• U.S.

FOREIGN RELATIONS: Injustice & Disservice

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In early 1951, the U.S. Embassy in Rome suggested to Italian Novelist Alberto (The Woman of Rome) Moravia that he should pay a visit to the U.S., where his books are bestsellers. Moravia delightedly accepted the suggestion and filed his papers. Last May, the embassy announced that Moravia’s visa had been denied because of a State Department ruling that he cannot qualify under the U.S. Internal Security (McCarran) Act. This action was part of the Administration’s campaign to sabotage the act by administering it with ridiculous mock zeal.

Last week, in a letter to the New York Times, a group of U.S. writers filed a strong dissent to State’s ruling. They wrote:

“Alberto Moravia has denied ever having had any Fascist or Communist affiliations. The public record sustains his denial … In 1950, when Milan’s Corriere della Sera, Italy’s most respected newspaper, sought to send Moravia to Moscow as a correspondent, the Soviet Union refused him a visa. Such an action is what one expects of the Soviet regime. It is a precedent which the U.S. Government would have been well advised not to follow.

“There is no doubt that an injustice has been done Alberto Moravia and a disservice to those American writers who looked forward to meeting him. We urge the State Department to reconsider its action.”

The signers: John Chamberlain, John Dos Passos, Max Eastman, James T. Farrell, Alfred Kazin, William Phillips, Katherine Anne Porter, Allen Tate, Lionel Trilling, Peter Viereck, Robert Penn Warren, Thornton Wilder, Edmund Wilson.

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