This revised edition of Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume E–15, Part 2, Documents on Western Europe, 1973–1976, incorporates a chapter on Italy that was not included in the first edition of the volume, which was published in May 2014. At that time, all of the chapters in the volume had been declassified except for the one on Italy. With no end to the interagency negotiations over the declassification of the Italy chapter in sight, the Office of the Historian decided to publish the rest of the volume in the interest of making it available to the public as soon as possible. With the publication of this chapter, Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume E–15, Part 2, Documents on Western Europe, 1973–1976, is now complete.
The newly added chapter focuses on U.S. concerns about Italian political and economic stability. Of particular concern was the Italian Communist Party’s (PCI) rising influence and its ‘historic compromise” proposal, which involved an accommodation with the Christian Democratic Party that would permit PCI participation in the Italian government. The chapter features memoranda of conversation documenting meetings between President’s Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford and Italian political leaders; assessments of Italian political and economic developments prepared by U.S. officials in Washington and Rome; and documentation on overt and covert U.S. efforts to impede the ‘historic compromise” before and after the June 1976 Italian general election.
The Office of the Historian extends its thanks to its interagency partners for resolving the declassification issues associated with the Italy chapter; special thanks go to Kathleen Allegrone for her dogged efforts in this regard.