best of circumstances, frightening in periods of uncertainty like that likely to prevail early in new year. Near crisis occurred last November when, as Gaja told Ambassador, Vice Premier De Martino and Socialist Party Secretary walked out of party “summit” when decision was taken to vote for IQ. Moro was not certain PSI might not leave government on this issue but, in view of clear US views presented Ortona by Under Secretary Johnson, remained adamant that GOI would vote for IQ.
- We should assume same intense pressure will be applied again in hope of imposing PSI views on government, for in such way does PSI build up a power it hopes will give it a veto over Italian foreign policy.
- Would therefore appreciate early and full status report in hope that by our acting early enough and forcefully enough here we may not only keep Italian position of SC credentials under control but at same time buck up the government in its resistance to PSI’s search for foreign policy veto.