Report CIA fought
payment to Italian aidea
New York Times News Seaics
ROME-Over the strong objections of the Central Intelligence Agency in 1972, Graham A. Martin, then the United States ambassador to Italy, won approv- al to pay $800,000 to Gen. Vito Miceli, a rightist general who headed Italy's mili- tary intelligence agency.
Miceli is now facing trial on charges of involvement in plots in 1970 to over- throw the Italian government. The gen- eral s alleged involvement in the plots became known publicly in 1974, when he was charged. He has denied the charges.
The American payments to Miceli stopped after Martin was replaced in 1973 by the present ambassador, John A. Volpe.
THE STORY of the conflict between Martin and the chief of the CIA in Italy is told in a report by the House Select Committee on Intelligence. The report does not refer by name to Martin or Miceli, who is described only as "very high figure of the defense information service."
The report states there was no ac- counting of how the $800,000 was spent, but said Martin called it a "propaganda operation." The CIA chief said Martin "did not impose any condition on the use of the money," the report said.
The Turin newspaper, La Stampa, however, published excerpts -from the
report, mentioning names and dates not made available in the U.S. Although the American embassy here refused to com- ment, the details of the report left no doubt that the payments were made to Miceli, who was arrested in October, 1974 and is now free, awaiting trial. .
Martin, who became ambassador to Saigon after nearly four years in Rome, in a struggle with the CIA chief of station over the payments. At one point, according to documents submitted to the House committee, Mar- tin accused the chief of stalling and threatened to "give instructions to block his entrance to the embassy and per- haps even forcibly put him on a plane to Washington."
TO the documents, Msar- tin won approval for the payments in dealings with Henry A. Kissinger, who was then the director of the National Security Council and chairman of the 40 Committee, the arm of the council that approves covert intelligence operations. The CIA said in one document that "no one has doubted that the ambassador received his authority from the Commit- tee of 40."
The House report reveals no further covert operations in Italy after Martin's departure. The reported plans to pay $6 million to individual politicians here, as revealed last month, were said by some officials in Washingtjn to have been dropped following the publicity.