205. Memorandum From the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Moorer) to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1
- Situation in Italy
1. Please pass to the President, for his eyes only, the substance of a secure telephone message received by me on Thursday, 11 February, from [1 line not declassified]
2. [less than 1 line not declassified] said that since I had told him [less than 1 line not declassified] to come to me if he had a problem I could help [Page 693] him with he wanted to inform me of the serious political situation in Italy. This with the idea that during the forthcoming visit to the United States by Prime Minister Colombo and Foreign Minister Moro, the President could indicate his concern and, perhaps, [9 lines not declassified] and others [6½ lines not declassified] If current government should fail, no elections can constitutionally be held during the six months preceeding election of the new President by Parliament in December, 1971 and, consequently, this precludes going to the electorate during that period.
3. [14 lines not declassified]
4. [less than 1 line not declassified] has reported to me when I followed up on this matter that he has heard a number of senior military officers recently express concern about the political situation but none in as urgent terms as [4½ lines not declassified]
5. I am convinced that [less than 1 line not declassified] and the other senior Italian officers are extremely worried [4 lines not declassified]
6. [2½ lines not declassified] There is absolutely no question about his loyalty and pro-U.S. and anti-Communist position.
7. [less than 1 line not declassified] They are both dedicated, loyal and very pro-U.S. As you can understand, [4 lines not declassified]
8. [3 lines not declassified]
- Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 695, Country Files—Europe, Italy, Vol. III. Top Secret; Sensitive. Instructions on a covering memorandum read: “Msg is to be delivered in sealed envelope marked eyes only, directly to General Haig. File copies will not be retained.”↩