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Berlin, Richard E., 1894- / Diary of a flight to occupied Germany, July 20 to August 27, 1945.
(1945?)

An evening with the Italian cabinet,   pp. 106-107 PDF (506.3 KB)


Page 107

and could not pay any reparations. They said Italy should have
returned to it one new battleship, and the three new ships taken
from them by the Allies. They also wanted a billion dollar credit
for the purchase of food; with such a credit, they said, they could
build a Government that would satisfy America as to its stability.
The Ministers definitely claim they should not be deprived of
Trieste-that no government of any party in Italy would subscribe
to their losing Trieste.
Tripolitania, they said, is a desert and worthless to them; that
they should be allowed to keep Eritrea as part of their homeland.
They were also unanimous in their statement that they would be
agreeable to an initial trusteeship of their colonies which would
not include Russia.
Speaking of reparations, they said the territory they would lose
-Ethiopia, Albania, Dodecanese-was in itself sufficient repara-
tions, as Italy had spent untold sums in developing these terri-
tories and would lose them. They further stated consideration
should be given the devastation of their country by bombing.
We were rather amused by the Ministers' request for rehabilita-
tion funds, etc. They talked with us as if they were our allies and
not former enemies, and urged to be treated as allies.
These gentlemen agreed that their hopes for a future Italy lay
entirely in the hands of the Americans-not British. They wanted
nothing to do with Russia. They said America went to war to help
civilization, and that Italy was one of the great countries they had
helped to build through immigrant Italians who had become
Americans. They stated if America allows Greece, Italy and Spain
to function on their own, European civilization will be in a com-
plete mess.
Upon our leaving, the Ministers affirmed that they unanimously
agreed that America must keep Russia out of Italy.
We returned to our hotel after a very thoughtful and enjoyable
evening.
107


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