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Full text of "Mussolini as revealed in his political speeches, (November 1914 - August 1923)"

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MUSSOLINI 

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USSOLINI 



AS REVEALED 

IN HIS POLITICAL SPEECHES 

(November i 914 — August 1923) 

selected, translated and edited by 

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Thk HONOURABLE BENITO MUSSOLINI 



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USSOLINI 

AS REVEALED 
IN HIS POLITICAL SPEECHES 

(November 19 14 — August 1923) 

selected, translated and edited by 

BARONE BERNARDO QUARANTA 

di SAN SEVERINO 





OV 



1923 

LONDON » TORONTO 

J. M. DENT & SONS LTD. 

NEW YORK: E. P. DUTTON W CO. 



Only Authorised Edition 



All rights reserved 



PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN 



To 
THE PRESIDENT OF THE ITALIAN SENATE 

TOMMASO TITTONI 



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1 The most limpid waters in the world appear turbid when compared to the 
purity of the waters of the Lethe. 



INTRODUCTION 

A NOTE ON ITALIAN FASCISMO 

In an interesting article published last year in our Press, 
Ettore Ciccotti shows that Italian Fascismo does not repre- 
sent an absolutely new political event, but is part of the 
general historic development of nations. In the first years 
)f its appearance it was compared to the "krypteia" of 
>parta, to the " eterie " of Athens, and to similar phenomena, 
rhich are repeated as a manifestation of self-defence of 
trong and active groups or classes, uniting and forming 
mtres of resistance; exercising thus, by their extended 
:tion, general functions of State in a period in which its 
>rotection is weak or inefficient, and shows signs of disin- 
tegration or degeneration. Other examples of this pheno- 
lenon can be found in the history of the Church and in 
ie Italian Communes, in England, Germany, in the Clubs 
>f the French Revolution, and in the rest of Europe. When 
a nation which shows such signs this form of vitality does 
lot exist, we witness the general collapse of that nation, 
in Russia at this moment, where only the radical uproot- 
lg of Bolshevism might lead to the general resurrection 
)f the country. 

The after-war period in Italy, as elsewhere, had caused 
complete apathy, slackness and disorder in Parliamentary 
State functions, characterised by many elaborate pro- 
grammes, but few facts. The Italian working classes, 
moreover, had been hypnotised by the nefarious gospel 
of Lenin, which had powerfully contributed to bring 
about the grave state of affairs in Italy in 1920, when the 
Communist peril had reached its acute stage. The continued 



x A NOTE ON 

strikes in all industries had caused prices to rise at a 
tremendous pace; the production of commodities had been 
reduced to a minimum; the enormous deficit in the railway 
and postal departments, the debt and the general budget 
of the State were alarming, while foreign exchanges had 
reached fantastic figures. The arrogance of the Communist 
elements had become unbearable, and officers at times were 
obliged to dress in plain clothes in order not to be attacked 
by Bolshevists, while soldiers, Carabineers and Guardie 
Regie were frequently insulted and in some instances even 
killed by Communists. 

But the gallant fighters of the Trentino, of the Carso and 
of the Grappa, the volunteers who had saved Italy and 
arrested the advance of the enemy on the Piave could not 
reconcile themselves to this state of affairs, to the idea of 
watching with folded arms the complete loss of the fruits 
of victory for which half a million men had left their lives 
on the battlefields. These brave youths, with an indomitable 
courage, ready to face all, full of the purest ideals and 
passionate love for our country, representing a new force 
and a new Italy, had already in April 1919 grouped them- 
selves together in a "fascio" (bundle), as the "Fascio 
Nazionale dei Combattenti" (National Fasces of Com- 
batants), under the leadership of Benito Mussolini, who 
was the inspirer and organiser of the movement and had 
himself been their comrade at the front. 

They became stronger every day and dealt the initial 
blow to Communism in 1921, when the first encounter took 
place between Fascisti and Communists at Bologna, which 
marks the waning of Bolshevism and the rise of Fascismo. 

But it was not an easy matter for the new movement to 
make its way, as in its laborious progress it met with end- 
less difficulties, and above all had to fight the apathy 
of the people and the general scepticism regarding it. 



I 



ITALIAN FASCISMO » 

Fascismo had to deal with peculiar mentalities, to fight 
various organisations, including the State, which felt itself 
being undermined by this new political group, while its 
chief enemy, the Bolshevist faction, had made endless 
victims among its rank and file during the past. 

It was not possible, however, for the Fascist i to deal with 
the Communists otherwise than by using violence, as normal 
means would have been entirely inadequate against the 
seditious elements (made all the more arrogant by the 
manifest impotence of the State and the laisser fairc 
attitude of public opinion), in view of the daily increas- 
ing number of crimes committed against property and 
peaceful individuals. 

Fascisti, moreover, started a strong movement against 
the composition of the Chamber, maintaining that it no 
longer represented the nation, that it had grown pre- 
maturely old and must, therefore, be quickly dissolved and 
a new appeal to the electors be made as soon as possible. 
They had been deeply concerned, on the other hand, with 
the Italian economic crisis, which, according to Edmondo 
Rossoni, the able organiser and Secretary-General of the 
Syndicalist Corporations, could not be overcome without an 
increase in the production of commodities to be obtained 
by a more rigorous discipline in the labour question; thus 
an economic victory followed the victory on the battlefields. 
The masses of the working classes, many of them previously 
Socialists and Communists, enrolled themselves among the 
Fascisti syndicates scattered all over Italy and were able 
to settle various important disputes. 

The alleged dissension between Fascismo and the Italian 
Monarchy had always been a favourite weapon in the hands 
of the anti-Fascisti elements. The Hon. Mussolini, in his 
speech at the great Fascista Mass Meeting at Naples on 
24th October of last year, clearly manifested his party 



xii A NOTE ON 

feeling in the matter, as can be gathered by his own words 
uttered there (see Part IV. page 171, of this collection). 
The attitude of Fascismo towards Monarchy clearly denned 
by its leader was very opportune, and contributed to the 
greater popularity of the movement throughout the country, 
where this institution rests on a solid base, represents 
Italian unity, and is to-day associated with its illustrious 
representative, King Victor Emmanuel III., an example of 
domestic virtue in private life, one of the most cultured 
men of our times, beloved by all classes, who at the front 
proved himself the first soldier among soldiers and gained 
the popularity of the whole nation. 

The Army was secretly or openly greatly in favour of 
Fascismo, the successful efforts of which to save the country 
from the Social-Communist factions it could not forget. 
The soldiers could, therefore, never have marched against 
the Fascisti — who represented Italian patriotism. The very 
generals of the regular Army, such as Generals Fara, 
Ceccherini, Graziani, de Bono, and others, in black shirts, 
themselves directed the famous "March to Rome." 

With reference to religion, Mussolini's Government pro- 
mised to respect all creeds, especially Catholicism. At Ouchy 
he said to the Press: " My spirit is deeply religious. Religion 
is a formidable force which must be respected and defended. 
I am, therefore, against anti-clerical and atheistic demo- 
te cracy, which represents an old and useless toy. I maintain 
that Catholicism is a great spiritual power, and I trust that 
the relations between Church and State will henceforward 
be more friendly." And while the Minister for Public 
Instruction, Senator Gentile, has introduced compulsory 
religious instruction in the elementary public schools, the 
Under-Secretary of the same Ministry, Hon. Dario Lupi, 
one of Mussolini's closest friends, issued, as one of his first 
acts, a timely and peremptory order to the school authorities 



ITALIAN FASCISMO xiii 

requesting the immediate replacement of the Crucifix and 
the picture of the King. 

Fascismo, which during the last months of 1922 had seen 
its membership increasing by leaps and bounds, finally 
won with a note of fanaticism the very heart of the 
country from the Alps to the southern shores of Sicily. 
Latterly it had exercised the functions of State almost 
undisturbed, and did not spare either institutions or indi- 
viduals in the pursuit of its end. It had demanded and suc- 
cessfully obtained the dismissal of the Pangermanist Mayor 
I of Bolzano, Herr Perathoner; it had occupied the Giunta 
Provinciale of Trento, causing the removal of the Italian 
Governor, maintaining that he had been too weak in his 
attitude towards arrogant Pangermanists in that region ; and 
had acted successfully as arbitrator in the labour dispute 
between Cantiere Orlando of Leghorn and the Government 
itself. It was no wonder, then, if after the big October 
meeting of last year at Naples and the "March to Rome" 
with the famous Quadrumvirate formed by General Cesare 
de Bono, Hon. Cesare Maria de Vecchi, Italo Balbo, and 

tMichele Bianchi, then Secretary-General of the Party, 
Mussolini, the creator of this mighty movement, was sum- 
moned by the King to form the new Fascista Cabinet. 
It might be a cause of surprise to the superficial observer, 
this sudden ascent to power of a party which, a few days 
before it took the government into its hands, had been 
threatened with martial law, an order which the King wisely 
refused to sign, thus avoiding civil war. But whoever has 
followed the development and progress of Fascismo during 
the last four years, considers its great strength and power in 
the country, its formidable membership (now over a million 
strong) compared with that of any other party (the Socialists 
are reduced to seventy thousand), and takes into account /^ 
the high and patriotic principles on which this movement is 



xiv A NOTE ON 

founded will not wonder that the party got to power 
through an extra-parliamentary crisis. We cannot and 
must not forget that these " black shirts " — as the Fascisti are 
called — have really saved Italy from Bolshevism, which was 
sucking her very life-blood, and that they are thereby entitled 
to the gratitude of our country and of the world at large. 
"The Moscow conspirators, whose object was the overthrow 
of Western civilisation, swept with a wide net," writes Lord 
Rothermere in his recent article, Mussolini : What Europe 
owes to him. "They made great headway in Germany, 
especially in Berlin; they seized Budapest under the 
direction of a convicted thief, but it was upon Italy they 
counted most, and when Mussolini struck against them in 
Italy, he was fighting a battle for all Europe." 

I do not think — and the Hon. Mussolini agreed with me 
in one of the conversations I had with him — that people 
abroad, especially in England and the United States, know 
much about Fascismo. It had been diagnosed as a sporadic 
revolutionary movement, which sooner or later would be 
put down by drastic measures. Not many have realised 
that in this after-war period there is no more important 
historical phenomenon than Fascismo, which, as our Prime 
Minister said, "is at the same time political, military, 
religious, economic and syndicalist, and represents all the 
hopes, the aspirations and requirements of the people." 
The popular air " Giovinezza " (Youth), the official song of 
the Fascisti, with its thrilling notes, which magnetised the 
heart of the people, the characteristic black shirts with the 
shield of the "fascio" on their breasts, the " gagliardetti " 
(Fascisti standards) — all these have largely contributed 
towards rousing a delirium of enthusiasm among the masses 
for the great cause. 

But three other important elements account for the 
success of the "National Fascist a Party" (as it is now 



ITALIAN FASCISMO xv 

officially constituted, with its "Great National Council"), 
namely its military organisation, its powerful Press, and, 
above all, the personality of Mussolini himself, the "Duce," 
as he is called. The military organisation is entirely on 
Roman lines, with Roman names of "legion," "Consul," 
"cohort," "Senior," "Centurion," "Decurion," " Triad, " 
etc. The symbol of Fascismo is the same as that of the 
lictors of Imperial Rome — a bundle of rods with an axe in 
the centre — and the Fascista salute is that of the ancient 
Romans — by outstretched arm. The coins which are being 
struck bear on one side the King's head and on the other 
the Roman "fascio;" in the same way special gold coins 
of one hundred lire will be issued shortly, to celebrate the 
first anniversary of the "March to Rome." There is the 
most rigorous discipline, and the motto: "No discussion, 
only obedience," has proved of immense value in all the 
sudden mobilisations and demobilisations carried out, often 
at a few hours notice, which could give points to the 
best organised army in the world. On the occasion of 
the mass meeting preceding the "March to Rome," which 
was attended by over half a million men, in less than 
twenty-four hours forty thousand left the town in perfect 
order and without the slightest hitch. 

Fascismo possesses a large Press, which comprises five 
dailies and a large number of weekly, fortnightly and 
monthly publications and a publishing house in Milan. 

But the decisive factor in the great victory of 
Fascismo is due to the personality of the great leader of 
this army of Italy's salvation, the very soul of this 
mighty movement. 

Few public men of our time have had a more rapid, 
brilliant and interesting career than Benito Mussolini, the 
son of a blacksmith. He is the youngest of his predecessors 
in this office, as he was born only forty years ago at Pre- 



xvi A NOTE ON 

dappio, in the province of Forli, where the villagers still 
call him simply "Our Benit." He was deeply attached 
to his mother, Rosa Maltoni, and her death caused him 
intense sorrow. He has one sister, Edvige, and a younger 
brother, Arnaldo, who, since the elder one has become 
Prime Minister, has taken his place as editor of II Popolo 
d'ltalia. Mussolini first worked in his father's forge and 
then, having occupied for a time the position of village 
schoolmaster, emigrated to Switzerland, from which country 
he was, however, expelled on account of articles he had 
written advocating the Marxist doctrines. Returning once 
more to Italy, he became an active member of the Socialist 
Party and finally editor of its organ, the Avanti. Upon the 
0>*j3utbreak of war in 1914, with his keen political insight, 
c& -Mussolini saw the necessity of Italian intervention, and in 
- c<xS consequence was forced to leave the official Socialist Party, 
giving up all the positions he held in it. He founded his 
Popolo d'ltalia, and began fiercely to sound the trumpets 
of war, inciting his country to abandon her neutral attitude 
and to throw in her lot with the Allies. He gained his end, 
and in 1915 he went to the front as a simple soldier in the 
nth Bersagliere Regiment. In 1917, as the result of the 
bursting of a shell, he received thirty-eight simultaneous 
wounds; he was obliged to go to hospital, was promoted 
on the field, and invalided out of the Army. He then 
returned to Milan, and having resumed the editorship of his 
paper, the Popolo d'ltalia, began his political battles, and 
continued to fight through its columns, spurring his country- 
men on to final victory. 

With no exaggeration it can be stated that since the 
advent to power of Mussolini every day has seen a steady 
advance in the direction of the rebuilding of the country 
within and a notable enhancement of our prestige abroad. 
His strenuous everyday work is inspired by an indomitable 



ITALIAN FASCISMO xvii 

determination to make Italy worthy of the glories of Vittorio 
Veneto, strengthened and disciplined, and he will spare 
neither himself nor those around him in his attempt to 
bring about its realisation. 

He wishes to secure Italy's rightful position in the world. 
Mussolini's foreign policy of dignity, honesty and justice has 
already been outlined in his opening speech before the 
Chamber, and can be summarised thus: "No imperialism, 
no aggressions, but an attitude which shall do away with 
the policy of humility which has made Italy more like the 
Cinderella and humble servant of other nations. Respect 
for international treaties at no matter what cost. Fidelity 

id friendship towards the nations that give Italy serious 
proofs of reciprocating it. Maintenance of Eastern equili- 
brium, on which depends the tranquillity of the Balkan 
States and, therefore, European and world peace." 

It is enough to cast an eye on the numerous legisla- 
te and administrative work accomplished by Mussolini's 
Government in these first eleven months to convince one- 
self that he is in deep earnest as to the vast programme of 
reconstruction he means to carry through. With reference 
to domestic matters, the Fascista Government has passed a 
great number of bills and projects of laws concerning the 
Electoral Reform Bill approved by the Chamber last July, 
radical reform of the entire school system, institution of the 
National Militia, and abolition of the Guardie Regie (which u ^ r "' 
was a poor substitute for the Carabineers), industrialisationvV<- ^ 
of Public Services (Posts, Telegraphs, Railways), abolition p^ 
of Death Duties between near relations, enactment of 
Decree on the Eight Hours Work Bill, reformation of the 
Civil Law Codes, reduction of Ministerial departments, 
now only nine, which formerly were sixteen, and formation 
of the recent Ministry of National Economy, under which 
are grouped various others : Industry, Agriculture, Labour, 
b 



xviii A NOTE ON 

etc., reduction of the National Debt by over a milliard, a 
comforting contribution towards the balance of the Budget, 
as is gathered by the speech delivered in June, at Milan, 
by the Minister of Finance, Hon. De Stefani. 
^ Mussolini, besides having established a real discipline 

jy>C' (there are no more strikes since the Fascista Government 
is in power), and having fully restored the authority of 
the State, has shown himself to be the most practical 
anti-waste advocate which the world has yet known. As to 
foreign policy, besides adhering to the Washington Disarm- 
ament Conference, and having signed conventions relative to 
the laying of cables for a direct telegraphic communication 
with North, Central and South America, negotiated im- 
portant commercial treaties with Canada, Russia, Spain, 
Lithuania, Poland, Siam, Finland, Esthonia, etc., and 
having exercised beneficial influence in the Ruhr conflict 
and in the Lausanne Conference, has been an element of 
equilibrium for the new after-war international policy 
in the world. 

The selection of his speeches contained in this volume 
is not a mere translation, since, in fact, the exact equivalent 
of this book as it has been arranged, classified and edited is 
not to be found in any other language. These speeches, 
illustrated by the valuable prefatory notes, almost all of 
which have been supplied to me by one who has been closely 
associated with Mussolini during the whole of his political 
career, serve, in my opinion, as could no biography, to 
reveal the mind, character and personality of Mussolini him- 
self. Delivered at intervals throughout the various stages 
of his career, from Socialist to Fascista Prime Minister, 
they enable the reader to follow intimately the events 
which led up to the Fascista Revolution and its leader's 
attainment of his present strong position. The forcible 
and sober style of his character, shorn of every unnecessary 



ITALIAN FASCISMO xix 

word, betrays the dynamic force and intense earnestness 
of this man, who has been compared to Cromwell for his 
drastic and dictatorial methods in the Chamber, and to 
Napoleon for his eagle-like perception, for his decisiveness 
and his marvellous power of leadership. 

Mussolini is a volcanic genius, a bewitcher of crowds. 
He seems a regular warrior, with an indomitable daring, 
great physical and moral courage, and he has seen death 
near him without wavering. He is the real type of Roman 
Emperor, with a severe bronzed face, but which hides a 
kind and generous heart. He is what people call a real 
"self-made man," and is a great lover of the violin and of 
all kinds of sport: fencing, cycling, flying, riding and 
motoring. Mussolini gets all he wants and quickly, and, as 
all his party do, knows exactly what he does want. 

Apart from all that has been said, the present collection 
of speeches, besides showing Mussolini's strong hand in 
the difficult art of statesmanship, displays clearly in almost 
every page (and so, possibly, the book may also appeal to 
others than politicians), additional important elements 
which are not usually found in a volume of political 
speeches, namely a richness of sympathy for mankind, a 
blunt straightforwardness, a gentleness of soul together 
with exceptional moral strength, pure idealism, which lift 
him not only above party politics, but also high above the 
average of mankind. 

Such is the builder of New Italy, and the enthusiasm and 
deep confidence which Mussolini has inspired in our country, 
and the unanimous approval his work has prompted abroad, 
are a good omen for Italy's future fortunes and for the 
welfare of the world at large. 

BERNARDO QUARANTA di SAN SEVERINO. 

Siena, Via S. Quirico, N.i. 
October 1923. 




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(English Translation) 
FASCISTA NATIONAL PARTY 

Fascisti of all Italy! 

Our movement has been crowned with success. The leader 
of our Party now holds the political power of the State for Italy and 
abroad. While this New Government represents our triumph, it 
celebrates, at the same time, our victory in the name of those who 
by land and by sea promoted it ; and it accepts also, for the purpose 
of pacification, men from other parties, provided they are true to 
the cause of the Nation. The Italian Fascisti are too intelligent to 
wish to abuse their victory. 

Fascisti ! 

The supreme Quadrumvirate, which has resigned its powers 
in favour of the Party, thanks you for the magnificent proof of 
courage and of discipline which you have given, and salutes you. 
You have proved yourselves worthy of the fortunes and of the 
future of your Fatherland. 

Demobilise in the same perfectly orderly manner in which you 
assembled for this great achievement, destined — as we firmly 
believe — to open a new era in the history of Italy. Return now to 
your usual occupations, as, in order to arrive at the summit of her 
fortunes, Italy needs to work. May nothing disturb the glory of 
these days through which we have just passed — days of superb 
passion and of Roman greatness. 

Long live Italy ! 
Long live Fascismo! 

THE QUADRUMVIRATE. 



xxi 



ERRATA 

Page 133, last line, for wars read stars. 

Page 140, line 24,. /or times read temples. 

Page 143, This speech was delivered 20th September 1922. 

Page 208, line 1 , for Council of Munitions read Council of Ministers. 

Page 351, line 21, for 1885 read 1855. 






CONTENTS 



PAGE 

Facsimile Letter ......... vi 

Introduction: a Note on Italian Fascismo . . . . ix 

Reproduction of the Original of the Manifesto issued by the 
Hon. Mussolini after He and His Party succeeded to 

the Government ........ xx 

English Translation ........ xxi 



PART I 
MUSSOLINI THE "SOCIALIST" 

DO NOT THINK THAT BY TAKING AWAY MY MEMBERSHIP CARD 

YOU WILL TAKE AWAY MY FAITH IN THE CAUSE " . . . 3 

(Speech delivered at Milan, 25th November 1914.) 

PART II 

MUSSOLINI THE " MAN OF THE WAR " X 

>r the Liberty of Humanity and the Future of Italy . . 9 
(Speech delivered at Parma, 13th December 1914.) 

Either War or the End of Italy's Name as a Great Power " . 18 
(Speech delivered at Milan, 25th January 191 5.) 

To the Complete Vanquishing of the Huns " ... 25 

(Speech delivered at Sesto San Giovanni, 1st December 191 7.) 

No Turning Back ! " ........ 30 

(Speech delivered at Rome, 2\th February 191 8.) 

[E Fatal Victory ........ 37 

(Speech delivered at Bologna, 2\th May 191 8.) 

In Honour of the American People " . . . . .49 
(Speech delivered at Milan, 8th April 1918.) 

League of Nations ........ 52 

(Speech delivered at Milan, 20th October 1918.) 

Celebration of Victory ....... 58 

(Speech delivered at Milan, nth November 1918.) 
xxiii 



XXIV 



CONTENTS 



PART III 
MUSSOLINI THE "FASCISTA FRIEND OF THE PEOPLE 



PAGE 
63 



Workmen's Rights After the War 

(Speech delivered at Dalmine, 7.0th March 1919.) 

Sacrifice, Work, and Production ...... 

{Speech delivered at Milan, $th February 1920.) 

" We are not against Labour, but against the Socialist 
Party, in as far as it remains Anti-Italian " . 
(Speech delivered at Milan, 24th May 1920.) 

Fascismo's Interests for the Working Classes 

(Speech delivered at Ferrara, 4th April 192 1.) 

" My Father was a Blacksmith and I have Worked with Him; 
He bent Iron, but I have the harder task of Bending 
Souls M .......... 79 

(Speech delivered at Milan, 6th December 1922.) 



Labour to take the First Place in New Italy 

(Speech delivered at Rome, 6th January 1923.) 



67 



7i 



75 



82 



J 



PART IV 

MUSSOLINI THE "FASCISTA" 

The Three Declarations at the First Fascista Meeting . 
(Speech delivered at Milan, 23rd March 19 19.) 

Outline of the Aims and Programme of Fascismo . 
(Speech delivered at Milan, 22nd July 1919.) 

Fascismo and the Rights of Victory .... 
(Speech delivered at Florence, gth October 1919.) 

The Tasks of Fascismo . 

(Speech delivered at Trieste, 20th September 1920.) 

Fascismo and the Problems of Foreign Policy 

(Speech delivered at Trieste, 6th February 1921.) 

How Fascismo was Created ...... 

(Speech delivered at Bologna, 3rd April 1921.) 

The Italy We Want Within, and Her Foreign Relations 
(Speech delivered at Udine.) 



87 


92 


103 \ 


108 


121 \ 



134 
143 



CONTENTS xxv 

PAGE 

" The Piave and Vittorio Veneto mark the Beginning of 

New Italy ".......•• 158^ 

{Speech delivered at Cremona, 25th September 1922.) 

The Fascista Dawning of New Italy . . . . .161 
(Speech delivered at Milan, 6th October 1922.) 

" The Moment has arrived when the Arrow must leave the 

Bow or the Cord will Break " . . . . • I 7 I 

{Speech delivered at Naples, 26th October 1922.) 



PART V 

MUSSOLINI THE " FASCISTA MEMBER OF 
PARLIAMENT " 

Fascismo and the New Provinces . . . . . .183 

(Speech delivered in the Chamber, 21st June 1921.) 

The Question of Montenegro's Independence . . .189 

(Same speech delivered in the Chamber, 21st June 1921.) 

D'Annunzio and Fiume ........ 192 

(Same speech delivered in the Chamber, 21st June 1921.) 

Italy, Sionism, and the English Mandate in Palestine . .194 

(Same speech delivered in the Chamber, 21st June 1921.) 

The Attitude of Fascismo towards Communism and Socialism . 196 
(Same speech delivered in the Chamber, 21st June 1921.) 

The Attitude of Fascismo towards the Popular Party. The 

Vatican and Social Democracy ..... 201 

(Same speech delivered in the Chamber, 21st June 192 1.) 



PART VI 

MUSSOLINI THE "FASCISTA PRIME MINISTER" 

A New Cromwell in the Parliament ..... 207 
(Speech delivered in the Chamber, 16th November 1922.) 

The Foreign Policy of the Fascista Government . . .210 

(Same speech delivered in the Chamber, 16th November 1922.) 



xxvi CONTENTS 

PAGE 

'he Policy of Fascismo for Italy: Economy, Work and 

Discipline ......... 215 

(Same speech delivered in the Chamber, 16th November 1922.) 

" Conscientious General Diagnosis of the Conditions of the 

Country and its Foreign Policy " . . . . .219 

(Speech delivered before the Senate, 2jth November 1922.) 

" I Remain the Head of Fascismo, Although the Head of the 

Italian Government " . . . . . . .227 

(Speech delivered in London, 12th December 1922.) 

" Our Task in History is to make a United State of the 

Italian Nation "........ 228 

(Speech delivered at Rome, 2nd January 1923.) 

The Advance in the Ruhr District . . . . .230 

(Speech delivered at Rome, 15th January 1923, before the Cabinet.) 

The Government of Speed . . . . . . -234 

(Speech delivered at Rome, igth January 1923, at the headquarters of 
Motor Transport Company.) 

The March of Events on the Ruhr. The Position of Italy . 235 
(Speech delivered at Rome, 2$rd January 1923, before the Cabinet?) 

The Ruhr, the Conference of Lausanne, and the Port of 

Memel .......... 240 

(Speech delivered at Rome, 1st February 1923, before the Cabinet.) 

Ratification of the Washington Treaty of Naval Disarmament 243 
(Speech delivered before the Chamber of Deputies, 6th February 1923.) 

Message from the Hon. Mussolini to the Italians in America 
upon the Occasion of the Signing of the Convention for 
the Laying of Cables between Italy and the American 
Continent ......... 245 

(Rome, 6th February 1923.) 

For the Carrying Out of the Treaty of Rapallo . . -247 

(Prefatory remarks to the Deputies, 8th February 1923, accompanying 
the Project of Law presented by the Hon. Mussolini, Minister for 
Foreign Affairs and Prime Minister.) 

The Agreements of Santa Margherita. Italy and Yugoslavia 251 
(Speech delivered before the Chamber of Deputies, 10th February 1923.) 

j Questions of Foreign Policy before the Senate. The Ruhr; 

Fiume; Zara and Dalmatia ...... 258 

(Speech delivered before the Senate, 16th February 1923.) 



INTENTS xxvii 

PAGE 

Review of European Politics in their Relation with Italy 264 « ^ 
(Speech delivered before the Cabinet, 2nd March 1923.) 

Italo- Yugoslav Conference for the Commercial Treaty 271 
(Speech delivered at Rome, 6th March 1923.) 

History Tells Us that Strict Finance has brought Nations 
to Security "......... 272 

(Speech delivered at the Ministry of Finance, jth March 1923.) 

It is not the Economic System of Europe alone that we 

have to restore to its full efficiency " . . . 274 ^ 

(Speech delivered at Rome, iSth March 1923.) 

Only Those who Profited by the War Grumbled and still ^. 

Grumble, Cursed and still Curse at the War " 276 

(Speech delivered at Milan, 2gth March 1923.) 

Patriotism is not Formed by Mere Words " . . . . 277 
(Speech delivered at Arosio, near Milan, 30th March 1923.) 

jestions of Foreign Policy before the Cabinet . . . 278 ^ 
(Speech delivered before the Cabinet, jth April 1923.) 

Mine is not a Government which Deceives the People " . 284 % 
(Speech delivered at Rome, 2nd June 1923.) 

In Time Past as in Time Present, Woman had always a 
Preponderant Influence in Shaping the Destinies of 
Humanity "......... 286 

(Speech delivered at Padua, 2nd June 1923.) 

" so long as these students and these universities exist, the 
Nation cannot Perish and become a Slave, because Uni- 
versities smash Fetters without allowing the Forging 
of New Ones " ........ 289 

(Speech delivered at the University of Padua, yd June 1923.) 

Italy's Foreign Policy regarding German Reparations, Hun- 
gary, Bulgaria, Austria, Yugoslavia, Turkey, Russia, .*<-*• 
Poland and other Countries ...... 293 

(Speech delivered before the Senate, 8th June 1923.) 

" The Internal Policy " 306 * 

(Speech delivered before the Senate, 8th June 1923.) 

" As Sardinia has been Great in War, so likewise will she 

be Great in Peace " . . . . . . . . 320 

(Speech delivered at Sassari (Sardinia), 10th June 1923.) 



xxviii CONTENTS 

PAGE 

" Men Pass Away, maybe Governments too, but Italy Lives 

AND WILL NEVER DlE " ....... 323 

{Speech delivered at Cagliari {Sardinia), 12th June 1923O 

" Fascismo will bring a Complete Regeneration to Your 

Land" 326 

{Speech delivered at Iglesias {Sardinia), 13th June 1923.) 

" As we have Regained the Mastery of the Air, we do not 

want the Sea to Imprison Us " . . . . . 328 

{Speech delivered at Florence, 19th June 1923.) 

" I Promise You — and God is my Witness — that I shall continue 
now and always to be a humble servant of our adored 
Italy ".......... 330 

{Speech delivered at Florence, 19th June 1923.) 

" The Victory of the Piave was the Deciding Factor of the 

War" 33i 

{Speech delivered at Rome, 25th June 1923.) 

The Relations between Italy and the United States . . 335 
{Speech delivered by the American Ambassador at Rome, 28th June 1923, 
and the Italian Prime Minister's reply.) 

" The Greatness of the Country will be Achieved by the 

New Generations "........ 343 

{Speech delivered at Rome, 2nd July 1923.) 

The Situation on the Ruhr and Other Questions of Foreign 

Policy 345 

{Speech delivered yd July 1923, at the Council of Ministers.) 

The Electoral Reform Bill . . . . . . -347 

{Speech delivered before the Chamber of Deputies, 16th July 1923.) 

The Massacre of the Italian Delegation for the Delimitation 

of the Greco-Albanian Frontier ..... 363 
{Rome, 2jth August 1923.) 

Index 365 






PART I 
MUSSOLINI THE "SOCIALIST" 






MUSSOLINI THE "SOCIALIST" 

"DO NOT THINK THAT BY TAKING AWAY MY 
MEMBERSHIP CARD YOU WILL TAKE AWAY 
MY FAITH IN THE CAUSE" 

Speech delivered on 25th November 1914, at Milan, before the 
meeting of the Milanese Socialist Section, which had decreed 
Mussolini's expulsion from the official Socialist Party. 

In the fearless militarism of the dramatic speech with which this 
volume begins, the Socialistic activity of Benito Mussolini ends — 
of Benito Mussolini, who from the autumn of 19 14 could have been 
considered the recognised and acclaimed leader of the Italian 
Socialist Party. He had attained with giant strides the highest 
rank in the party's hierarchy, namely the editorship of the Avanti, 
the chief organ of the political and syndicalist movement. He had 
been a clever and aggressive writer in a weekly provincial paper of 
Forli, called La lotta di classe} and an ardent Sunday orator for 
the "ville" of Romagna. He had revealed himself a "comrade" of 
tremendous power at the Congress of Reggio Emilia, held in the 
summer of 191 2, where he delivered a memorable speech bitterly 
criticising the flaccid mentality of Reformism then dominating 
the party. 

It was within two months of his success at Reggio Emilia that 
the revolutionary leaders, feeling the need of strong men, entrusted 
to Benito Mussolini the editorship of the Avanti, which was the 
most powerful weapon of the party. 

The following speech was delivered before a furious crowd of not 
less than three thousand holders of membership cards, who hastened 
from other centres adjacent to Milan, amid a diabolical tumult in 
an atmosphere of organised hostility, which was the more violent 
by contrast with the fanatical devotion which Benito Mussolini had 

1 Class struggle. 
3 



4 THE SOCIALIST 

evoked during the two years in which he had been the undisputed 
mouthpiece of the party. 

This atmosphere of intolerance and hatred had been fostered by 
the neutralist adversaries who had succeeded to the management 
of the Avanti after the present head of the Italian Government had 
left the party. 

As is known, the excited meeting held in the spacious hall of the 
Casa del Popolo closed with a resolution for the expulsion of the 
new heretic, which was passed, except by a negligible minority 
of about fifty supporters, who afterwards stood by Mussolini in the 
victorious campaign for intervention. 

My fate is decided, and it seems as if the sentence 
were to be executed with a certain solemnity. (Voices: 
"Louder! Louder!") 

You are severer than ordinary judges who allow the 
fullest and most exhaustive defence even after the sentence, 
since they give ten days for the production of the motives 
of appeal. If, then, it is decided, and you still think that 
I am unworthy of fighting any longer for your cause — 
("Yes! yes!" is shouted by some of the most excited 
among the audience.) — then expel me. But I have a right 
to exact a legal act of accusation, and in this meeting the 
public prosecutor has not yet intervened with regard either 
to the political or to the moral issues. I shall, therefore, be 
condemned by an " order of the day " which means nothing. 
In a case like this, I ought to have been told that I was 
unworthy to belong any longer to the party for definite 
reasons, in which case I should have accepted my fate. 
This, however, has not been said, and a great many of 
you — if not all — will leave this room with an uneasy 
conscience. (Deaf ening voices : "No! no!") 

With reference to the moral question, I repeat once more 
that I am ready to submit my case to any Committee 
which cares to make investigations and to issue a report. 

As regards the question of discipline, I should say that 



THE SOCIALIST 5 

this has not been examined, because there are just and 
fitting precedents for my changed attitude, and if I do 
not quote them it is because I feel myself to be secure 
and have an easy conscience. 

You think to sign my death-warrant, but you are mistaken. 
To-day you hate me, because in your heart of hearts you 
still love me, because . . . (Applause and hisses interrupt 
the speaker.) 

But you have not seen the last of me! Twelve years of 
my party life are, or ought to be, a sufficient guarantee of 
my faith in Socialism. Socialism is something which takes 
root in the heart. What divides me from you now is not a 
small dispute, but a great question over which the whole 
of Socialism is divided. Amilcare Cipriani can no longer 
be your candidate because he declared, both by word of 
mouth and in writing, that if his seventy-five years allowed 
him, he would be in the trenches fighting the European 
lilitary reaction which was stifling revolution. 
Time will prove who is right and who is wrong in the f or- 
idable question which now confronts Socialism, and which 
has never had to face before in the history of humanity, 
ice never before has there been such a conflagration as 
>ts to-day, in which millions of the proletariat are pitted 
>ne against the other. This war, which has much in common 
with those of the Napoleonic period, is not an everyday 
event. Waterloo was fought in 1814; perhaps 19 14 will see 
some other principles fall to the ground, will see the salva- 
tion of liberty, and the beginning of a new era in the world's 
history — (Loud applause greets this fitting historical 
comparison.) — and especially in the history of the pro- 
letariat, which at all critical moments has found me here 
with you in this same spot, just as it found me in the street. 
But I tell you that from now onwards I shall never 
forgive nor have pity on anyone who in this momentous 



6 THE SOCIALIST 

hour does not speak his mind for fear of being hissed or 
shouted down. (This cutting allusion to the many promi- 
nent absentees is understood and warmly applauded by 
the meeting.) 

I shall neither forgive nor have pity on those who are 
purposely reticent, those who show themselves hypocrites 
and cowards. And you will find me still on your side. You 
must not think that the middle classes are enthusiastic 
about our intervention. They snarl and accuse us of temerity, 
and fear that the proletariat, once armed with bayonets, 
will use them for their own ends. (Mingled applause, and 
cries of "No! no!") 

^ Do not think that in taking away my membership card 
you will be taking away my faith in the cause, or that you 

jjvill prevent my still working for Socialism and revolution. 
(Hearty applause follows these last words of Mussolini, 
uttered with great energy and profound conviction. He 
descends from the platform and makes his way down the 
great hall.) 



PART II 



MUSSOLINI THE "MAN OF 
THE WAR" 



MUSSOLINI THE "MAN OF THE WAR" 

FOR THE LIBERTY OF HUMANITY AND THE 
FUTURE OF ITALY 

Speech delivered at the Scuole Mazza, Parma, 13th December 1914. 

This speech was delivered under the stress of great excitement. 
The most ardent supporters of active neutrality were assembled 
at Parma, a citadel of revolutionary Syndicalism, which opposed 
Party Socialism, and the majority of whose members, after the out- 
break of the European War, sided against the Central Empires and 
in defence of intervention. Among these we remember Giacinto 
Menotti Serrati, then Editor-in-chief of the Avanti, and Fulvio 
Zocchi, a ridiculous and malignant demagogue, now removed from 

«litical life. 
But, notwithstanding this pressure from outside, the people of 
,rma, mindful of their Garibaldian and anti-Austrian traditions, 
sided enthusiastically with Mussolini and Alcesto De Ambris, the 
leader of Syndicalism and member of Parliament for the city, who 
had been the first to support the section of the extremists. 

Citizens, — It is in your interest to listen to me quietly and 
with tolerance. I shall be brief, precise and sincere to the 
point of rudeness. 

The last great continental war was from 1870 to 187 1. 
Prussia, guided by Bismarck and Moltke, defeated France 
and robbed her of two flourishing and populous provinces. 
The Treaty of Frankfurt marked the triumph of Bismarck's 
policy, which aimed at the incontestable hegemony of 
Prussia in Central Europe and the gradual Slavisation of 
the Balkan zones of Austria-Hungary. One recalls these 
features of Bismarck's policy in trying to understand 
the different international crises which took place in Europe 
from '70 up to the bewildering and extremely painful 

9 



io THE MAN OF THE WAR 

situation of to-day. From '70 onwards there were only 
remoter wars among the peoples of Eastern Europe, such as 
those between Russia and Turkey, Serbia and Bulgaria, 
Greece and Turkey, or wars in the colonies. There was, 
in consequence, a widespread conviction that a European 
or world war was no longer possible. The most diverse 
reasons were put forward to maintain this argument. 

Illusions and Sophisms. It was suggested, for example, 
that the perfecting of the instruments for making war 
must destroy its possibility. Ridiculous! War has always 
been deadly. The perfecting of arms is relative to the pro- 
gress — technical, mechanical and military — of the human 
race. In this respect the warlike machines of the ancient 
Romans are the equivalent of the mortars of 420 calibre. 
They are made with the object of killing, and they do kill. 
The perfecting of instruments of war is no hindrance to 
warlike instincts. It might have the opposite effect. 

Reliance was also placed on " human kindness" and other 
sentiments of humanity, of brotherhood and love, which 
ought, it was maintained, to bind all the different branches 
of the species "man" together regardless of barriers of land 
or sea. Another illusion ! It is very true that these f eelings 
of sympathy and brotherliness exist; our century has, in 
truth, seen the rapid multiplication of philanthropic works 
for the alleviation of the hardships both of men and of 
animals; but along with these impulses exist others, pro- 
founder, higher and more vital. We should not explain the 
universal phenomenon of war by attributing it to the caprices 
of monarchs, race-hatred or economic rivalry; we must take 
into account other feelings which each of us carries in his 
heart, and which made Proudhon exclaim, with that per- 
ennial truth which hides beneath the mask of paradox, 
that war was of "divine origin." 



1 THE MAN OF THE WAR n 

It was also maintained that the encouragement of closer 
'international relations — economic, artistic, intellectual, poli- 
jtical and sporting — by causing the peoples to become 
[better acquainted, would have prevented the outbreak 
[of war among civilised nations. Norman Angell had 
I founded his book upon the impossibility of war, proving 
J, that all the nations involved — victors and vanquished 
i alike — would have their economic life completely convulsed 
and ruined in consequence. Another illusion laid bare ! Lack 
of observation. The purely economic man does not exist. 
The story of the world is not merely a page of book-keep- 
ing; and material interests — luckily — are not the only 
mainspring of human actions. It is true that international 
relations have multiplied; that there is, or was, freer inter- 
change — political and economic — between the peoples of 
the different countries than there was a century ago. But 
parallel with this phenomenon is another, which is that the 
people, with the diffusion of culture and the formation 
of an economic system of a national type, tend to isolate 
themselves psychologically and morally. 

Internationalism. Side by side with the peaceful middle- 
class movement, which is not worth examination, flourished 
another of an international character, that of the working 
classes. At the outbreak of war this class, too, gave evi- 
dence of its inefficiency. The Germans, who ought to have 
set the example, flocked as a man to the Kaiser's banner. 
The treachery of the Germans forced the Socialists of the 
other countries to fall back upon the basis of nationality 
and the necessity of national defence. The German unity 
automatically determined the unity of the other countries. 
It is said, and justly, that international relations are like 
love; it takes two to carry them on. Internationalism is 
ended; that which existed yesterday is dead, and it is 



12 THE MAN OF THE WAR 

impossible to foresee what form it will take to-morrow. 
Reality cannot be done away with and cannot be ignored, 
and the reality is that millions and millions of men, for the 
most part of the working classes, are standing opposite 
one another to-day on the blood-drenched battlefields of 
Europe. The neutrals, who shout themselves hoarse crying 
"Down with war!" do not realise the grotesque cowardice 
contained in that cry to-day. It is irony of the most atro- 
cious kind to shout " Down with war ! " while men are fighting 
and dying in the trenches. 

The Real Situation. Between the two groups, the Triple 
Entente and the Austro-German Alliance, Italy has re- 
mained — neutral. In the Triple Entente there is heroic 
Serbia, who has broken loose from the Austrian yoke; 
there is martyred Belgium, who refused to sell herself; 
there is republican France who has been attacked ; there is 
democratic England; there is autocratic Russia, though her 
foundations are undermined by revolution. On the other 
side there is Austria, clerical and feudal, and Germany, 
militarist and aggressive. At the outbreak of war Italy pro- 
claimed herself neutral. Was the ' ' exception ' ' contemplated 
in the treaties ? It seems as if it were so, especially in view of 
the recent revelations made by Giolitti. If the neutrality of 
the Government meant indifference, the neutrality of the 
Socialists and the economic organisations had an entirely 
different character and significance. The Socialist neutrality 
intended a general strike in the case of alliance with Austria; 
no practical opposition in the case of a war against her. 
A distinction was made, therefore, between one war and 
another. Further, the classes were allowed to be called up. 
If the Government had mobilised, all the Socialists would 
have found it a natural and logical proceeding. They ad- 
mitted, therefore, that a nation has the right and duty to 



THE MAN OF THE WAR 13 

defend itself by recourse to arms, in case of attack from 
outside. Neutrality understood in this way had necessarily 
to lead — with the progress of events, especially in Belgium 
— to the idea of intervention. 

The Bourgeoisie is Neutral. It is controversial whether 
Italy has a bourgeoisie in the generally accepted sense of 
the word. Rather than the bourgeoisie and lower classes, 
there are rich and poor. In any case, it is untrue that 
the Italian middle classes are, at the moment, jingoist. 
On the contrary they are neutral and desperately pacifist. 
The banking world is neutral, the industrial classes have 
reorganised their business, and the agrarian population, 
small and great, are pacifists by tradition and tempera- 
ment; the political and academic middle classes are neutral. 
Look at the Senate! There are perhaps exceptions, young 
men who do not wish to. stagnate in the dead pool of 
neutrality; but the middle classes, taken as a whole, are 
hostile to war and neutral. As a conclusive proof, compare 
the tone of the middle-class papers to-day with that 
shown at the time of the Libyan campaign, and note the 
difference. The trumpet-call which then sounded for war 
is muffled now. The language of the middle-class Press is 
uncertain, wavering and mysterious, neutral in word but, 
in effect, in favour of the Allies. Where are the trumpets 
that summoned us in the September of 191 1? The 
secret is out, and ought to make the Socialists, who are 
not stupid, stop and think. On the one side are all the 
conservative and stagnant elements, and on the other 
the revolutionary and the living forces of the country. It 
is necessary to choose. 

We want the War! But we want the war and we want it 
at once. It is not true that military preparation is lacking. 
What does this waiting for the spring to come mean ? 



\\ 



I4 THE MAN OF THE WAR 

Socialism ought not, and cannot, be against all wars, 
because in that case it would have to deny fifty years of 
history. Do you want to judge and condemn in the same 
breath the war in Tripoli and the result of the French 
Revolution of 1793? And Garibaldi? Is he, too, a jingoist? 
You must distinguish between one war and another, as between 
one crime and another, one case of bloodshed and another. 
Bovio said: "All the water in the sea would not suffice to 
remove the stain from the hands of Lady Macbeth, but a 
basinful would wash the blood from the hands of Garibaldi.' ' 

Guesde, in a congress of French Socialists held a few weeks 
before the outbreak of war, declared that, in case of a con- 
flagration, the nation that was most Socialist would be the 
victim of the nation that was least. To prove this, notice 
the behaviour of the Italian Socialists. Look at them in 
Parliament. Treves lost time by quibbling. At one moment 
he exclaimed, " We shall not deny the country." In fact the 
country cannot be denied. One does not deny one's mother, 
even if she does not offer one all her gifts, even if she does 
force one to earn one's living in the alluring streets of the 
world. (Great applause.) 

Treves said more : " We shall not oppose a war of defence." 
If this is admitted, the necessity of arming ourselves is 
admitted. You will not open the gates of Italy yet to the 
Austrian army, because they will come to pillage the houses 
and violate the women! I know it well. There are base 
wretches who blame Belgium for defending herself. She 
might have pocketed the money of the Germans, they say, 
and allowed them a free passage; while resistance meant 
laying herself open to the scientific and systematic destruction 
of her towns. But Belgium lives, and will live, because she 
refused to sell herself ignobly. If she had done so, she would 
be dead for all time. (Great applause, and cries of "Long 
live Belgium! " The cheering lasts for some minutes.) 



THE MAN OF THE WAR 15 

The War of Defence. When do you want to begin to defend 
yourselves? When the enemy's knee is on your chest? 
Wouldn't it be better to begin a little earlier? Wouldn't 
it be better to begin to-day when it would not cost so much, 
rather than wait until to-morrow when it might be dis- 
astrous? Do you wish to maintain a splendid isolation ? But in 
that case we must arm ; arm and create a colossal militarism. 

The Socialists, and I am still one, although an exasperated 
one, never brought forward the question of irredentism, 
but left it to the Republicans. We are in favour of a 
national war. But there are also reasons, purely socialist 
in character, which spur us on towards intervention. 

The Europe of To-morrow. It is said that the Europe of 
to-morrow will not be any different from the Europe of 
yesterday. This is the most absurd and alarming hypothesis. 
If you accept it, there is some absolute meaning for your 
neutrality. It is not worth while sacrificing oneself in order 
to leave things as they were before. But both mind and 
heart refuse to believe that this spilling of blood over three 
continents will lead to nothing. Everything leads one 
to believe, on the contrary, that the Europe of to-morrow 
will be profoundly transformed. Greater liberty or greater 
reaction ? More or less militarism ? Which of the two groups 
of Powers, by their victory, would assure us of better con- 
ditions of liberty for the working classes ? There is no doubt 
about the answer. And in what way do you wish to assist 
in the triumph of the Triple Entente ? Perhaps with articles 
in the papers and " orders of the day " in committee? Are 
these sentimental manifestations enough to raise up Bel- 
gium again? To relieve France? This France which bled 
for Europe in the revolutions and wars from '89 to '71 and 
from '71 to '14? Do you then offer to the France of the 
"Rights of Man" nothing but words? 



16 THE MAN OF THE WAR 

Against Apathy. Tell me — and this is the supreme reason 
for intervention — tell me, is it human, civilised, socialistic, 
to stop quietly at the window while blood is flowing in 
torrents, and to say, "I am not going to move, it does not 
matter to me a bit " ? Can the formula of "sacred egoism " 
devised by the Hon. Salandra be accepted by the working 
classes? No! I do not think so. The law of solidarity 
does not stop at economic competition; it goes beyond. 
Yesterday it was both fine and necessary to contribute 
in aid of struggling companions; but to-day they ask 
you to shed your blood for them. They implore it. Inter- 
vention will shorten the period of terrible carnage. That will 
be to the advantage of all, even of the Germans, our enemies. 
Will you refuse this proof of solidarity? If you do, with 
what dignity will you, Italian proletarians, show yourselves 
abroad to-morrow? Do you not fear that your German 
comrades will reject you, because you betrayed the Triple 
Entente? Do you not fear that those in France and Bel- 
gium, showing you their land still scarred by graves and 
trenches, and pointing out with pride their ruined towns, 
will say to you: "Where were you, and what did you 
do, Italian Proletarians, when we fought desperately 
against the Austro-German militarism to free Europe 
from the incubus of the hegemony of the Kaiser? " In that 
day you will not know how to answer; in that day you will 
be ashamed to be Italian, but it will be too late ! 

The People's War. Let us take up again the Italian 
traditions. The people who want the war want it without 
delay. In two months' time it might be an act of brigandage; 
to-day it is a war to be fought with courage and dignity. 

War and Socialism are incompatible, understood in their 
universal sense, but every epoch and every people has had 
its wars. Life is relative; the absolute only exists in the 



THE MAN OF THE WAR 



17 



cold and unfruitful abstract. Those who set too much 
store by their skins will not go into the trenches, and you 
will not find them even in the streets in the day of battle. 
He who refuses to fight to-day is an accomplice of the 
Kaiser, and a prop of the tottering throne of Francis Joseph. 
Do you wish mechanical Germany, intoxicated by Bis- 
marck, to be once more the free and unprejudiced Ger- 
many of the first half of last century? Do you wish for a 
German Republic extending from the Rhine to the Vistula ? 
Does the idea of the Kaiser, a prisoner and banished to 
some remote island, make you laugh? Germany will only 
find her soul through defeat. With the defeat of Germany 
the new and brilliant spring will burst over Europe. 

It is necessary to act, to move, to fight and, if necessary, 
to die. Neutrals have never dominated events. They have 
always gone under. It is blood which moves the wheels of 
history! (Frantic bursts of applause.) 



18 THE MAN OF THE WAR 



"EITHER WAR OR THE END OF ITALY'S NAME 
AS A GREAT POWER" 

Speech delivered at Milan, 25th January 1915. 

The progress of Milanese, which is to say of Italian intervention- 
alism, thanks to the authority and the influence of the Lombard 
metropolis, the throbbing heart of the country, begins with the 
meeting held in the great hall of the Istituto Tecnico Carlo 
Cattaneo. At this meeting there were present forty-five "fasci," 
called "fasci di azione rivoluzionaria," formed almost entirely in 
the principal regional and provincial centres. Among the most 
notable supporters were a group of soldiers of the 61st and 62nd 
Infantry, the poet Ceccardo Roccatagliata Ceccardi, and the 
old Garibaldian patriot Ergisto Bezzi, called the "Ferruccio" 
of the Trentino. 

I thank you for your greeting, and am happy and proud 
to be present at this meeting which represents, perhaps, 
in these six months of a neutrality of commercialism and 
smuggling, branded with Socialism, a new fact of the utmost 
importance and significance. 

While listening to the reports which were made here, 
my mind carried me back to the first Congresses of the 
International, when the representatives of the various 
sections of the different countries prepared written reports 
which gave full details as to the situations of the respective 
peoples. This was a splendid means of coming to a closer 
understanding. I pass now to speak of the international 
state of affairs. 

The diplomatic and political situation cannot be spoken 
of without the military. The military situation is stationary, 
although, to-day, it is clearly in favour of the Germans, 
who occupy the whole of Belgium, with the exception of 



THE MAN OF THE WAR 19 

880 square kilometres, who hold ten rich and populous 
departments of France, and a great part of Russian Poland. 
Besides, the recent attack upon Dunkirk and the activity 
of the submarines and dirigibles show that the Germans 
are still full of fight, and wish to carry the war on literally 
to the utmost limits of their powers of attack and defence. 
Thus the intervention of Italy is not late. I think the right 
moment has come now, when the military situation hangs 
in the balance. There is neither advance nor retreat on 
either side, for which reason it would be a good thing to 
decide the game by the introduction of a new factor, the 
intervention of Italy and Roumania. 

The principal international events of this week have been 
the Berchtold resignations, the consideration of interven- 
tion by Roumania, and the treaty of the Triple Entente for 
the regulation of Russia's financial difficulties. 

Russia. It really seems to me that there was a moment 
of slackness in the pursuit of the war on the part of Austria 
and Russia. It is enough to call to mind a short paragraph 
in an official Russian paper, the Ruskoie Slovo, in order to 
realise that there was a time when Russia wavered. 

"It is true," says the paper, "that on the 4th September, 
Russia, France, England, Belgium and Serbia undertook 
not to make peace individually; but this pledge brings with 
it the necessity of supporting the expenses of war in common, 
especially now that Turkey has come to the help of the 
Central Powers. Our treasury is empty. Where can we 
obtain that money which is more important than men? 
If England refuses, we shall be obliged to end the war in 
any way convenient to Russia." Really threatening words 
these, of which England, however, understood the mean- 
ing, and immediately took steps to prevent their realisa- 
tion by launching the loan of fifteen milliards in favour of 



20 THE MAN OF THE WAR 

Russia to be subscribed to in the capitals of the Triple 
Entente. And, in fact, immediately after the announce- 
ment of the loan the tone of the official papers changed, 
and there was no more talk of making a separate peace. 

Austria. There were other symptoms of restlessness in 
Austria. Clearly, up to the present, Austria has been 
sacrificed the most. She has lost Galicia and been defeated 
by the Russians and Serbs. 

It may be then that the resignation of Berchtold is an 
indication that Austrian politics are taking a new direction. 
In what sense ? I do not think in the pacifist sense. Austria 
is tied to Germany, and Germany leans upon Austria and 
Hungary. Burian's journey to the German General Staff 
was made, I think, with the object of obtaining military 
aid for Hungary. Austria and Hungary are preparing 
themselves against Roumania, because this nation will 
probably intervene before Italy. 

Roumania. Roumania has four million men concentrated 
in Transylvania under the rule of Austria-Hungary; she 
is a young nation with a perfect army of 500,000 men, 
and she will be obliged to end her hesitation, probably 
owing to the fact that the Russians are at her frontier. 
Nothing would embarrass the Roumanians as much as 
this, since they remember that in 1878 the Russians 
occupied Bessarabia. When the Russians, therefore, are 
in Transylvania, the intervention of Roumania will be 
decided at once. 

Valona. One fact that has a certain importance where 
Italy is concerned is the occupation of Valona, which has 
come about in curious circumstances with the occupa- 
tion of Sasseno, and the landing of the marines before the 
Bersagiieri. I do not think that there are really rebels in 



THE MAN OF THE WAR 21 

Albania; and I think that Italy will stop at Valona. I do 
not think either that Valona will run any serious risk, 
because the Albanians have rifles but no artillery. Albania 
does not exist in the true sense of the word, as the Albanians 
are divided both by race and tribe, and I do not think that 
an organised movement is to be feared. 

Switzerland. One point that we must take into considera- 
tion is the position of Switzerland — a point, to my mind, 
rather obscure. It is true that we can feel, to a certain 
extent, reassured by the fact that the President of Switzer- 
land at the moment is an Italian. But without doubt a 
restless state of mind prevails among the German element 
there. The voice of race calls louder than the voice of political 
union; the German Swiss lay down laws; they circulate 
pamphlets which say "Let us remain Swiss"; they go in 
search of the Swiss spirit, but I think that it would be diffi- 
cult to find it. In any case, it is certain that they make . fj 
acid comments on the articles in the Popolo c [ 'It.alia.\ Taken 
as a whole it can be said that a Pan-German movement has 
developed in German Switzerland, which manifests open 
sympathy towards the Central Powers. 

Zahn, a Swiss writer, in this way published an ode and 
sent money to the German Red Cross. A political personality 
of Basel sent information about the troops and the Swiss 
defence to the Frankfurter Zeitung. The novelist Schapfer, 
of Basel, went to Berlin to extol Germany and to sing 
Deutschland iiber Alles at a public meeting. The journalist 
Schappner advocated in the Neues Deutschland that Swit- 
zerland should abandon her neutral position in order to 
help Germany, and have as compensation Upper Savoy, 
the Gex region and a part of Franche-Comte so that she 
might form an advanced post of Germany towards the south, 
declaring at the same time an alliance with Austria-Hungary 



22 THE MAN OF THE WAR 

which would enable Switzerland to extend her boundaries 
also towards Italy. 

The Neue Zurcher Nachrichten has even gone to the extent 
of taunting Belgium with her unhappy fate, saying that the 
neutrality of Belgium would have been violated by her 
own Government, and calling her the betrayer of Germany, 
and saying that Germany had every right to punish her. 

These are all documents which are worth while knowing 
about, because they denote a state of mind that might have | 
a surprise in store for us. Switzerland is made up of 
twenty-four cantons, in one of which the Italian language | 
is spoken; but I don't think that much reliance can be placed 
on that fact. For the rest, I know that the General Staff 
preoccupies itself a good deal with the possibility that, 
either through love or fear, Switzerland will allow the 
Kaiser's troops to pass through Swiss territory, in which 
case they would then find themselves at once in Lombardy. 

The Dilemma of Italy. This meeting, therefore, asks for 
the repudiation of the Treaty of the Triple Alliance as the 
first step to mobilisation and war. Otherwise, if the treaty 
is still in force, you can see how it can be interpreted in 
any sense. At first it bound us to intervene on the side of 
Austria and Germany, and we were taxed with being 
traitors when we declared ourselves neutral. To-day it 
proves that it is our duty to remain neutral. Treaties then 
are interpreted according to the letter, according to the 
spirit and according to the convenience of those who have to 
interpret them ! Necessity demands, therefore, the explicit 
repudiation of the Treaty of the Triple Alliance. Perhaps 
this can be made the casus belli. We are not diplomats, but 
it is certain that if Italy repudiates the Treaty of the Triple 
Alliance, Germany will ask for explanations, and if, at the 
same time, there was mobilisation against Austria and 



THE MAN OF THE WAR 23 

Germany, we should be able to reach the stage in which a 
solution by arms would be forced upon us. For us the casus 
belli was magnificent and solemn; it was that created by 
the violation of the neutrality of Belgium. Italy ought to 
intervene in the name of jus gentium, in the name of her own 
national security. She has not been able to do so then; 
but now we must decide. "Either war, or the end of our 
name as a great power." Let us build gambling-houses and 
hotels and grow fat. A people can have this ideal also, 
which is shared by the lower zoological species ! 

In reality the German working classes have embraced the 
cause of Prussian militarism, and so, my friends, the chief 
reason for remaining neutral falls to the ground. You 
Italian Socialists are preparing to commit the same crime 
of which you accuse the German Socialists. We, in the mean- 
time, question the right of the German Socialists to call 
themselves Socialists any more. The International compact 
is only of value when it is signed and respected by all the 
contracting parties. Since the Germans are the first to 
have broken it, the Italians are no longer under obligation 
to hold by a contract which might mean their ruin. 

It is a fact, however, that Italy is "still bound to the 
Triple Alliance." This Government of ours is pusillanimous, 
because the repudiation of the Triple Alliance does not 
mean a declaration of war or even mobilisation. But, mean- 
while, this would prove that the Italian people vindicate 
their right to independence of action in this period of history. 

The Revolutionary War. To say that we are causing a 
revolution in order to obtain war, is to say something which 
we cannot maintain. We have not the strength. We find 
ourselves face to face with formidable coalitions, but the 
fasci of action have this object, to create that state of mind 
which will impose war upon the country. 



24 THE MAN OF THE WAR 

To-morrow, if Italy does not make war, a revolutionary posi- 
tion will be inevitably decided, and discontent will spring 
up everywhere. Those same men who to-day are in favour 
of neutrality, when they feel themselves humiliated as men 
and Italians, will ask the responsible powers to account for 
it, and then will be our chance. Then we shall have our war. 
Then we shall say to the dominant classes: "You have not 
proved yourselves capable of fulfilling your task ; you have 
deceived us and destroyed our aspirations. Your first care 
should have been the completion of the unity of the country, 
and you have ignored it. You have been warned about it 
by democracy in general and by the Republican Party 
particularly." This will be a case which will surely end 
in condemnation; in condemnation which cannot be other 
than capital. And then perhaps we shall issue from this 
harassing period of history. Every day we feel that there 
is something in Italy which does not work, that there is a 
cog missing in the gear, or a wheel that does not go round. 

'The country is young, but its institutions are old; and 
when — if I may be allowed to quote once more from Karl 
Marx, the old Pangermanist — a conflict between new forces 
and old institutions begins to shape itself, that means that 
the new wine cannot any longer be kept in the old skins, 
or the inevitable will occur. The old forces of the political 

L^and social life of Italy will fall into fragments. (Loud 
applause.) 



THE MAN OF THE WAR 25 



"TO THE COMPLETE VANQUISHING OF 
THE HUNS" 

Speech delivered at Sesto San Giovanni, 1st December 191 7. 

After the Caporetto disaster the patriotic organisations of Milan 
had consolidated their union, previously undermined by the op- 
ponents of war, who, thanks to the leniency of the Government, 
had been able to work in the interest of the enemy. They developed 
the existing sphere of propaganda, advocating resistance within 
I the country. One of the centres most infected by neutralist opposi- 
tion was undoubtedly Sesto San Giovanni, a large borough of 
the working classes at the gates of Milan, completely controlled by 
Social-Communist administration. 

Mussolini, having just left the military hospital, where he had 
been lying ill as a result of many wounds received when a "bersa- 
gliere" of the nth Regiment, spoke in this hostile citadel as only 
he could speak; and it is certainly beyond question that his frank 
and incisive eloquence was mainly instrumental in dispersing the 
bitter anti - war feelings fomented by stubborn and impudent 
Socialist neutralism. 

Workmen and citizens ! The other evening, after three years' 
silence, I spoke to the audience of the Scala; an imposing 
audience and a large hall; but I prefer this friendly gather- 
ing of workmen and soldiers, because, in spite of everything, 
I am, and shall always remain, one with the masses 
which produce and work, and the implacable adversary] 
of every parasite. 

The International Illusion. I am here to talk to you of the 
war, and to remind you of an article, which some of you will 
still remember, in which, in a certain degree, I foresaw this 
truce. "A truce of arms" I called it then, and I repeat these 
words to-day. When one speaks of war, one must do so 



26 THE MAN OF THE WAR 

with a clear conscience and without all those useless orna- 
ments of speech typical of an old, artificial style of literature. 
We must remember that while we stand together here to 
think of them, the best among our men, our brothers, your 
sons and your husbands are consuming themselves, suffer- 
ing and perhaps dying for us, for our country and for our 
civilisation ! We wished for the war, it is true, but because 

Ythe arrogance of other men imposed it upon us. We had 
entertained the illusion that it was possible to realise the 
international dream among the peoples, but, while we were 
sincerely putting our faith in this beautiful chimera, the 
German "Internationals," with Bebel at their head, were 
declaring themselves to be first Germans, and afterwards 

i Socialists ! And in the International Congresses the Ger- 
mans always systematically refused to bind themselves to 
decisive action with the Socialists of other countries, under 
the specious pretext that the retrograde constitution of 
their country did not allow them, without jeopardising 
their organisation, to conclude international agreements. 
They held too much by their organisations, by their hundred 
and one deputies and by the fat and swollen purse of marks, 
which is the only thing which has been saved from German 
Socialism. (Loud applause.) 

While Germany was preparing for war by organising 
formidable means of dominion and massacre, nobody in 
England, France, Italy or Russia dreamed of the im- 
minence of the terrible scourge. 

The True Germany, We had a very wrong idea of Germany. 
We only knew the Germany of the flaxen-haired Gretchens 
and of home-sick novels, and not that of Von Bernhardi, 
Harden and the Hohenzollerns. 

It was Germany who wanted the war. Harden said so 
in an ill-considered outburst of sincerity. The Socialists, 



THE MAN OF THE WAR 27 

who claimed more land for the expansion of the German 
people, wanted it; spectacled professors incapable of syn- 
thesis, but terrible in analysis, prepared it; the military 
caste imposed it. The pretext for the unchaining of these 
forces was soon found. Two revolver shots in 1914; some 
bombs thrown; two imperial corpses hurried away in a 
court coach were the pretext. The war, for which the 
Central Powers were prepared, blazed up on all sides. 

The Socialist Intervention. We Socialists who were in 
favour of intervention advocated war, because we divined 
that it contained within it the seeds of revolution. It is 
not the first instance of revolutionary war. There were the 
Napoleonic wars, the war of 1870, the enterprises of 
Garibaldi, in which, had we lived in those days, we should 
have joined in the same spirit and the same faith. 

Karl Marx, too, was a jingoist. In 1855 he wrote thaO 
Germany would have been obliged to declare war against 
Russia; and in 1870 he said of the French: "They must be 
defeated! They will never be sufficiently beaten." And 
when in 1871 the Socialists of France, with Latin ingenuous- 
ness, after declaring the Republic, sent a passionate appeal 
to the Germans for peace, Karl Marx said: "These imbe- 
ciles of Frenchmen claim that for their rag of a republic 
we should renounce all the advantages of this war." j 

One does not deny one's Country. It is possible to remain 
a Socialist and be in favour of certain wars. When the 
country is in danger, it is not possible to remain pacifist. 
A man cannot ignore his country any more than a tree 
can ignore the earth which provides it with sustenance. 
(Applause.) Our people have understood it, and you, who 
carry in your veins some drops of the warrior-blood of those 
men of Legnano who drove away Barbarossa, of the people 



28 THE MAN OF THE WAR 

of the Cinque Giornate, join with me to-day in inciting 
our soldiers to free our land from the shame of servitude. 
(Applause.) To deny one's country, especially in a critical 
hour of her existence, is to deny one's mother! 

It was thought that the soldiers' strike would bring peace. 
But, when our soldiers found that the enemy, instead 
of throwing down their rifles, mounted cannons and field- 
guns, instead of fraternising, massacred old men, women and 
children, and far from returning to their own country, 
advanced into ours, they only waited until a large 
enough river divided them from the adversary to place 
before them once again the impassable barrier of the 
Italian forces. (Loud applause.) 

Our set-back is not due to fear of the Germans. The 
victors of eleven battles, the soldiers of the Carso, Bain- 
sizza, Monte Santo, Cucco and of Sabotino do not fear 
spiked helmets. The armies of all the combatant countries 
have had moments of bewilderment, but not one recovered 
itself as quickly as we have. After only one week of retreat, 
our troops faced the enemy again and forced them back. 

A Resolute Resistance. We have skirted the abyss; we 
might have been lost, but we have saved ourselves. While 
the Germans were hoping for still further revolution, the 
soldiers re-established the force of resistance which had 
been weakened; and now at the front the only fraternity 
is that of rifle shots. (Applause.) 

When the storm is passed we shall be proud of having 
done our duty. Wilson, convinced pacifist, was drawn into 
the war by an elevated humanitarian motive, which made 
him feel that to prolong the war was an act of intolerable 
complicity with the Germans, and he gives us an example. 

The war will end with our victory; but in order to win, 
you, workmen, must produce more. We must have guns, 






THE MAN OF THE WAR 



29 



shells, rifles and bombs in great quantities. Arms and 
munitions, at this moment, represent our salvation. To- 
morrow, when our factories again produce ploughs and 
spades and instruments for agriculture, we shall have the 
joy of a duty done. To-day, and until the barbarians are 
defeated for ever, instruments of war must increase in num- 
ber under the impulse of your decisive will to win. (Loud 
applause and demonstration of affection and sympathy.) 



3 o THE MAN OF THE WAR 



"NO TURNING BACK!" 

Speech delivered in the Augusteo at Rome, 24th February 191 8. 

The speech delivered at the Augusteo in Rome may be included 
among those made by the most fervent patriots to rouse the country 
to a resolute effort after the Caporetto disaster. It was a summons 
to resistance, and a strong indictment against the heads of the 
Government in Italy which was responsible for the moral collapse 
which took place in the Army, due to the evil influences of black- 
mail and neutralist Parliamentarianism at work in the country. The 
salient feature of this meeting was the leaving of the hall by the 
generals representing the "Corpo d'Armata" and the Ministry of 
War. But it was entirely owing to this meeting of exasperated 
patriots that the general policy of the then Prime Minister ceased 
to be lenient to the enemy's sympathisers and that active resistance 
paved the way to the victory of the country in arms. 

I wonder if there is anyone among you who remembers 
a meeting in favour of intervention in the war, that we held 
three years ago in one of the squares in Rome? We were 
dispersed by the police, but we were in the right. We 
moved on, and history moved on with us. 

Three cities created history. But it does not matter. 
It is always the cities which create history; the villages are 
content to endure it. We, after three years of war, not- 
withstanding Caporetto, solemnly and truly reaffirm all 
that was deep, pure and immortal in those days in May. 

Remember! It was just in the May of 1915 that Italy 
was not afraid of knowing how to live, because she was not 
afraid of knowing how to die ! 

The Mistake of May. But we made a great mistake then, 
that we have since paid for bitterly. We, who wished for 






THE MAN OF THE WAR 31 

the war, ought to have taken command of the situation. 
(Loud applause.) The Italian people — which is not the 
plebeian crowd which gets drunk in taverns, for twenty 
centuries of history have not civilised us for nothing — the 
Italian people had, even then, a vague apprehension of the 
dangers which threatened its mission. 

In the May of 1915 the nation as a whole presented a 
marvellous concentration of human force. We men of '84, 
when we forded the Upper Isonzo, thought that it was never 
again to be crossed by the Germans. When we gained the 
other side, with one accord we shouted: " Long live Italy! " 
(Loud applause from the whole assembly, who echo the 
cry.) It was fine human material which we handed over 
to those men who carried on war as if it were a tire- 
some task more tedious than the rest. We gave it over 
— for a war which, after twenty centuries of history, 
was the first war of the Italian people — to men who did 
not understand it; to men who represented the past; to 
bureaucrats who have spilled much too much ink over the 
trials and sufferings of the people. 

But we are here to say to you : Gentlemen ! the Germans 
are on the Piave, the Germans have broken down one gate 
of the Veneto and are in the process of breaking down the 
other. The moment has come to see if our hearts are made 
of steel. (Enthusiastic applause.) 

I know these soldiers, because, as a simple soldier myself, 
have lived among them, leading the life of a simple soldier, 
have seen them under all the different aspects of military 
ie. I have seen them in the barracks, in the hard, bare 
lilitary transports while going to the front, in the trenches, 
the dug-outs under ceaseless bombardment when the 
tells rained down death; I have seen them when every 
has stopped beating, awaiting the command of the 
icer, "Over the top"; I know them, these sons of Italy, 



32 THE MAN OF THE WAR 

and I tell you, they have not been merely soldiers, they 
have been saints and martyrs! (Loud burst of applause.) 

The Causes ofCafioretto. How then did Caporetto happen? 
Let us search our consciences courageously as a great people. 
Ah ! yes ! At first, it may have had a military reason, 
not later. Later we were face to face with a gigantic 
hallucination. (Applause.) Great words were, flashed across 
the horizon. The formulae of "salvation" had come from 
Russia, and from Rome came a fierce outcry against the 
war, saying that it was " a useless massacre." You cannot 
conceive the profound disturbance this outcry caused in 
the minds of the multitude. And, as if that were not enough, 
without anyone having the courage to take summary pro- 
ceedings against the authors, another sacrilegious message 
came from Parliament: "No more trenches next winter." 
And, it is true, we are not any longer in the trenches beyond 
the Isonzo; we are on this side of the Piave. 

Justice for All. All this was the result of a falsehood that 
lay at the bottom of our national life. The words "political 
liberty " had been said. Ah ! liberty to betray, to murder the 
country, to pour out more blood, as said the man in France. 
(General applause. Cries of " Long live Ctemenceau ! ") This 
political liberty is a paradox. It is criminal to think that 
men are requisitioned, dressed, armed and sent to be killed, 
whilst every liberty of speech and power of protest is 
denied them; that they are terribly punished for the 
slightest act or word not in keeping with given orders, 
while at the same time, behind, in the secret meeting-places, 
in the club-houses of brutalised drunkards, plans are allowed 
to be matured and words to be spoken which are death 
to the war. (Loud general applause.) 

But did you not feel, after 24th October, that there was 
a great change in us, both collectively and individually? 



THE MAN OF THE WAR 33 

Did you not feel that the vultures had torn away the flesh 
and fixed their claws in the open wounds? Did you not 
understand that we were going back to '66? Did you not 
take into account the danger that the military system of 
'66 would be accompanied by the same diplomatic 
manoeuvring which we have not yet expiated ? One does 
not deny one's country, one conquers it ! (Warm applause.) 

The Example of Russia. Take a lesson from what has 
happened in Russia. The Latin sages used to say that 
Nature does not work by sudden leaps. I think, on the 
contrary, that she does sometimes. But in Russia they 
wanted to make things move too fast. They got rid of 
Czarism in order to form the democratic republic of 
Rodzianko and Miliukoff. That was in itself a big step, 
and I pass over the intermediate action of the Grand Duke 
Michael. But, not satisfied with this republic, they 
wished to become more Socialist and called for Kerensky. 
Kerensky went, because he was a mere figurehead — 
(Laughter.) — and now there are other people who still want 
to make things move too fast. But now the Germans, 
under the pretence of a future pseudo-democracy, have un- 
masked their brutal and barbarous annexationist projects. 
At Petrograd, it is said, all citizens must dig trenches, and 
those falling under suspicion of vagabondage or espionage 
be shot immediately. 



- 



An Iron Policy. But meanwhile the Germans advance, 
and I think they are impelled by three motives: military, 
political and dynastic. I think that the Hohenzollerns 
propose to put the Romanoffs back on the throne. 
Well! I don't care if they do! As the Russian people have 
proved that they don't know how to live under a regime 
of liberty, let them live in slavery. But, in the meantime, 
the defection of the Russians increases our task. 



34 THE MAN OF THE WAR 

It is not the moment to bewail idly or to follow a weak 
policy. I seek ferocious men ! I want the fierce man who 
possesses energy — the energy to smash, the inexorable 
determination to punish and to strike without hesitation, 
and the higher the position of the culprit the better. (Loud 
applause from the assembly which understands the allusion.) 

You send the simple soldier, burdened with a family, 
full of cares, and whom you have never taught anything 
about the country, to court-martial because he has dis- 
obeyed some order. If you put this soldier with his back 
against the wall, I approve of what you do, because I am 
a believer in rigid discipline. But you must not have two 
kinds of law. If there is a general who infringes the 
Sacchi decree, strike him too. If there is a deputy who, 
after the experience of Caporetto, says again that war is 
a "useless massacre," I tell you that he, too, ought to b\ 
arrested and punished! (Ovation.) 

Whoever has been to the front and lived in the trenches, 
knows what an effect the reading of certain speeches and 
Parliamentary reports had upon the minds of the soldiers. 
The poor man in the trenches asked himself: "Why must 
I suffer and die, if they are still discussing at Rome whether 
there ought to be war, if those who are at the head of affairs 
there do not know whether or not it is a good thing to be 
fighting? " That is deplorable and criminal talk, gentlemen! 
And now, even after Caporetto, after defeat, irresponsible 
people are allowed to make public anti-war demonstrations. 
(Loud applause.) 

Ghosts/ After Caporetto men showed themselves again 
whom we thought to have swept away for ever. But we 
have driven them back into their holes, because we are still 
on our legs. 

Yes! Many of our comrades have not come back from the 



THE MAN OF THE WAR 35 

Carso and from among the Alps. But we carry their sacred 
memory in our hearts. I think of the indescribable torture 
of mind of those men of the Third Armata, when they had to 
abandon the Carso. I think they must have cried out, " For 
what reason, as the result of what unexpected catas- 
trophe, are we forced to abandon these rocks?" Because 
in the end one loves the tracks, the stones, the trenches 
and the dugouts among which men have lived and suffered. 
We love the Carso, this heap of stones dotted with little 
crosses which mark the graves of those fallen in the cause 
of the liberty of our country. (Applause.) We love the 
Carso, from which we can view the coveted coast-line, the 
riviera of our Trieste. We still carry, alive and splendid, 
the torch of the dead; the torch of those who fell in the face 
of the enemy. And we are not moved by motives of gain. 
We want clear and explicit recognition of the fact that we 
have done our duty. And we find ourselves still in the breach, 
that we may tell this people, in case they have forgotten, 
that there is no turning back. There is no possibility of 
choosing. Worry your brains as you will, there is nothing 
else to be done, nothing else can be thought of! 

r ntil Victory. The game is such that we must go on, 

mse there is no other solution than this; victory 

defeat! And it is the life or death of the nation 

it is at stake. Also those who assumed power with 

Eerent ideas, with the intention of mending the situation, 

ive had to change their minds. There is no turning back ; 

we must win! 

The warning has come from Russia. The Russian rulers 
ied to turn back and make peace. They have talked 
days, weeks and months without coming to any con- 
dons, because if Massimalism had sent lawyers more or 
smart, Prussia had sent armed generals who from 



3 6 THE MAN OF THE WAR 

time to time tapped the pavement with their swords so 
that German rights might be the better understood. Then 
they accepted peace. But Prussia, thirsty for land, the 
Prussia of the Hohenzollerns, insatiable and implacable, 
marches into Russia and occupies territory. 

If there is anybody to-day who does not wish for peace, 
who prevents talk of peace, who wants to continue the war, 
you must not seek him among the people, but at Berlin 
in the company of Hindenburg and Ludendorff. These are 
the enemies of mankind and to these one does not kneel. 
No ! the Latin race holds itself upright ! (Ovation.) 

We who desired the war and make it our boast that we 
did so, we who do not go humbly soliciting electoral divi- 
sions, we shall not follow the cowardly demagogic example 
of those who wish to ingratiate themselves with the people. 
Democracy does not signify descent. It means ascent. 
It means raising up those who are down. And so for all the 
sacred and youthful blood that has been shed, and that we 
have not forgotten, and for the sake of all that is still to be 
shed, let us renew the solemn pact of our faith in the 
certainty of victory. 

No! Italy will not die, because Italy is immortal! 
(Frantic applause.) 






THE MAN OF THE WAR 37 



THE FATAL VICTORY 

Speech delivered at the Teatro Comunale, Bologna, 24th May 191 8. 

On this occasion the principal speaker was the Editor of 77 Popolo 
d' Italia, who had recovered his physical efficiency after severe wounds 
received on the Carso, and had a real influence in securing victory 
because of the encouragement he gave to the spirit of resistance 
within the country. 

Bologna was then a stronghold of the opponents of war, on account 
of the net of political and syndicalist organisation stretching 
throughout the province, and of Socialist supremacy in the communes 
and dependent administrations. It is, unfortunately, well known 
that the State had by then ceased exercising any authority other 
than merely formal in this province. 

A mark of Socialist power, which proves also the profound anti- 
national feeling of the defeated politicians who to-day stammer so 
many lying excuses, is offered by the absolute prohibition of mani- 
festations calculated to glorify the Italian Army. 

Mussolini's speech at the "Comunale" temporarily reunited the 
sane sections of Bologna to the rest of Italy, then in great anxiety 
for her fate and future. 

Combatants and Citizens ! Will you allow me to pass over 
without unnecessary delay the polemics which preceded my 
coming to this city? If, as says our great poet Carducci, 
"one does not seek for butterflies beneath the arch of 
Titus," one does not seek for them either beneath the arches 
of this, our ancient and magnificent town of Bologna, 
especially as one would probably not find butterflies at all, 
but bats dazed and frightened by this glorious May sunshine. 
The form of my speech will not surprise you. In those 
days, three years ago, all the Italy that was conscious of 
life and possessed of will-power, the only Italy which has 
a right to transform her chaotic succession of events into 
history, burned with an intense ardour — our ardour. I 



38 THE MAN OF THE WAR 

have noticed now for some time that there are opportunists 
who are trying to open a door for eventual responsibilities 
and who are carefully and laboriously cataloguing the 
reasons why Italy could not remain neutral. 

Destiny and Will. Very well ! I admit that there has been 
fatality, I admit this compulsion, which was the result of 
a number of causes which it is useless to dwell upon, but I 
add that at a certain moment we imprinted the mark of 
our will upon this concatenation of events, and to-day, 
after three years, we are not penitent of what we have 
done. We leave this weak, spiritual attitude to those who 
seek applause, seats in Parliament, and personal satisfac- 
tion; those who thoroughly despise, as I do, all parlia- 
menteering and demagogism, are far away from all this. 

What Machiavelli says in chapter vi. of the Principe, 
about those who, by their own inherent qualities, at- 
tained the position of princes, Moses, Cyrus, Romulus 
and Theseus, can be applied not only to the individual, 
but to the nation. "And examining/' says the Florentine 
Secretary, "their lives and actions, one does not see that 
they had other fortune than that of the opportunity which 
gave them the material and enabled them to shape it as 
seemed best to them; and without that opportunity the 
virtue of their souls would have been lost, and without that 
virtue the opportunity would have come in vain." 

As to the Italian people in that glorious May, it 
can be said that without the opportunity of the war 
the virtue of our people would have been lost; but with- 
out this virtue the opportunity of the war would have 
come in vain. 

I have found an echo of the thought of Machiavelli in 
the book of Maeterlinck, the great Belgian poet, the poet 
who, perhaps, more than any of his contemporaries, has 



THE MAN OF THE WAR 39 

given expression to the most delicate and complex move- 
ments of the human soul. Maeterlinck in his book Wisdom 
and Destiny admits the existence of a mechanical, external 
fate, but says that a human being can react against it. 
"An event in itself/' he says in chapter viii. of this book, 
" is pure water which the fountain pours out over us, and 
which has not generally in itself either taste, colour or per- 
fume. It becomes beautiful or sad, sweet or bitter, life- 
giving or mortal, according to the soul which receives it. 
Thousands of adventures, all of which seem to contain 
the seeds of heroism, continually happen to those who sur- 
round us, whilst no heroism arises when the adventure 
is over. But Christ met a group of children in his path, 
an adulteress, a Samaritan, and three times in succession 
humanity rose to divine heights." The war has been as a 
jet of pure water for our nation. It has been deadly for 
Spain, for instance, but life-giving to us. We desired it. 
We chose. Before making our choice we argued and 
struggled, and the struggle sometimes assumed the aspect 
of violence; but we won, and now we are proud of 
those days, and are glad to think that the memory of 
the crowds which filled the streets and squares of our 
cities disturbs those who were defeated and those who even 
to-day, by the most insidious means, try to extinguish 
the sacred flame and the faith of our people. They accepted 
this war as one accepts a heavy burden, and their leader, 
followed by the curses of the people, withdrew, like an old 
feudal lord, to his remote native country, and we can only 
r ish that he will always remain there. 

Enough of Old Age! But, as I am never tired of repeating, 

young men made one fatal mistake then, which we have 

iid for bitterly; we entrusted this ardent youth of ours 

the most grievous old age. When I say old age, I do not 



4 o THE MAN OF THE WAR 

establish merely a chronological fact. I think some people 
are born old, that there are those at twenty who are in a 
mental and physical decline, whereas some men — the mar- 
vellous Tiger of France, for instance — at seventy have all 
the vibration and fire of virile youth. I speak of the old 
men who are old men, who are behind the times, who are 
encumbrances. They neither understood nor realised the 
fundamental truths underlying the war. 

Besides the people, the meaning of this war in its historical 
aspect and development has been perceived by two classes 
of men : the poets and the industrial world. By the poets, 
because with their extreme sensitiveness they grasp truths 
which remain half veiled to the ordinary person; and by 
the industrial world, because it understands that this war is 
a war of machines. Between the two let us also put the 
journalists, who have enough of the poet in them not to 
belong to the industrial world, and are enough of the in- 
dustrial world not to be poets. And the journalists have 
often forestalled the Government. I speak of the great 
journalists who keep their ears open, on the alert to catch 
vibrations from the outside world. The journalist has 
sometimes foreseen what those responsible, alas! have 
recognised too late. 

Quality versus Quantity. This war has so far been one of 
quantity. Now, it is realised that the masses do not beat 
the masses, an army does not vanquish an army, quantity 
does not overcome quantity. The problem must be faced 
from another point of view — that of quality. This war, 
which began by being tremendously democratic, is now 
tending to become aristocratic. Soldiers are becoming 
warriors. A selection is being made from the armed mass. 
The struggle, now carried on almost exclusively in the air, 
has lost the characteristics it had in 19 14. 



THE MAN OF THE WAR 41 

The first novelist who foresaw the problems of the war of 
quality was Wells. Read his book The War on Three 
Fronts. It is in this book that he advised the exploitation 
of the "quality" of the Latin and Anglo-Saxon races. Be- 
cause, whereas the Germans only work in close formation, 
only give good results* through the automatism of the 
masses, the Latin feels the joy of personal audacity, the 
fascination of risk, and has the taste for adventure; which 
taste, says Wells, is limited in Germany to the descendants 
of the feudal nobility, while with us it is to be found also 
among the people. 

Another truth which those responsible realised late was 
that, in order to win the armies, the people must be won, 
that is to say, that the armies must be taken in the rear. 
This would be difficult where Germany was concerned, as she 
is ethnically, politically and morally compact. But we are 
face to face with an enemy against whom we could have 
acted in this way from the very first. We ought to have 
penetrated the mosaic of the Austrian State. 



A Great People. Among the peoples who cannot be taken 
in the rear by surprise, is ours. My praise is sincere. The 
people in the trenches are great, and those who have not 
fought are great. For deficiency you must look among those 
old men of whom I spoke just now. 

I have lived among our brave soldiers in the trenches 
and listened to them talking in their little groups. I have 
seen them during their bad times and in epic moments 
of enthusiasm. And when, after the sad 24th October, there 
was a certain distrust of them, I would not allow it, because 
it seemed to me impossible that the soldiers, who had won 
battles in circumstances more difficult than those prevailing 
in any other theatre of war, had become all at once weak 
cowards, who fled at the mere crackling of a machine-gun. 



4 2 THE MAN OF THE WAR 

And it was not so, because if it had been, no river would 
have stopped the invading forces, and if we stopped them 
on the Piave, it means we could have resisted also on 
the Isonzo. (Applause.) 

I was reading in the train last night a book of poems 
written in the trenches by a Captain Arturo Arpigati. The 
literature of the war is the only readable literature, but it 
must have been written by men who have really been at 
the front. In this verse I recognised my one-time fellow- 
soldiers, the humble and great soldiers of our war. 
Here it is: 

Col vecchio suo magico sguardo 

il Dovere, mime d'acciaio 

gli inconsci anche soggioga. 

benche ne balbettino il nome, 

ecco, essi, la madre difendono 

ed e la madre di tutti ; 

e sono essi la Guerra, 

e sono essi la Fronte, 

sono essi la Vittoria; 

dai loro elmetti ferrei 

spicca il volo la gloria: 

essi martiri e santi, 

sono l'eroica Patria, essi. I Fanti ! 1 

But the highest praise of the people in arms is contained 
in the thousand bulletins of the Supreme Command. The 
unarmed also deserve praise, both those in cities — inevit- 
ably nervous and restless by reason of the association of 
thousands of human beings and the contact of thousands 
of temperaments — and those in the country. From the 
Valle Padana to the Tavoliere delle Puglie, from the vine- 

1 As of old, Duty, of the steel hand, enchains even the ignorant by 
the magic of her glance. While as yet they can barely stutter her name, 
lo! they defend their mother, who is the mother of all. 

And they are the war, and they are the battle front, and they are the 
victory. Glory is reflected from their steel helmets. 

They, the soldiers, are the martyrs and saints and the heroic country. 



THE MAN OF THE WAR 43 

clad hills of Montferrat to the plains of the Conca d'Oro, the 
houses of the peasants stand empty, and with the houses 
the stables. The women have seen the father and the 
son depart together, the thoughtful territorial of over forty 
and the adventurous youth. It is useless to expect from 
the humble people of the proletariat a highly developed 
sense of nationality. It cannot possess what we have never 
done anything to cultivate. From the people who have 
exchanged the spade for the gun we simply ask for obedience, 
and the Italian people, the people of the country and of 
the factories, obey. A sad episode, some signs of restlessness 
are not enough to spoil this picture. It had been said that 
we should not hold out six months; that at the announce- 
ment of the names of the dead the families would rebel; 
that the sight of the maimed at the street corners would 
rouse the people to action. Three years have now passed — 
three long years. The mothers of the fallen take a sacred 
pride in their grief. The maimed do not ask to be called 
"glorious," and refuse to be pitied. Food is scarce, but the 
people still resist. The troop trains go to the front adorned 
with flowers as in the May of 19 15. The dignity and peace 
in the towns and in the country is simply marvellous ! The 
national crisis, which lasted from August to October of 
1917, and which is summed up in the two names of Turin 
and Caporetto, has been in a certain sense salutary. It was 
the repercussion of the great crisis which hurled Russia 
into the abyss. 

The Russian Tragedy. Was there any definite motive 

the Leninist policy which led Russia to make the 

painful, forced and shameful Peace of Brest"? Yes! 

lere was. The massimalists really believe in the possi- 

)ility of revolution by "contagion." They hoped to infect 

ie Germans with the massimalist bacillus. They did 



44 



THE MAN OF THE WAR 



not succeed; Germany is refractory. The very "minori- 
taries" are far from proclaiming themselves Bolshevists. 
And more, these "minoritaries," who ought to represent 
the fermenting yeast, are continually losing ground. In 
three elections there have been three overwhelming 
defeats. The "majoritaries" triumph. They are the same 
now as in the August of 1914, accomplices of Pangermanism. 
They want to win. After Brest-Litowsk the Socialists 
lay low; after the Peace of Bucharest they kept silence. 

We have seen what have been the results in Russia of 
the Leninist gospel, we have seen how the German Socialists, 
who accepted "neither annexations nor indemnities and the 
right of the people to decide their own fate," have inter- 
preted this doctrine. The Germans took possession of 540,000 
square kilometres of territory in Russia with a population 
of fifty-five millions; then they went on to Roumania and 
plundered her. If the Peace of Brest-Litowsk was shameful 
for Russia, the Peace of Bucharest was not. The Roumanians 
were taken in the rear, and could not resist. 

In the meantime, Cicerin, the Commissioner of Foreign 
Affairs, made the wireless work. A cynic might remark that 
if the Roman Republic had a Cicero in a critical hour of her 
history, Russia has a Cicerin, whom, contrary to the former, 
nobody takes seriously, because it is impossible to take 
seriously those who do not know how to take up arms in 
the defence of their own rights. 

The Russian experiment has helped us enormously, both 
from the socialist and the political points of view. It has 
opened many eyes which had persistently remained closed. 
It must be realised that if Germany wins, complete and 
certain ruin awaits us. Germany has not changed her 
fundamental instincts. They are the same as those which 
Tacitus describes to perfection in his Germania in these 
words : "The Germans do not live in villages, but in separate 



THE MAN OF THE WAR 45 

houses, set wide apart the better to protect them against 
fire. To shield themselves from the cold, they live in under- 
ground dwellings covered with manure or clothe .themselves 
in the skins of small animals, of which they have a great 
number. Strong in war, but persistent drunkards and 
gamblers, armed with spears and well supplied with horses, 
they prefer to gain wealth, when it suits them, by violence 
rather than by the working of their lands." 

In his De Vita Julii Agricolce this Roman writer notes 
a contrast between the Germans and the Britons nineteen 
centuries ago which is still the same to-day, that is, that 
while the Britons fight for the defence of their country and 
their homes, the Germans fight for avarice and lust. These 
same tribes, driven once to Legnano, have resumed their 
march beyond the Rhine and are preparing once more 
to take up the offensive against us. But the "lust" of 
which Kuhlmann speaks will not carry the Germans beyond 
the Piave. 

We are on our Feet. According to German calculations, 
the Italian nation, as the result of Caporetto, ought to fall 
into a state of chaos. Instead, it is on its feet. What vicissi- 
tudes may not this last phase of the war bring with it? 
Will Germany, who has not been able to beat us by our- 
selves, beat the formidable combination of nations which 
faces her? 

We are one with France, whose soldiers have performed 
wonders of heroism. And this France, which we knew so 
little, because we had looked for her only in the cabarets 
of Montmartre, not frequented by Frenchmen at all but by 
adventurers from all over the world, has written for us the 
most splendid pages of heroic deeds. She has known how 
to rid herself of insidious dangers, to give the death- 
blow to the plotters of treachery, both great and small, 






46 THE MAN OF THE WAR 

and to make the rifles of the executionary squadrons crackle, 
a sound which, to one who loves his country, is sweeter 
than the harmonies of a great opera. Also we, in Italy, 
must act inexorably where traitors are concerned, if we are 
to defend our soldiers from attack from behind. Where the 
existence of the nation and of millions of men is involved, 
there cannot and must not be a moment's hesitation about 
sacrificing the lives of one, ten or a hundred men. 

We are one with England, who repeats the words of 
Nelson, "England expects that every man this day will 
do his duty." 

And we are one with the United States. This is Interna- 
tionalism, the real, true and lasting Internationalism, even 
if it has not got the formulas, dogmas and chrism of 
Socialism made official. It is in the trenches, where soldiers 
of different nationalities have crossed six thousand leagues 
of ocean to come and die in Europe. 

You must allow me to be optimistic about the out- 
come of the war. We shall win because the United States 
cannot lose, England cannot lose, France cannot lose. The 
United States has a population of no millions; one single 
levy can produce a million recruits. America, like England, 
knows that the wealth of society is at stake. 

As long as we are in this company there is no danger of 
a ruinous peace. Not to arrive at the goal of peace means 
to be crushed; but when we arrive there, we, too, can look 
the enemy in the face and say that we, too, small, despised 
people, army of mandolinists, have held out to the end, 
wept, suffered, but resisted, and have thus the right to a 
just and lasting peace! 

Convalescence. I am an optimist, and see the Italy of 
to-morrow through rose-coloured spectacles. Enough of the 
Italy of the hotel-keeper, goal of the idle with their odious 



THE MAN OF THE WAR 47 

Baedekers in their hands; enough of dusting old plaster- 
work ; we are and we wish to be a nation of producers. 

We are a people who will expand without aiming at con- 
quest. We shall gain the world's respect by means of our 
industries and our work. It will be the august name of 
Rome which will still guide our forces in the Adriatic, 
the Gulf of the Mediterranean, and in the Mediterranean, 
which forms the communication between three continents. 

Those who have been wounded know what convalescence 
means. There comes a day when the surgeon no longer 
takes his ruthless but life-giving knife from the tray, no 
longer tortures the suffering flesh. The danger of infection 
is over, and you feel yourself reborn. A second youth begins. 
Things, men, the voice of a woman, the caress of a child, 
the flowering of a tree — everything gives you the ineffable 
sensation of a return. New blood surges through your 
veins, and fills you with a feverish desire to work. 

The Italian people too will have its convalescence, and it 
will be a competition for reconstruction after destruction. 
The flag of the disabled is a symbol of a change in their 
moral and spiritual life. Just think that certain rascals 
thought to take advantage of them for their infamous 
speculations. But the disabled answered : " We will not lend 
ourselves to this shameful game, we do not intend to accept 
from your charity and sympathy help which would humili- 
ate us." And they do not curse their fate, they do not 
complain, even if they are without an arm or a leg; even 
those who have lost the divine light of their eyes hold their 
peace. In vain the enemy hoped to profit by the state 
of mind of these people. They reply to this by saying 
that all they had they gave for their country, and to- 
day they do not wish to be a burden upon her, and so 
they work and train themselves, and give further proof 
of their devotion to the sacred cause. 



48 THE MAN OF THE WAR 

The Returning Battalions. I no longer see relegated to 
some far future time the day upon which the banners of the 
disabled will precede the torn and glorious standards of the 
regiments. And around the standards will be collected 
the veterans and the people. And there will be the shadow 
of our dead, from those who fell on the Alps to those who were 
buried beyond the Isonzo, from those who stormed Gorizia 
to those who were mowed down between Hermada and the 
mysterious Timavo, or upon the banks of the Piave. All 
this sacred phalanx we sum up in three names: Cesare 
Battisti, who wished deliberately to face martyrdom, and 
who was never so noble as when he offered his neck to the 
Hapsburg executioner; Giacomo Venezian, who left the 
austere halls of your Athenaeum in order to go and meet his 
death upon the road to Trieste; and Filippo Corridoni, 
born of the people, a fighter for the people, and who died 
for the people on the first rocky ridges of the Carso. 

The returning battalions will move with the slow and 
measured tread of those who have lived and suffered much 
and who have seen innumerable others suffer and die. 
They will say, we shall say: 

"Here upon the track which leads back to the harvest 
field, here in the factory which now forges the instruments 
of peace, here in the tumultuous city and the silent country, 
now that the duty was done and the goal reached, let 
us set up the symbol of our new right. Away with shadows ! 
We, the survivors — we, the returned, vindicate our right to 
govern Italy, not to her destruction and decay, but in order 
to lead her ever higher, ever on, to make her — in thought 
and deed — worthy to take her place among the great 
nations which will build up the civilisation of the world 
to-morrow." 



HE MAN OF THE WAR 49 



"IN HONOUR OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE" 

Speech delivered at Milan on the occasion of the popular demon- 
stration of 8th April 19 18. 

The exaggerated welcome lavished upon President Wilson during 
his visit to Italy is well known ; and of all cities Milan accorded him 
the most generous hospitality. Benito Mussolini, who on that 
occasion was specially entrusted with the task of addressing the 
'President of the United States on behalf of the Lombard Asso- 
ciation of Journalists, had prepared the mind of the Milanese 
3ight months before, by a speech delivered in Piazza Cordusio, 
extolling the generous and brotherly effort of the great and vigorous 
American people. 

(Citizens! Time does not allow long speeches. I do not 
1 speak of time by the clock, but of historical time, which 
itor some few weeks has quickened its beat. To-day through- 
out Italy demonstrations are taking place worthy of this 
inique moment in the history of humanity. (Applause.) 

The people of Bergamo go to Pontida to renew the vows 
nade by the League of the Lombard Communes seven 
centuries ago, when they took the field against Barbarossa; 
it Rome an imposing demonstration is in progress beneath 
he shadow of the imperial walls of the Coliseum; while 
lere the people of Milan, by their numbers and enthusiasm, 
express the keen sympathy they feel for the noble American 
Democracy. It was a year ago to-day that America, having 
oyally waited for the Germans to come to their senses, 
insheathed her sword and joined the battle. (Applause.) 

Six thousand leagues of ocean have not prevented the 
Jnited States from fulfilling her definite duty. The im- 
>ortance of her intervention does not consist only in the fact 
hat America gives us, and will give us, men, ammunition 



5 o THE MAN OF THE WAR 

and provisions. There is something deeper in the intimate 
reassurance given us as men and civilised people, as America 
would never have embraced our cause if she had not been 
firmly convinced of the right and justice of it. (Applause.) I 

Citizens! It is for us a source of pride and satisfaction! 
to be associated with twenty-three other nations in thisf 
war against Prussian militarism. But it must also be a 
satisfaction for the United States to fight side by side with 
a great and powerful England which does not tremble 
before the varying chances of war; beside a France which 
is almost sublime in her heroism — (Applause.) — and beside 
the new Italy, which has now definitely taken her place in 
the world struggle. (Applause.) 

As Italy discovered America, so America and the rest of 
the New World must discover Italy, not only in the great 
towns, pulsating with life and humming with industry, 
but also in the country, where the humble labourers wait 
with quiet resignation for the dawn of a victorious and just 
peace to appear on the horizon. 

There cannot be anybody now, even the most ignorant, 
who can sincerely believe that Germany did not want the 
war, and that Germany does not wish to continue the wai 
in order that she may turn the world into a lot of hor- 
rible Prussian barracks. (Applause and cries of "Death 
to Germany!") 

This is. our conviction, and also the conviction of the 
Americans, a great people numbering more than a hundred 
million, who have a vast wealth at their command and whe 
have already submitted themselves to the magnificenl 
discipline of war. 

An old story comes into my mind. When Christophei 
Columbus turned the prows of his three poor little ship! 
towards unknown lands and far-off shores, there were those 
who called him mad and moonstruck; and certainly some 



THE MAN OF THE WAR 51 

times during those three months of wandering a sense of 
despair invaded the hearts of those men lost in the midst 
of the unknown ocean. But one morning the crew up aloft 
saw something new upon the horizon. It was a dark, vague 
line. They shouted "Land! Land!" and three months of 
misery were forgotten in one delirious moment. 

The day will come when from our blood-stained trenches 
will arise another such cry; the cry of "Victory! Victory!" 
And there will be the right and just peace for all the 
nations ! 

Citizens! On behalf of the Committee of the Wounded 
and Disabled Soldiers, I thank you for your solemn demon- 
stration and I ask you to join with me in giving three cheers 
for America and for Italy. (Warm applause and cheers.) 



52 



THE MAN OF THE WAR 



THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

Speech delivered at Milan, 20th October 191 8. 

Immediately after the end of the war a group of journalists and 
politicians, belonging for the most part to the Republican and Radical 
democracy, took the initiative in a movement supporting the future 
work of the League of Nations. Later, however, this initiative had 
to be abandoned by those who were loyal to victory, because it 
seemed clear to them that the pseudo -idealism of the Allies would 
prejudice the legitimate interests of the Italian nation. The following 
speech, however, shows clearly the generosity of Italian ex-soldiers 
disappointed by the realism of other countries' national aspirations. 

The Executive Committee of the Wounded and Disabled 
Soldiers has asked me to speak on the order of the day- 
expressing support of the* idea of the League of Nations, 
which, already preconceived in Italy, is now so nobly 
advocated by President Wilson, and which proclaims the 
determination of the Italian people to co-operate effectively 
in bringing about its realisation. I shall do so shortly, 
as the question is not new, but is already understood 
throughout the country. 

The disabled soldiers have taken the initiative, and it| 
is significant, as only those who have suffered most from the! 
war have the right to say what the peace ought to be, not 
those who have wilfully opposed it and would have led us 
to defeat or — not wishing that the people should suffer 
defeat — to continuous war. 

This is the hour particularly suited to the discussion of 
these problems. Already a League of Nations seems to be 
in the process of realisation; in the trenches the different 
peoples are mixed up and are associating with each other. 



THE MAN OF THE WAR 53 

The humblest peasant, dreaming of return to his native 
village after the hard experiences of the trenches, has 
widened his spiritual horizon and, for a time, breathes a 
world atmosphere. 

In the other nations, the question has already come under 
discussion in the papers, the universities and the Parlia- 
ments. It could be said that Italy was behindhand, but we 
might reply that in a certain sense we have forestalled the 
others. There have been epochs in our history when Italian 
thought has been almost too universal, but I think perhaps 
at those times the universality of our literature, our philo- 
sophy, our art, of our spirit, in fact, was our highest and 
noblest title to greatness. 

But, without returning to the Middle Ages, two men of 
the nineteenth century, Cattaneo and Mazzini, prove that 
Italian thought led, and that the other nations followed 
the furrow we were the first to plough. 

This war may be divided into two periods: the first, 
from the outbreak of hostilities to the American intervention ; 
the second, from the American intervention up to to-day. 
In the first, the war has a national and territorial character. 
The names of Metz, Trento, Fiume and Zara occur frequently, 
and can be said to sum up our aims. The territorial ques- 
tions come first. The systemised jurisdiction of the world 
is not yet spoken of; the war is world-wide in its direct 
and indirect repercussion in as far as England has already 
made use of her colonies, since Australians and Indians 
came to fight in Europe, but it is not yet world-wide in 

;i its extension and aims. The second period began with the 
April of '17. Already, in the first period, English poli- 

)i ticians had begun to disregard the territorial problems; 

>e but this process was shaped, hurried on and definitely 
settled by the intervention of America. But in my modest 
opinion, the national and territorial questions must not be 



54 



THE MAN OF THE WAR 



underrated too much; that would be to play into the hands 
of the anti-war agitators and the Germans. These are 
questions of justice. It is a good thing to remember 
that Wilson, in all his messages, though he certainly made 
a transposition of values, never failed to establish that 
vindication of national rights, without which the settlement 
of Europe and the world of to-morrow in general could 
have no definite meaning. 

When we speak of a League of Nations we must take 
into account certain dispositions. Cesare Lombroso used 
to divide men into two categories: the " misoneists " 
and the " philoneists " : the misoneists, who accept the 
revealed truths, lean upon them and sleep upon them; 
the philoneists, who are restless, impatient spirits and as 
necessary to the world as the wheels and shafts to a cart. 
For the first the so-called kingdom of the impossible has 
always extensive boundaries, but the war has enormously 
reduced that kingdom. That which yesterday was a misty, 
fantastic Utopia, to-day has become reality and fact. 

Our enemies talk too much about the League of Nations. 
There are furious " Wilsonites" of the latest kind in Austria 
and in Germany. Now I must say that seeing this kind 
of people bleating like lambs makes a certain impression 
on me. (The simile is that of a Republican German paper 
printed at Berne.) They are the same who burnt the cities 
of Belgium, who sank ships without leaving a trace, or gave 
orders to that effect ; they are the same who carried off men 
and women in their retreat. They shout " League of 
Nations," but we cannot be mixed up with them. There 
is evidently an underlying motive. But they will be 
unmasked by the victorious armies of the Entente. 

Some people say, Would not this League of Nations 
be a substitute for victory? No! on the other hand, it 
presupposes victory. Wilson has talked of absolute victory. 



THE MAN OF THE WAR 55 

It is said, in a Socialist review, that a League of Nations 
is impossible if the Allies gain a military victory, because 
the desire for revenge would lurk in the depths of the 
German mind. Now there are three hypotheses as regards 
the way in which the conflict may end. The first is the 
victory of the enemy, and this has already fallen through. 
If this had come about, there would not have been a League 
of Nations, but a master at Berlin and slaves in the rest of 
Europe, which would then have become a German colony. 
The second is a war which ends in neither victory nor 
defeat; and this is the most repugnant and inhuman of 
all, as it would leave all the problems unsolved, and give 
a peace which was only a truce. The third is the solution 
which is now shaping itself gloriously upon the horizon — 
our victory. There is no danger of the spirit of revenge 
being fostered by the Germans to-morrow, because we allies 
in war would remain allies in peace. Germany will find 
herself face to face with the same coalition which defeated 
her, and will have to resign herself to the fait accompli. 
The League of Nations will be formed without Germany, 
against Germany, or with Germany when she has ex- 
piated her crime by being defeated. 

Some people say: " Does it not seem very dangerous to 
go back to universality, after the experiences of the past? " 
Ernest Renan must have been up against this problem when 
he wrote: "The nation which entertains problems of the 
religious and social order is always weak. Every country 
which dreams of a kingdom of God, lives on general ideas 
and carries out work in the interests of the universe, sacri- 
fices through this its own particular destiny and weakens 
and destroys its efficiency as a territorial power. It was 
thus with Judea, Greece and Italy. It will, perhaps, be 
thus with France." 

Renan was a great man, but his prophecy has not been 



56 THE MAN OF THE WAR 

fulfilled. France during the nineteenth century entertained 
universal ideas, but with the outbreak of war she recovered 
her national spirit. Internationalism may be dangerous when 
a single nation advocates it, but to-day all the nations of the 
world are seeking each other, in order to lay the foundations 
of a lasting and pacific means of co-existence. Besides 
this, the racial, historical and moral sense of every nation 
has been developed by the war. It is not a paradox but 
a reality that the war, while it has made us find ourselves 
and exalted the national spirit, has, at the same time, 
carried us beyond those boundaries which we have defended 
and conquered. 

There is no danger of the levelling of the national spirit 
as the result of contact with other nations. Solid foundations 
are needed for national unity, and for this reason the con- 
dition of the working classes must be raised. No nation 
can become greater in which there are enormous masses 
condemned to the conditions of life of prehistoric humanity. 

Another paradox of this war is that the nations fighting 
against the Germans have not yet formed a peace alliance. 
The peace manifesto to the peoples of the world ought to 
have come from Versailles. This could help, among other 
things, to make the German crisis more acute. It has not 
been done yet. The people intuitively felt the necessity. 
Sometimes truths are arrived at more quickly by intuition 
than by reasoning, and the people felt that that was the 
path to follow. And we are upon that path to-day. Not 
long ago Clemenceau said that the liberation of France 
must be the liberation of humanity. 

It is true that to put the idea of the League of Nations 
into practice would present difficulties, especially at first. 
According to me the problems which will have to be faced 
and solved are of a political, economic, military and 
colonial order. In a month's time you will have reports 



THE MAN OF THE WAR 



57 



upon these subjects, and I do not wish to tire you with 
hasty anticipations. 

We have arrived at a decisive point in history. While 
we are gathered here the battle is raging; there are millions 
and millions of men who are fighting their last fight. Let 
us swear that all this has not been in vain, but that these 
sacrifices must mark a new phase in the history of humanity. 
Let us say to ourselves that all that can be tried will be 
tried, in order to make the purple flower of liberty spring 
from the blood shed in the cause of freedom, and that 
justice shall reign sovereign over all the peoples of the 
renewed world ! 



58 THE MAN OF THE WAR 



IN CELEBRATION OF VICTORY 

Speech delivered at Milan, nth November 191 8, before the 
Monument of the " Cinque Giornate." 

Milan, notwithstanding its multi-coloured local Socialism, had 
ever remained the burning heart of the country's resistance and 
spent herself lavishly for the war. On the morrow of the memorable 
day of Vittorio Veneto she gave herself up to unrestrained mani- 
festations of patriotic joy. 

Benito Mussolini — the ardent advocate of intervention in the 
harassing times gone by, the indomitable fighter in the Carso 
trenches, and the fervent advocate of resistance in the hour in which 
the enemy's friends were crying for "peace at any price " — Benito 
Mussolini may well be considered as one of the principal artificers 
of victory. 

The people of Milan felt this in the triumphant rejoicings and 
the Editor of II Popolo d' Italia was acclaimed by public gratitude 
for his part in the union of hearts. 

My brothers of the trenches, Citizens ! I have never before 
felt my inefficiency as an orator as deeply as I do now in the 
face of the greatness of the events and your memorable 
and imposing manifestation. What can I say to you, when 
this manifestation is already more than a speech, a hymn — 
more than a hymn, an epos ? 

We have arrived at this day after many hardships. I 
see here, gathered round the monument of the Cinque 
Giornate, which is the altar of Milan, those who fought 
first and last, those of the trenches who are the survivors 
of the sacrifice of devotion, who marked with their blood 
the destinies of the country, and the disabled who feel 
themselves no longer maimed since Italy has become great. 
I see beside them the refugees, who will soon return to their 
lands and deserted hearths. I remember what I said last 



HE MAN OF THE WAR 59 

we must love these brothers of ours, warm them by 
firesides, and still more in our hearts. And I see the 

►pie of Milan joined together like all the Italian people 

a superb act of love. 

How many different events in the course of a year! Do 
you remember these days a year ago? Do you remember 
last year at the Scala when we swore that the Germans 
should not pass the Piave ? And they did not pass, and the 
then line of resistance became afterwards the line of advance 
towards victory. Even in the darkest hours I did not des- 
pair, and paid homage to the fighters. We saw in those days 
the first "poilus" and "tommies"; it was the Entente 
coming to cement the Alliance in our trenches. After a year 
of faith and sacrifice has come victory. 

We think with gratitude of the fine leaders who led 
■S on to victory, but also, still more, of the anonymous 
mass of soldiers, our marvellous people, who resisted the 
invasion on the Piave, and from the Piave sprang forward 
to rout the enemy. 

Remember it here — here where we held the first meeting 
for war — here, with Filippo Corridoni. (The crowd give a 
prolonged ovation to the memory of Filippo Corridoni.) 
We wanted the war, because we were obliged to want it, 
because it was imposed by historical necessity. To-day we 
have realised all our ideals; we have secured our national 
aims ; the Italian flag to-day flies from the Brenner to 
Trieste and Fiume and Italian Zara. We did not know then 
that there were Italian infantry on the other side of the 
Adriatic. Now, in all the cities and villages on the eastern 
shore, the Italians have planted the flag of their country, 
because that shore, which is Italian, must remain Italian. 

I We have also accomplished the international aims of our 
ir. When we said, four years ago, that the red flag must 



60 THE MAN OF THE WAR 

madness. To-day the Kaiser has fled, and with the passing 
of the Hohenzollerns passes militarism. 

The most magnificent political panorama which history 
records unfolds itself before the eyes of the astonished 
world. Empires, kingdoms and autocracies crumble like 
castles built with cards. Austria no longer exists ; to-morrow 
there will no longer be Imperialist Germany. We, with the 
sacrifice of our blood, have given the German people liberty, 
while the German people have made a holocaust of their 
blood in order to deliver us over to the chain of imperialism 
and military slavery. Upon the ruins of the old world is 
outlined the dream of a League of Nations. 

Victory must also see the realisation of the aims of war 
within the country — that is to say, the redemption of labour. 
From now onwards the Italian people must be the arbiters 
of their destinies, and labour must be redeemed from 
speculation and misery. 

Citizens ! At Trento there is the statue of Dante with his 
hand outstretched towards the Alps. It seemed before 
that the reproach of the great poet: 

Ahi ! serva Italia, di dolore ostello, 
Nave senza nocchiero in gran tempesta, 1 

rang out admonishing the country. But Italy to-day is 
no longer a slave, she is the mistress of herself and her future. 
She is no longer a rudderless ship in a storm, because a 
glorious horizon has been opened up by her victory. 

And the people are the rudder of this ship, which, between 
three seas and three continents, sails serenely and securely 
towards the port of supreme justice in the light of the 
redeemed humanity of to-morrow. (Prolonged applause.) 

1 Alas ! Slave Italy, the home of all griefs, 
A ship without rudder in a great storm. 



PART III 



USSOLINI THE " FASCISTA FRIEND 
OF THE PEOPLE" 



MUSSOLINI THE "FASCISTA FRIEND OF 
THE PEOPLE" 

WORKMEN'S RIGHTS AFTER THE WAR 

Speech delivered 20th March 1919 before the workmen of Dalmine. 

The episode of Syndicalist strife, during which the present Prime 
Minister addressed a crowded meeting of ironworkers, is often re- 
called as a kind of reproach by Italian Socialists. They would like 
to attribute to Mussolini and to Fascista Syndicalism the initial 
responsibility for that dark period in our national life which had its 
dramatic expression in the occupation of the factories. 

But the methods of protest adopted by the patriotic Italian 
workmen of Dalmine (Bergamo), although primitive on account of 
the moral immaturity and technical incapacity of the proletariat at 
that time, were provoked by the insolence of employers. For the rest, 

Ie protest was kept within the bounds of correct and calm expression. 
A significant item in the story, which reveals the state of mind 
the workers, is the following: tricolour flags, which were then 
jquently insulted by organisations of workmen under the thumb 
the Socialist Party, flew from all chimney-tops during the occupa- 
ion of Dalmine works, while in the workshops below the work itself 
)bbed cheerfully and briskly. 

have often asked myself if, after the four years of terrible 
tough victorious war in which our bodies and minds have 
in engaged, the masses of the people would return to 
love in the same old tracks as before, or whether they 
rould have the courage to change their direction. Dalmine 
answered. The order of the day voted by you on Mon- 
day is a document of enormous historical importance, 
which will and must give a general direction to the line 
taken by all Italian labour. 
The intrinsic significance of your action is clearly set 

Irth in the order of the day. You have acted on the grounds 
class, but you have not forgotten the nation. You have 



s~"R 



64 THE FRIEND OF THE PEOPLE 

spoken for the Italian people, and not only for those of your 
class of metal-workers. In the immediate interests of 
your category you might have caused a strike in the old 
style, the negative and destructive style; but, thinking 
of the interests of the people, you have inaugurated the 
creative strike which does not interrupt production. You 
could not deny the nation after having fought for her, 
-when half a million men have given their lives for her. 
he nation, for which this sacrifice has been made, cannot 
be denied, because she is a glorious and victorious reality. 
You are not the poor, the humiliated, the rejected, as the old 
rhetorical sayings of the Socialists would have you be ; you 
are the producers, and it is in this capacity that you vindicate 
your right to treat the industrial owners as equals. You 
"are teaching some of them, especially those who have 
ignored all that has occurred in the world in the last 
four years, that for the figure of the old industrial magnate, 
odious and grasping, must be substituted that of the 
industrial captain. 

You have not been able to prove your capacity for 
creation, on account of shortness of time and of the con- 
ditions made for you by the industrial leaders; but you have 
proved your good-will, and I tell you that you are on the 
right road, because you are freed from your protectors, 
and have chosen from among yourselves the men who are 
to direct you and represent you, and to them only you have 
entrusted the guardianship of your rights. 

The future of the proletariat is a question of will-power 
and capacity; not of will-power only and not of capacity 
only, but of both together. You are free from the yoke 
of political intrigue. Your applause tells me that it is true. 
I am proud of having fought for intervention. If it were 
necessary, I would carve in capital letters upon my forehead, 
so that all cowards might see, that I was among those in 



THE FRIEND OF THE PEOPLE 65 

the glorious May of '15 who demanded that the shame of 
the neutral Italy of those days should cease. 

Now that the war is over, I, who have been in the trenches, 
and witnessed daily for long months the revelation, in every 
sense, of the valour of the sons of Italy — I say, to-day, that it 
is necessary to go out and meet the returning workers and 
those, who were no shirkers, who laboured in the factories 
with minds open to the necessities of the hour. And those 
who do not see this necessity, involved by the new order 
of things, or deny it, are either stupid or deluded. 

I have never asked, and to-day less than ever, anything 
from you or anybody. And so I have no anxiety or 
misgivings as to the effect that my words will have upon 
you. I tell you that your action has been original, and 
is worthy, on account of the motives of sympathy which 
inspired it. 

Another observation. Upon the flagstaff of your building 
you have run up your flag, which is the tricolour, and around 
it you have fought your battle. You have done well. The 
national flag is not merely a rag, even if it has been dragged 
in the mud by the bourgeoisie, or by their representatives ; 
it still remains the symbol of the sacrifice of thousands and 
thousands of men. For its sake from 1821 to 1918 innumer- 
able bands of men suffered privation, imprisonment and 
the gallows. Around it during these years, while it was the 
rallying-point of the nation, was shed the blood of the 
flower of our youth, of our sons and brothers. It seems to 
me that I have said enough. 

As regards your rights, which are just and sacred, I am | 
with you. I have always distinguished the mass which 
works from the party which assumes the right, nobody 
knows why, of representing it. I have sympathy with all 
the working classes, not excluding the "General Federation 
of Labour," though I feel myself more drawn towards the 



66 THE FRIEND OF THE PEOPLE 

* "Italian Union of Workmen." But I say that I shall not 
cease fighting against the party which during the war was 
the instrument of the Kaiser. They wish at your expense 
to try their monkey-like experiments, which are only an 
imitation of Russia. But you will succeed, sooner or later, 
in exercising essential functions in modern society, though 
the political dabblers of the bourgeoisie and semi-bourgeoisie 
must not make stepping-stones of your aspirations so as to 
arrive at winning their little games. 

They may have said what they liked to you about me, I 
do not mind. I am an individualist, who does not seek 
companions on his journey. I find them, but I do not seek 
them. While this despicable speculation of the jackals 
rages, you, obscure workers of Dalmine, have cleared the 

V way. It is labour which speaks in you, and not an idiotic 
dogma or an intolerant creed. It is that labour which in 
the trenches established its right to be no longer con- 
sidered as labour, necessarily accompanied by poverty 
and despair, because it must bring joy, pride in creation, 
and the conquest of free men in the great and free 
country of Italy within and without her boundaries, 
(Enthusiastic applause.) 



THE FRIEND OF THE PEOPLE 67 



SACRIFICE, WORK, AND PRODUCTION 

Speech delivered at Milan, 5th February 1920, before the Fascio 
Milanese Combattimento. 

If it were possible, before voting on the orders of the day, 
to put into practice the system of democracy, we ought to 
have summoned the Assembly. But when events follow 
one another with lightning speed, it is not possible to 
carry out this system of absolute Democracy. 

We have, therefore, voted the orders of the day, and 
wait for you to ratify them. We have brought forward 
three, and done so from a point of view essentially Fascista. 
I dare to say that one is born a Fascista, and that it is diffi- 
cult to become one. All the other parties and associations 
argue on a basis of dogmas and from the standpoint of 
definite preconceptions and infallible ideals. We, being an 
anti-party, have no preconceptions. We are not like the 
Socialists, who always think that the working masses are 
in the right, and we are not like the Conservatives, who 
think that they are always in the wrong. We have got 
above all this and have the privilege of moving on the 
ground of pure objectivity. Voting these "orders of the 
day," after a serious and elaborate discussion, we have kept 
before us three classes of facts or elements. First, we have 
kept in mind the general interests of the nation, particularly 
as regards the recent strikes. Secondly, we have considered 
the subject of production, because if we kill production, if 
to-day we render sterile the fount of economic activity, 
to-morrow there will be universal poverty. Thirdly, we 
have been guided, in voting these orders of the day, by 
disinterested love for the working classes. 



68 THE FRIEND OF THE PEOPLE 



f. 



All must sacrifice themselves. I agree with those who 
recommend the spirit of sacrifice also to the working classes; 
I agree, because we do not only say to the working men 
that they must wait, while still working, for better times 
to come in order to break the vicious circle in which they 
move; we also say that, generally speaking, cagrtaj^must 
/decontrolled. In this connection I announce to you that in 
a short time a manifesto will be issued in which it 
will be once more asserted that, in order to solve the 
financial problem, it is necessary to resort to a three- 
fold measure: first, the partial confiscation of all wealth 
over a certain amount; secondly, the heavy taxation of 
inheritance, and thirdly, the confiscation of super war profits. 

No Pessimism. I am not a bit pessimistic about the future 
of the Italian nation. If I were, I should retire from public 
life. But as I am profoundly optimistic, I think that with 
the January strikes over we have passed the critical perioc 
of our social crisis. 

You will tell me that February has not brought much 
light; we have the strike of 50,000 textile workers be- 
longing to the Popular Party, which shows that black 
Bolshevism has the same destructive and anti-social char- 
acter as the other Bolshevism. But it seems to me that the 
social crisis is stabilising itself while awaiting solution. 
If we can get over these next six or eight months without 
catastrophe, if we can increase our trade with the East, 
if the workmen can be made to understand that we cannot 
take our money there but must send our manufactured 
goods, and that only thus will the high rate of living be 
diminished, because only from the East come those raw 
materials of which we stand in need, it is certain that the 
workmen will repudiate the more destructive than con- 
structive weapon of strikes and settle down to serious work. 



THE FRIEND OF THE PEOPLE 69 

Sure Repentance. Our position as regards the syndicalist 
movement is not reactionary, as has been said by some pur- 
| posely malicious adversary. I wrote some very bitter articles 
during the strikes, but these articles, which were so in- 
criminating, brought me approval which was very signifi- 
cant. If there is a man in the Italian Union of Workmen 
who has worked seriously, it is the republican Carlo Bazzi, 
who has recently founded the Syndicate of Co-operation, 
which is the necessary counterwork to the Socialist co- 
operative movement. Now Bazzi wrote my brother 1 a letter 
which contained these words : " I fully subscribe to Mussolini's 
article ' You are immortal, Cagoia.' " This is enough for me. 
But, at the same time, I do not require that everybody shall 
agree with me, and that there shall be no one who differs. 
I am always ready to persuade myself of my mistake when 
I am in the wrong. But I do not think that our work can 
be valued now. I think that within five or six months' time 
there will be quite a few Socialists who will recognise 
that I am the only Socialist that there has been in Italy 
for the last five years; and I am not being paradoxical, 
even if I add that the Socialist Party on the whole is detest- 
able. I think, too, that a great many elements of the 
Centre and followers of Turati are beginning to recognise 
it even now, and that in a short time the working classes 
will admit that the days of 15th April and 20th-2ist 
July, with all our violent opposition, were providential and 
miraculous, because, having put the stake between the 
| wheels of the runaway coach, we prevented that what has 
; happened in Hungary should happen in Italy. 

Production necessary. To-day it is said that poverty 
l should not be socialised, but that is what we said two years 
ago, just as to-day it is said that there must be increased 
1 Arnaldo Mussolini, Editor of 77 Popolo d' Italia. 



7 o THE FRIEND OF THE PEOPLE 

production, as we said two years ago. And when history 
comes to be written, as it will be shortly, then our work 
will be judged very differently from that of the Socialists 
and the responsible elements in the working classes. 

The discussion of this evening, I think, might end with 
a declaration upon these four points: 

i. The meeting ratifies the "orders of the day " voted by 
the Executive Committee and the Central Committee. 

2. The meeting reaffirms its solidarity with the just 
demands of the postal telegraphists and the railway men and 
all the State employees (because I have never been tired of 
repeating that we are against the strike, but not against the 
demands of the staff). 

3. The meeting votes a warning to the Government that 
the working of the State services must be made really 
efficient, whether it be by removing the bureaucratic manage- 
ment or by industrialisation. (And I think that autono- 
mous organisations can be formed of the postal, telephone 
and railway services, in which the agents would have a 
large direct representation.) 

4. Finally, the meeting votes its sympathy with all the 
working-class elements who are agitating against the Socialist 
Party and urges them to gather together in a compact body 
so that, though hitherto it has not been possible, from to- 
day onwards it may be possible, even in Italy, to live and 
work and struggle without being slaves to the new 
tyrannies, without the necessity of being compelled to 
become a mere member in a flock of membership card- 
holders like a flock of sheep. 



fHE FRIEND OF THE PEOPLE 71 



"WE ARE NOT AGAINST LABOUR, BUT AGAINST 
THE SOCIALIST PARTY, IN AS FAR AS IT 
REMAINS ANTI-ITALIAN" 

Speech delivered at Milan, 24th May 1920, at the second National 
Fascista meeting. 

The following is not a conventional speech, but represents a 
sincere act of faith, made in the darkest hour through which Italy 
passed, the hour which followed upon the sweeping electoral and 
political triumphs of 1919, when communal and provincial adminis- 
trations were divorced from the Liberal policies. 

The subversive newspapers of the day regarded that second 
Fascista meeting as a useless attempt at galvanisation, since the 
movement which was destined later to conquer the State seemed 
then merely to lead to a blind alley. Such is the futility of news- 
paper prophecies ! 

Words, at certain times, can be facts. Let us act, then, in 
such a way that all the words we utter now may be 
potential facts to-day, and reality to-morrow. 

Five years ago, at this time, popular enthusiasm burst 
forth in all the streets and squares of the towns of Italy. 
Looking back now and studying the documents of those 
times, I can state, with certainty and a clear conscience, 
that the cause of intervention was not taken up by the 
so-called middle classes, but by the best and healthiest 
part of the Italian people. And when I say the people, 
I mean also the proletariat, because nobody could imagine 
that the thousands and thousands of citizens who followed 
Corridoni were all from the middle class. I remember that 
me Agricultural Chamber of Labour, that of Parma, declared 
favour of intervention on the part of Italy with a great 
lajority. And even admitting that the war was a mistake, 
mich I do not admit, he who scorns the sacrifice which 
been made is despicable, 



7 2 THE FRIEND OF THE PEOPLE 

If you want to go back and make a critical examination, 
I am ready to argue with anybody and to maintain : First, 
that the war was desired by the Central Powers, as has been 
confessed by the politicians of the German Republic and 
confirmed by the imperial archives. Secondly, that Italy 
could not have remained neutral, and thirdly, that if she 
had, she would find herself, to-day, in a worse condition 
than she actually does. 

On the other hand, we who intervened must not be sur- 
prised if the sea is tempestuous. It would be absurd to 
expect that a nation which had just passed through so 
grave a crisis would recover itself in twenty-four hours. 
And when you think that after two years we have not yet 
got our peace, when you think of the weakness of those who 
govern us, you will realise that certain crises of doubt are 
yf inevitable. But the war gave that which we required of it — 
it gave us victory. 

Let us idealise Labour. When, not long ago, you hissed the 
song of the sickle and the hammer, you certainly did not 
mean to disdain these two instruments of human labour. 
There is nothing more beautiful and noble than the sickle, 
which gives us our bread, and nothing finer than the hammer, 
which shapes metals. We must not despise manual work. 
We must understand that if it is overrated to-day, it is 
because mankind, as a whole, is suffering from a lack of 
material goods. It is natural, therefore, that those who 
-'P produce these necessaries are excessively overrated. We 
^do not represent a reactionary element. We tell the masses 
not to go too far, and not to expect to transform society 
by means of something which they do not understand. If 
there is to be transformation, it must come when the his- 
torical and psychological elements of our civilisation have 
been taken into account. 



JTHE FRIEND OF THE PEOPLE 73^. 

Let us unmask the Deceivers. We do not intend to oppose 
, the movement of the working classes, only to unmask the 
work of mystification which is carried on by a horde of 
i middle-class, lower-middle-class and pseudo-middle-class 
l men, who think that they have become the saviours of 
humanity by the mere fact of being possessed of a card of 
[membership. "We are not against the proletariat, but] 
I against the Socialist Party in as far as it continues to be anti- j 
Italian." The Socialist Party continued, after the victory^ 
to abuse the war, to fight against those who had been in 
favour of intervention, threatening reprisals and excom- 
munication. Well, I, for my part, shall not give way. I 
I laugh at excommunication, and as for reprisals, we shall 
i answer with sacred reprisals. But we cannot go against 
the people, because the people made the war. We cannot 
look askance at the peasants, who to-day are agitating for 
the solution of the land question. They commit excesses, 
but I ask you to remember that the backbone of the infantry 
was the peasantry. 

Repentance. We do not deceive ourselves by thinking 
that we shall succeed in sinking completely the now 
wrecked ship of Bolshevism. But I already note signs of 
repentance. I think that some day the working classes, 
tired of letting themselves be duped, will turn to us, recog- 
nising that we have never flattered them, but have always 
ftold them the brutal truth, working really in their interests, 
to-day, Italy has not fallen into the Hungarian abyss, 
is due to us, because we have saved them by active 
interposition and by our life. 

We have then one clear duty, which is to understand the 
social phenomenon which is developing before our eyes, 
and to fight the deceivers of the people and maintain a sure 
and immovable faith in the future of the nation. 



74 THE FRIEND OF THE PEOPLE 

Towards Equilibrium. There has been a period of 
lassitude on the morrow of all great historical crises. But 
afterwards, little by little, the tired muscles recover. All 
that which before was neglected and despised becomes 
once more honoured and admired. To-day nobody wants 
to talk of war, and it is natural. But when a certain 
period of time has elapsed, things will change, and a large 
part of the Italian people will recognise the moral and 
material value of victory, they will honour those who fought 
and will rebel against those Governments which do not 
guarantee the future of the nation. All the people will 
honour the great "arditi." It was the "arditi" who went 
to the trenches singing, and if we returned from the Piave 
and the Isonzo, if we still hold Fiume, and are still in 
Dalmatia, it is due to them. 

Three martyrs, among the thousands who were conse- 
crated to the war, clearly denned what were to be the 
destinies of the nation. Battisti tells us that the boundary 
of Italy should be at the Brenner; Sauro that the Adriatic 
must be an Italian sea and commercially Italo-Slav; while 
Rismondo tells us that Dalmatia is Italian. Very well! 
Let us swear upon the standard which bears the sign of] 
death, of that death which gives life, and the life which does j 
not fear death, to keep faith to the sacrifice of these martyrs! | 
(Loud applause.) 






HE FRIEND OF THE PEOPLE 75 



FASCISMO'S INTERESTS FOR THE WORKING 
CLASSES 

Speech delivered at Prato della Marfisia in Ferrara, 4th April 1921. 

The manifestations of enthusiasm culminating in the meeting at the 
Prato della Marfisia solemnly confirmed the triumphant develop- 
ment of Fascismo at Ferrara, the red province par excellence. On 
that occasion some fifty thousand contadini, who had come on foot 
from the remotest centres of the vast province, spent the day 
acclaiming the "leader of the black shirts" and the new faith in 
Italy. A noteworthy feature was that many red flags belonging to 
the disbanded and defeated Socialist leagues were deposited before 
Mussolini and thereupon trampled underfoot by the crowd. 

People of Ferrara ! and I say people intentionally, because 
that which I see before me now is a marvellous gathering 
of the people, in both the Roman and Italian sense of the 
word. I see among you children who are upon the thres- 
hold of life, and not long ago I shook hands with an old 
Garibaldian, a survivor of that heroic Italy which was 
born at Nola in 1821, when two cavalry officers hoisted the 
flag of liberty against the Bourbons, and which triumphed 
at Vittorio Veneto with the great and magnificent victory 
of the Italian people. I see also among you factory hands 
and their brothers of the fields. 

We, Fascisti, have a great love for the working classes^ 
But our love, in as far as it is pure, is seriously disinterested and 

«transigent . Our love does not consist in burning incense and 
eating new idols and new kings, but in telling upon every 
occasion and in every place the plain truth, and the more 
this truth is unpalatable the greater the need to speak it out. 
We, Fascisti, hitherto slandered and maligned, wished 
to continue the war in order to obtain freedom of movement 
in Italy, and although not giving way to a sense of weak 
demagogism, we are the first to recognise that the rights"! 



76 THE FRIEND OF THE PEOPLE 

of the labouring classes are sacred, and even more so the 
(jights of those who work the soil. And here I can give 
hearty praise to the Fascisti of Ferrara, who have under- 
taken with facts, and not with the useless words of the 
politicians, that agrarian revolution which must gradually 
give the peasants the possession of the soil. I strongly 
encourage the Fascisti of Ferrara to go on as they have 
begun, and to become the vanguard of the Fascist a agrarian 
movement in all Italy. 

How does it come about that we are said to be sold to 
the middle classes, capitalism and the Government? But 
already our enemies dare no longer continue this accusation, 
so false and ridiculous is it. This impressive meeting would 
move a heart harder than mine, and shows me that you 
have done justice to those base calumnies put into circu- 
lation by people who believed in the eternity of their for- 
tunes, while in reality they had barricaded themselves in 
a castle which must fall with the first breath of a Fascista 
revolt. [And this Fascista revolt, and we could also use the 
more sacred and serious word revolution, is inspired by 
indestructible and moral motives and has nothing to do 
\ with incentives of a material nature. We, Fascisti, say 
that above all the competition and those differences which 
divide men — and which might almost be called natural 
and inevitable, since life would be extraordinarily dull if 
everybody thought in the same way — above _all Ihjs^there 
is a single reality^ mrnmon to all, anH \\ fo the reality " r 
thenajKm-aniL oLthe country to which we are bound, as the 
t ree is bound by its roots to the soil which nourishes it./ 

Thus, whether you like it or not, the country is an in- 
destructible, eternal and immortal unity, which, like all 
ideas, institutions and sentiments in this world, may be 
eclipsed for a time, but which revives again in the depths 
of the soul, as the seed thrown in the soil bursts into 






THE FRIEND OF THE PEOPLE 77 

flower with the coming of the warmth of spring. We have 
thus, by our furious blows, broken the unworthy crust be- 
, neath which lay imprisoned the soul of the proletariat. 
There were those among the proletariat who were ashamed 
to be Italian; there were those who, brutalised by propa- 
ganda, shouted " Welcome to the Germans ! " and also " Long 
live Austria!" They were for the most part irresponsible 
but sometimes wicked! Well we, Fascisti, want to bring ] 
into every city, into every part of the country, even the 
most remote, the pride and passion of belonging to the most 
noble Italian race; the race which has produced Dante, 
which has given Galileo, the greatest masterpieces of art, 
Verdi, Mazzini, Garibaldi and d'Annunzio to the world, 
and which has produced the people who won Vittorio Venetorr? 
And not this only. AVe do not intend to push the working / 
classes backwards. All that which they have won and which/ 
they will win is sacred. But they must acquire these con-( 
quests by material and moral improvement. We, Fascisti, 
do not speak only of rights, we speak also of duty, as Maz- 
zini would have wished^/We have not only the verb "to 
take," we have also ther verb "to give," because sometimes 
when our country calls, whether she be threatened by an 
internal or external enemy, we exact both from our adherents 
and from those who sympathise with us readiness even for 
the supreme sacrifice. And you, Fascisti of Ferrara, have 
consecrated the Fascist a ideals with martyrdom. 
/If the idea of Fascismo had not contained in itself great 
potentiality, nobility and beauty, do you think that it would 
have spread with this tremendous impetus ! Do you think 
that seven lives would have been given for it, lives which 
point out to us the path of perseverance and victory W A 
short time ago I went to your cemetery. One by one we 
visited the graves and threw our flowers upon them. Those 
seconds of silence which we passed there were pregnant 



78 THE FRIEND OF THE PEOPLE 

with feeling. Each one of us felt that within those graves 
were the bodies of young men in the flower of their days, 
men who were certainly loved and who had before them all 
the possibilities of life. They are dead; they have fallen. 
But we, in this great hour of your history, O people of 
Ferrara, will recall them one by one in the orders of the day ; 
and since they are not dead, because their mortal clay is 
transformed in the infinite play of the possibilities of the 
universe, we ask of the pure, bright blood of the youth of 
Ferrara the inspiration to be true to our ideals, to be 
faithful to our nation. And so we are content that our 
flags, after having saluted the dead, smile on life, because 
the working people of Ferrara, and of all Italy, have found 
the true path that had been forgotten, have cast off all those 
ignoble politicians who had filled their heads with lying fables. 

We, O Italians of Ferrara, have no need to go beyond 
our boundaries, beyond the seas, in order to find the word 
of wisdom and of life. We do not need to go to Russia in 
order to see how a great people may be massacred. We do not 
need to turn the pages of the Muscovite gospels; gospels 
which the prophets themselves are reviling since, over- 
whelmed by the reality of life, they are denying them. We 
have no need to imitate others, because brilliant original 
minds are to be found in Italy in all branches of civilisation 
and learning. And if there is to be Socialism, it cannot be 
the bestial, tyrannical Socialism of yesterday, it can only 
be the Socialism of Carlo Pisacane, of Giuseppe Ferrari and 
Giuseppe Mazzini. 

Here, O people of Ferrara, is your history, your life 
and your future. And we, who have undertaken this hard 
battle, which has cost us tens and hundreds of lives, we do 
not ask you for salaries, we do not ask you for votes. We 
only ask you for one thing, and that is that you shall shout 
with us " Long live Italy! " (Loud applause.) 



THE FRIEND OF THE PEOPLE 79 



"MY FATHER WAS A BLACKSMITH AND I HAVE 
WORKED WITH HIM; HE BENT IRON, BUT 
I HAVE THE HARDER TASK OF BENDING 
SOULS " 

Speech delivered at Milan, 6th December 1922, before the workmen 
of the iron foundries, in answer to Engineer Vanzetti, the manager. 

On the occasion of his first visit to Milan after assuming the 
Premiership of the Council, the city where he had lived and the centre 
of his victorious political strife, Mussolini was urgently summoned 
to the works of the Lombard Iron Foundries (Acciaierie Lombarde), 
where he was welcomed with enthusiastic demonstrations of support 
and appreciation. During the stormy years of 1919-20 these very 

|>rks were the scene of extraordinary events. 
V 



am particularly glad to have seen these works, already 
own to me by what has been accomplished in them 
the last five strenuous years. I am not going to make 
speech, but, as has always been — and always will be — 
y way, I shall tell you things clearly as they are, things 
that will interest you. 

The Government over which I have the honour of pre-"\ 
siding is not, cannot and does not wish to be anti-pro- 
letariat. The workmen are a vital part of the nation; they_J 
are Italians and, like all Italians, when they work, when 
they produce and when they live orderly lives, must be 
protected, respected and defended. My Government is very 
strong and does not need to seek a great deal of outside 
support ; it neither asks for it nor refuses it. If the workmen's 
organisations choose to give me support, I shall not reject it. 
But we shall have to come to a clear understanding and to 
make definite agreements in order to avoid dissension later. 
I was deeply moved just now while I was visiting the 



80 THE FRIEND OF THE PEOPLE 

factory, and seemed for an instant to be living again the 
bygone days of my youth. Because I do not come of 
an aristocratic and illustrious family. My ancestors were 
peasants who tilled the earth, and my father was a black- 
smith who bent red-hot iron on the anvil. Sometimes, 
when I was a boy, I helped my father in his hard and humble 
work, and now I have the infinitely harder task of bending 
souls. At twenty I worked with my hands — I repeat, with 
my hands — first as a mason's lad and afterwards as a mason. 
And I do not tell you this in order to arouse your 
sympathy, but to show you how impossible it is for me 
to be against the working class. I am, however, the 
enemy of those who, in the name of false and ridiculous 
ideologies, try to dupe the workmen and drive them 
towards ruin. 

(r"Tou will have the opportunity of realising that more 
^valuable than my words will be the acts of my Govern- 
ment, which, in all that it does, will be inspired by and keep 
before it these three fundamental principles : 

First: The Nation, which is an undeniable reality. 
\ Secondly : The necessity of Production, because greater 
and better production is not only the interest of the capi- 
talist but also of the workman; since the workman, 
together with the capitalist, loses his livelihood and falls 
into poverty if the productions of the nation do not find a 
market in the trade-centres of the world. 

Thirdly: The Protection of the Legitimate Rights 
of the Working Classes. 

Keeping these three essential principles in sight, I intend 
to give peace to Italy and to make her more respected 
at home and abroad. 

Nobody wants to go in search of adventures which will 
imperil the lives and wealth of the citizens; but, on the 
other hand, neither do we wish to follow a policy of 



r. 



THE FRIEND OF THE PEOPLE 81 

renunciation nor allow Italy to be the last considered 
among the nations. In order that we may be listened 
to in international conferences — conferences which are of 
the greatest importance to you workmen — it is necessary 
that the most rigid discipline be maintained at home, as 
no one will listen to us if we have a disturbed and 

K unsettled country behind us. 
ifou, workmen, must not think that it is only the head 
the Government who is speaking to you now, but a man 
o knows you well and who is known by you ; a man who 
understands your value and what you can and what you 
cannot do. But, as the head of the Government, I tell you 
that this one over which I preside is serious, strong and sure 
! of itself, and no slow-moving bureaucracy; it is a Govern- 
ment that wishes to act in the interests of the working / 
classes, interests which will always be recognised when/ 
they are just. 

The workmen thought that they could, and ought to, 
disassociate themselves from the life of the nation; and 
this has been a great mistake. They ought, instead, to be 
a most intimate part of the nation, so that all our long and 
laborious toiling may not be miserably lost. 

This is the message which comes from our dead, who, 
hovering above us, repeat this command. 

The Italian people must somehow find that medium 
of harmony necessary for the reconstruction and develop- 
ment of civilisation ; and if there be rebellious and seditious 
minorities they must be inexorably stamped out. 

Treasure up these words in your hearts and remember 
the motto of the Fascista Syndicates : 

The country must not be denied but conquered. 
I raise my glass with you and drink to the future and 
the fortunes of Italian industry, that it may take a glorious 
place in the eyes of the whole world. 



I 



82 THE FRIEND OF THE PEOPLE 



LABOUR TO TAKE THE FIRST PLACE IN 
NEW ITALY 

Speech delivered at Rome, 6th January 1923, before a repre- 
sentative gathering of Fascisti dock-workers from Genoa who had 
presented him with an illuminated address. 

You must certainly be aware of the fact that I take a great 
interest in your city — an interest which dates from 1915 
when Genoa, together with Milan and Rome, led the way 
to revolution; because the revolution which has brought 
the Fascisti into power began in the May of 19 15, was 
continued in the October of 1922, and goes on still, and 
will go on for some time. I am very pleased to accept your 
message, and I thank you with sincere cordiality. 

I must tell you that the Government over which I have 
the honour of presiding never has had, never can and 
never will have the intention of following a so-called anti- 
labour policy. On the contrary, I want to praise the working 
classes, who do not put obstacles in the way of the Govern- 
ment, who work, and who have practically abolished 
strikes. They have redeemed themselves, because they no 
longer believe in the Asiatic Utopia which came from Russia; 
they believe in themselves, in their work; they believe in 
the possibility, which for me is a certainty, of a prosperous 
Italian nation. 

You have been directly interested in this greatness of the 
nation, and you, who come from such a live centre as Genoa, 
are the most suited to feel this ferment of new life, all this 
active preparation for a new destiny. 

The Government, as you see, governs for all, over the 
'heads of all, and, if necessary, against all. It governs for all, 



THE FRIEND OF THE PEOPLE 83 

because it takes into account all general interests ; it governs 
against all, when any group, whether of the middle class 
or of the proletariat, tries to put its interests before the 
general interests of the national am sure that if the working 
classes — of which you are the aristocratic minority — 
continue to give this noble exhibition of tranquillity and 
discipline, the nation, which was upon the verge of ruin, 
will recover itself completely. 

I do not say things which have not been well considered 
and thought over; and, after two months of government, 
I tell you that if the Fascista revolution had been post- 
poned for another few months or perhaps only another 
few weeks, the nation would have fallen into a state of 
chaos. All that we are performing now is really work in 
arrears; we are freeing the citizens from the weight of 
laws which were the result of a foolish demagogic policy; 
we are freeing the State from all those superstructures 
which were suffocating it, from all the economic functions 
which it was unfitted to perform ; we are working to balance 
the budget, which means re-establishing the value of the 
lira, which means taking a position of dignity and influence 
in the international world. 

The Italy which we wish to make, which we are building 
up day by day, which we shall succeed in making, as it is 
our aim and our immovable determination to do, will 
be a magnificent creation of power and of wisdom. You] 
can rest assured that in this Italy the workman — and all 
labour both of the brain and of the hands — will take, as isj 
right, the first place. 



PART IV 
MUSSOLINI THE « FASCISTA " 



MUSSOLINI THE "FASCISTA" 

THE THREE DECLARATIONS AT THE FIRST 
FASCISTA MEETING 

Speech delivered at Milan, 23rd March 1919, at the first Fascista 
teeting. 

In the spring of 19 19, the most critical period through which 
ly has passed, the attempt initiated by Benito Mussolini to 
immon the men prepared to fight Bolshevism, that apparently 
iumphant beast, seemed absolute madness. A handful of bold 
)irits, for the most part ex-soldiers coming from the extreme 
iterventionist sections, responded to the appeal. But the gravity 
the moment and the danger of physical sacrifice to which they 
exposed themselves were not sufficient to lessen their ardour and 
letermination for an immediate counter-offensive. This had its 
inclusive expression in the assault upon and the burning of the 
ices of the newspaper A vanti, which took place on a day of general 
ike, when two hundred thousand workmen marched defiantly 
mgh the streets of Milan. 

*irst of all, a few words about the proceedings. Without 
>o much formality or pedantry, I will read you three 

:larations which seem to me worthy of being discussed 
id voted upon. Then in the afternoon we will resume 
le discussion of the declaration of our programme. I tell 
'ou at once that we cannot go into detail. Wishing to act, 
re must take salient facts as they exist. 

The first declaration is as follows : 

The Meeting of the 23rd March first salutes with reverence and 
Lembrance the sons of Italy who have fallen for the cause of the 
reatness of the country and the liberty of the world, the maimed 
id disabled, and all the fighters and ex-prisoners who fulfilled 
leir duty, and declares itself ready to uphold strongly the 
idication of rights, both material and moral, advocated by 
le "Association of Fighters." 

87 



88 THE FASCISTA 

As we do not wish to form a Party of ex-soldiers, because 
something in that line has already been done in various 
cities in Italy, we cannot say exactly what this programme 
of vindications will be; those interested will do so. We 
declare simply that we will uphold them. We do not wish to 
classify the dead, to look into their pockets to find out 
to which party they belonged ; we leave this sort of occupa- 
tion to the Official Socialists. We include in one single 
loving thought all the fallen, from the general to the humblest 
soldier, from the most intelligent to the most ignorant 
and uncultured. But you must allow me to remember with 
special, if not exclusive, affection our dead, those who were 
with us in the glorious May: the Corridoni, Reguzzoni, 
Vidali, Deffenu, and our Serrani — all that marvellous youth 
which went to fight and remained to die. Certainly when one 
speaks of the greatness of the country and the liberty of 
the world, there may be someone who will sneer and smile 
ironically, because it is the fashion now to run down the war, 
but war must be either wholly accepted or wholly rejected. 
If this line is to be taken up, it will be for us to do so and 
not the others. Besides, wishing to examine the situation 
in the light of facts, we say that the active and passive 
sides of so immense an undertaking cannot be established 
with cut-and-dried figures. One cannot put on one side the 
"quantum" of that which has been accomplished and 
that which has not; the "qualifying" element must be 
taken into account. 

From this point of view we can, with complete certainty, 
maintain that the country is greater to-day, not only be- 
cause it extends as far as the Brenner — reached by Ergisto 
Bezzi, to whom my thoughts turn — (Applause.) — not only 
because it extends as far as Dalmatia; Italy is greater, 
even if small minds try their little experiments, because 
we feel ourselves greater inasmuch as we have the experience 



THE FASCISTA 89 

of the war, inasmuch as we willed it, it was not forced upon us 
and we could have avoided it. The choosing of this path 
was a sign that there are elements of greatness in our history 
and our blood, because if it were not so, we, to-day, should 
be the least important people in the world. The war has 
given us that for which we asked. It has yielded its negative 
and positive advantages : negative, in as far as it has pre- 
vented the Houses of Hapsburg and Hohenzollern from 
dominating the world — and this result, which all can see, is 
enough in itself to justify the war; and positive, because in no 
nation has reaction triumphed. Everything moves towards 
a stronger political and economic Democracy. In spite 
of certain details which may injure the more or less 
intelligent elements, the war has given all that we asked. 

And why do we speak of ex-prisoners also ? It is a burning 
question. Evidently there were those who surrendered 
themselves, but those are called deserters. The large majority 
of the mass which fell prisoner did so after having fought 
and done their duty. If this were not so, we could begin 
to brand Cesare Battisti and many brave and brilliant 
officers and men who had the misfortune to fall into the 
hands of the enemy. 

Imperialism in other peoples which would be prejudicial to Italy, and 
any eventual Imperialism in Italy which would be prejudicial to 
other nations, and accepts the fundamental principle of the League 
of Nations, which presupposes the geographical integrity of every 
nation. This, as far as Italy is concerned, must be realised on the 
Alps and the Adriatic with the annexation of Fiume and Dalmatia. *+4l f^w?,* 

We have forty million inhabitants and an area of 287,000 ' u<tX 

square kilometres, divided by the Apennines, which reduce 
still further the availability of the land capable of cultiva- 
tion. In ten or twenty years' time we shall be sixty millions, 



The National Vindications. Second declaration: 



go THE FASCISTA 

and we have a bare million and a half square kilometres 
of land in the way of colonies, which to a large extent is 
barren, and to which we certainly can never send the surplus 
of our people. But, if we look round, we see England, with 
forty-seven million inhabitants, and a colonial empire of fifty- 
five million square kilometres, and we see France, with a 
population of thirty-eight millions, and a colonial empire 
of fifteen million square kilometres. And I could prove to 
you with figures that all the nations of the world, not 
excluding Portugal, Holland and Belgium, have colonies 
which they cling to, and are not in the least disposed to 
relinquish for all the ideologies which come from the other 
side of the ocean. Imperialism is at the base of the life 
of every people which desires economic and spiritual 
expansion. That which distinguishes the different kinds of 
imperialism is the method adopted in its pursuit Now 
the method which we choose, and shall choose, will never 
resemble the barbaric penetration of the Germans. And we 
say, either everybody idealist or nobody. One cannot under- 
stand how people who are well off can preach idealism to 
those who suffer, because that would be very easy. We 
want our place in the world because we have a right to it. 
I reaffirm the principle of the Society of Nations, but we 
must beware lest this principle mean only protection of 
the material interests of wealthy nations. 

In View of the Elections. Third declaration: 

The Meeting of the 23rd March pledges the Fascisti to prevent 
by every means in their power the candidature of neutralists of 
any party. 

You see I pass from one subject to another, but there 
is logic in it, an underlying thread. I am not an enthusiast 
for ballot-paper battles, so much so that for some time 
I have abolished the chronicles of the Chamber, and no- 



THE FASCISTA 91 

body is sorry. My example, too, has caused other papers 
to do the same, within the limits of strict necessity. It is 
clear in any case that the elections will take place before the 
end of the year. The date and the system to be followed 
are not yet known, but this year these electoral campaigns 
and ballot-paper battles will take place. 

Now, whether one likes it or not, the war having been of 
late the dominant event of our national life, it is clear that 
in these elections the subject of the war cannot be avoided. 
We shall accept the battle precisely on the topic war, 
because not only have we not repented of that which we 
have done, but we go further and say, with that courage 
which is the result of our individuality, that if the same 
condition of things which existed in 1915 were repeated in 
Italy, we should demand war again as in 1915. 

Now it is very sad to think that there are those who 
formerly were in favour of intervention and who now have 
changed. Only a few have done so, and it has not always 
been for political reasons. Some have changed for those 
reasons, and this I do not wish to discuss, but there 
has also been defection due to physical fear. "In order to 
pacify these people let us cede Dalmatia, let us renounce 
something!" But their calculations have piteously failed. 
We shall not only refuse to take up this political line, but 
we shall not give way to that physical fear which is simply 
absurd. One life is of the same value as another, and one 
barricade is as good as another. If there is to be a fight, we 
shall engage also in that of the elections. 

There have been neutralists also among the official Social- 
ists and the Republicans. We shall go and examine the pass- 
ports of all these people, both the ultra-neutralists and those 
who accepted the war as a painful burden ; we shall go to 
their meetings, we shall present candidates and find every 
>ible means of routing them. (Prolonged applause.) 



92 THE FASCISTA 



OUTLINE OF THE AIMS AND PROGRAMME 
OF FASCISMO 

Speech delivered at Milan, 22nd July 1919, at the Liceo Beccaria. 

The evening before the general international strike of the 20th 
and 21st of July 1919, called by the federal organisations as a 
reaction to the rash movement, the National Socialists, the Repub- 
licans, the Democrats and the Fascisti met in order to share the 
responsibilities for possible complications and to demonstrate the 
inconsistency of so-called revolutionary attitudes. 

This manifestation, according to the intention of its organisers, 
had also the object of marking the beginning of a political con- 
centration of the Left, composed of ex-interventionists. But the 
attempt afterwards failed, chiefly on account of want of understand- 
ing on the part of the Republican Party, and because of the develop- 
ment of the spiritual crisis within the mass of Italian Fascismo. 

I think that it will depend upon the sincerity and loyalty 
with which we join in this meeting whether it will become 
an historical event, or a little fact of everyday life destined 
to pass without leaving any trace. 

This being the case, it will not surprise you if I speak 
with a frankness almost brutal. I add at once that 
the friendly confusion of this moment of reunion after 
schisms and separations will not eliminate the necessity 
of settling certain personal and political questions, other- 
wise this union, which we wish to be eminently fruitful, 
cannot be other than painfully sterile. 

What are we looking for, we who are members of U.S.M., 
the Fascio of Fighters, the Association of Fighters, the 
Association of Arditi, the Union of Demobilised, the Associa- 
tion of Volunteers, the Association of Garibaldians, the Re- 
publican Party, the Italian Socialist Union, the Corridoni 
Club, etc. — we who are together represented in the 



:he fascista 93 

tmmittee of Intesa e Azione 1 which was formed at the 
tie of the movement against the high cost of living? 
e are looking for the least common denominator for 
this understanding and action. Shall we find it? Yes! 
We come from different schools; we have different tem- 
peraments, and temperaments divide men more widely 
than ideas; we belong to an individualist people; but all 
this does not prevent something else bringing us together 
and binding us both in these present contingencies and in 
that which has to do with the action of to-morrow. 

The Basis of Unity. There can be a thousand shades of 
ideas among us, but upon one important point we are all 
agreed, and that is in regarding the Socialist manifestation 
as a bluff, a comedy, a speculation and blackmail. Also 
we are all agreed in making a differentiation between the 
Socialist Party and the mass of the workmen. The Socialist 
Party has usurped up to yesterday the name of being a 
pure revolutionary organisation, of being the protector 
and the exclusive, genuine representative of the working 
masses. This is all nonsense and must be cleared up. 
Referring to statistics, we find that out of forty-two millions 
of Italians, hardly sixty thousand were enrolled in the 
Socialist Party in the August of 1919, and the dominating 
element is a group composed of lower-middle-class people 
in the most philistine sense of the word. 

kin the unlikely and absurd event of a triumph on the part 
the Leninist revolutionaries, ten of these idiots would be, 
to-morrow, the ten Ministers of the Italian nation. The 
Socialist Party is one thing, and the organised mass of 
working men another, and the disorganised mass yet another 
and seven times larger than the rest put together. 

We must not allow ourselves to approach the working 
classes in the sometimes unctuous, sometimes theatrical, 
1 Understanding and Action. 



94 THE FASCISTA 

manner of the demagogues. The masses must be educated 
and for this reason must have the straight truth. Many of the 
crowds which the Socialists sway are not worthy of blandish- 
ments, because they consist of masses of brutes infected 
and barbarised by the "Red" gospel. Our working- 
class colleagues know all about it, because they have had 
to leave certain factories. We must not present ourselves 
to the masses as charlatans, promising Paradise within 
a short time, but as educators who do not seek either 
success, popularity, salaries or votes. 

Produce ! Produce I Produce ! The Admonition of Merr- 
heim. The way in which the working masses should and 
must be spoken to has been shown us by Merrheim, one of 
the thinking heads of French Syndicalism. Last January 
he made a very important speech, and it would be 
good thing to run over those parts of it which are now 
of most importance, especially those touching upon the 
relations between economics and politics and the neces- 
sity of production. 

" The militant Socialists must tell the truth, and all the 
truth, to the masses, even if the truth brings hatred and 
slander. Now the truth is for all those who reflect, that the 
bad conditions of life, which are the trouble of the masses, 
are not going to be remedied by a solution based on an 
increase of wages which is not only inoperative, but entirely 
in opposition to economic laws. The masses must be 
told that the regime of production and distribution of 
commodities must undergo a transformation, if efficacious 
and lasting remedies are to be found for existing bad 
conditions, and that this can be arrived at by means of the 
force of organisation." 

"... It is pleasant to provoke loud applause by telling 
the audience at meetings that we are overstocked with 



THE FASCISTA 95 

commodities, and that they can consume without limit 
and enjoy comfort by imposing wages proportionate to their 
desires without increasing production." 

" Courage lies in repeating to the masses that each man 
is at the same time a producer and consumer, and 
that the continued increase of production is necessary 
and indispensable." 

" Courage lies in saying that it is not only impossible 
to satisfy those normal needs, natural to everyone, without 
normal production, but that it is absolutely impossible to 
obtain general comfort for everyone if at the same time 

lividual production in the general interest is not increased." 

" Courage lies in proclaiming that the purely political 

solution, which inflames the people's minds, would not 

Lve the social problem, the solution of which has been 
:ipitated and rendered essential by the war." 
Courage lies in repeating untiringly to the masses that 
revolution which must be brought about must be 

>nomic, and that it is not to be brought about in 
streets by a delirious crowd destroying for the sake 

destruction." 

" Courage lies in saying that an economic revolution draws 
substance from labour, and that it is strengthened, 

Lvanced, and carried out by the intensification of produc- 
tion whether in the fields or in the factories, and by a further 
utilisation of scientific processes and methods of production." 

The Italian Situation. We agree upon a third point, 
in connection with existing circumstances, that is in 
maintaining that our national situation is critical, though 
far from being desperate. Briefly, it is this. From the 
1st July we have been defaulting debtors of England. 
Since the 31st July other financial agreements with the United 
States must be faced. To save the situation a loan of 



96 THE FASCISTA 

one milliard dollars (seven to eight milliard lire) must be 
arranged. The railways have a coal supply for only fifteen 
more days. There are enough provisions for another twenty 
days, that is to say until the end of the month. Two million 
tons of food must be imported to save us from immediate 
hunger. But these financial and economic agreements de- 
pend upon the political ones at Paris. 

The possibility, almost a certainty, has presented itself to us 
of obtaining large concessions in Asia Minor, with the coal 
mines of Heraclea. Clemenceau has made difficulties about 
it, but Lansing told him that he could not see any obstacle, 
given that Italy approved of the exploitation of the Saar 
mines on the part of France. We may also obtain oil wells 
in Armenia. 

But these acquisitions in the East are in their turn subor- 
dinate to the Adriatic agreements. The solution of the 
problem of Fiume is already compromised by the work of 
the preceding Delegation, which had already accepted the 
principle of a Free State. But the project of Tardieu pre- 
sented future dangers as far as the safeguarding of the 
Italian character of Fiume is concerned, because the Italian 
majority in the city would be overwhelmed by the mass of 
Slavs in the country. It is a question, then, of reducing 
these dangers to the smallest possible limits by the intro- 
duction of another plan which would substitute for the idea 
of a Free State that of a Free City with limited boundaries. 

In Dalmatia it is only possible for us to save the centres 
which have an Italian majority, with guarantees for the 
safeguarding of those Italian minorities scattered in the 
other centres. The eventual loss of Sebenico, which had 
strategic and not national value, would be compensated 
for by some other strategic point to be given to Italy. 
Lansing said that this would be eventually sought for 
in the Mediterranean. 



THE FASCISTA 97 

Given this situation, it is no exaggeration to say that the 
general Socialist strike is a real attempted crime against 
the nation. And note: I could understand a strike which 
had as its object the setting up of the Soviet in Italy, but I 
do not understand or admit this one, which is without aim, 
object or justification. It must and will fail, because the 
leaders themselves are in the cul de sac of this dilemma: 
either tragedy, because the State at this moment has its 
repressive machinery in full working order; or comedy, 
in the event of a revolt on the part of the workmen already 
outlined, and due to their being tired of serving a Socialist 
:y mostly composed of middle-class elements. 
Perhaps it is worth while in passing to confute the 
>jection in the Stampa of Portogruaro, which would 
:e to deny our right of rising up against the strike on the 
>und that we were in favour of war. "What," it says, 
the damage done in two days of strike compared with 
it done in four years of war? " We crush these gentlemen 
the reply that four years of neutrality would have 
laged us more, besides having been to our lasting and 
iffaceable moral shame. 

Reactionaries and vice versa. For me revolution is not 
ji attack of St. Vitus' dance or an unexpected fit of epilepsy. 
It must have force, aims, and above all, method. In 1913, 
when the Socialist Party was already rotten, it was I who 
put into circulation the words which made the pulses of 
the big men of Italian Socialism beat: "This proletariat is 
in need of a bath of blood," I said. It has had it, and it 
lasted for three years. "This proletariat is in need of a day 
of history." And it has had a thousand. 

It was necessary then to shake up the masses, because 
they had fallen into a state of weakness and insensibility. 
To-day this situation exists no longer. To-day the only 



98 THE FASCISTA 

way not to live in fear of a revolution is to think thatj 
we are now in the full swing of one, that it began in the 
August of 1914 and that it is still going on. It is not aj 
question, as some think, of entering into a revolution as one 
passes from a state of tranquillity to a state of action. 
The task of really free spirits is different. If this great 
and immense process of changing the world stagnates or ; 
becomes confused, we can hasten it on ; but if it is already pro- 
gressing at a frantic rate, then our task is to apply the brakes 1 
and slow it down, in order to avoid disintegration and ruin. 
To be revolutionaries, in certain circumstances, time and place, 
can be the pride of a lifetime, but when those who speak 
of revolution are a lot of parasites, then one must not be 
afraid, in opposing them, to pass as a reactionary. One is 
always a reactionary and revolutionary for somebody, 
Fritz Adler, revolutionary in the time of Sturck, is a re- 1 
actionary to-day compared with the Communists. I am not I 
afraid of the word. I am a revolutionary and a reactionary. I 
Really, life is always like this. I am afraid of the revolution 
which destroys and does not create. I fear going to extremes, 
the policy of madness, at the bottom of which may liei 
the destruction of this our fragile mechanical civilisation, 
robbed of its solid moral basis, and the coming of a terrible 
race of dominators who would reintroduce discipline into 
the world and re-establish the necessary hierarchies with 
the cracking of whips and machine-guns. 

The Compass. At the same time, as regards reaction andi 
revolution, I have a compass in my pocket which guides 
me. All that which tends towards making the Italian 
people great finds me favourable, and — vice versa — all 
that which tends towards lowering, brutalising and im- 
poverishing them finds me opposed. 

Now Socialism comes into the second category. I find it 



odd that my friend Carli, the founder of the National 
Association of Fighters and a valiant soldier, puts the 
Socialists among the advanced parties, storming them with 
a succession of "whys," as he did in the last number of 
the Roma Futurista. 

I deny the title of vanguard to Socialism. I deny the use 
and timeliness of any co-operation with this party. I main- 
tain that a reactionary party in 1914, '15, '16, '17, and '18^ W6 
cannot become revolutionary in '19. I maintain that this 
serenading of the Socialists is useless, and this making of 
advances not clean. One day, in the culminating moment 
of the history of humanity, they embraced the cause of 

! reaction represented by the Germany of the Hohenzollerns 
and Sudekum. Besides, it is idiotic and dangerous to lavish 
blandishments upon the official Socialists; we cannot re- 

1 concile ourselves with these people. There have been those 

i who have attached themselves to the movement of to-day, 
but the Socialists have disdained that help, because they 

} are megalomaniacs and nourish, among other things, the 
fatuous vanity of splendid isolation. 

I he Revision of the Treaty of Versailles. The Peace of 
sailles is not a sufficient motive for the courted col- 
laboration. Things must be made clear. The Socialists 
talk of annulling the peace; we wish simply to revise it. 
We do not condemn wholesale a peace which a German, and 
not one of the most insignificant, Edward Bernstein, has called 
nine parts just. The revision of the peace must not mean 
condemnation of the war. The Florentine Republican Union 
has published a manifesto which defines the limits of protest 

Kunst the Treaty of Versailles. 
'We do not wish to conceal," say the Florentine Re- 
m olicans, "that, although requiring radical amendments, 



ioo THE FASCISTA 

four Imperial autocracies, the fall of numerous dynasties, 
the creation of as many republics, the re-establishment of 
Poland, the re-conquest of Alsace and Lorraine, and of 
Trento and Trieste by Italy, and of Jerusalem by civilised 
Europe. All this would suffice, as long as emendations wen 
made, to bear witness to the supreme sanctity of the Italic 
intervention in the atrocious war let loose by the brut; 
German Hohenzollerns and Hapsburgs." 

"We do not approve, however, of the proposed general 
strike as a form of protest, because — and we say so 
with the traditional sincerity of our party — the country is 
thirsty for fruitful work, and this deluge of strikes certainly 
does not help in that.'* 

"The Peace of Versailles must be corrected and brought 
into keeping with the progress of humanity." 

This is also our idea. Rather than seek or beg for 
useless co-operation, let us outline a programme of our 
own of understanding and action. I refuse, after having 
got rid of the old, to accept the new dogmas. I think that 
it is possible to create a strong economic organisation in 
Italy based upon these principles : — 

i. Absolute independence from all parties, groups and 
sets. 

2. Federation and autonomy. 

3. Abolition, as far as possible, of all paid officials. 

4. No steps to be taken without having consulted regularly, 
by means of a referendum, the masses interested. 

The means of obtaining this end may be altered according 
to time and place. The organisation will promote at times 
co-operation, and at times war between the classes and the 
expropriation of class. It will not always be for co-opera- 
tion, but neither will it always be in favour of class pre- 
servation; and when it expropriates, it will not be to 
make all poor, but to make all rich. In the conquest of a 






THE FASCISTA 101 

colonial market and in certain questions connected with 
the customs, the middle classes and the proletariat can 
work together. When there is division of booty, then 
class war; but class war in times of under-production is 
destructive nonsense. 

In the Political Field. The Electoral Reform will pass. 
The scrutiny of lists and proportional representation will 
pass. That will determine, for obvious reasons, the great 
coalitions — the Socialist - Leninist, the Clerical - Popular, 
and, lastly, ours, which might be called the "Alliance for 
the Constituent," the Republican Alliance or the group 
| of the "interveners" of the Left, 

Our programme is to present candidates who pledge 
: themselves to place the problem of constitutional revision 
j before the new Chamber in the first session. 

This is the Constituent as I understand it. This is the 
lowest denominator to which all of us can pledge ourselves 

»d around which we can all form a union. The moment 
particularly propitious for such an organisation. I think 
at all we who are represented in this Milanese Committee 
of Intesa e Azione can follow this path. 

It is a case of "nationalising" this attempt, of making 
it general all over Italy. We could, if we wished, num- 
ber not thousands, but millions of followers. I myself 
refuse, in the actual delicate economic situation in Italy, 
to adhere to any movement which makes the path clear 
for Bolshevism and ruin. The victory cannot and must not 
be destroyed. I understand a certain impatience, but I 
beg you to reflect that if the lives of individuals are counted 

f years, the lives of nations are counted in centuries, and 
must not refer egoistically to ourselves that which is 
a general nature. Good strategy is calculation and 
iacity. We do not wish to govern by recourse to the 



102 THE FASCISTA 

bayonet alone, because that Would be dictatorship, which 
we condemn. We wish first to sound the masses by 
the coming elections. Once having had our principles 
accepted, we will spring to action. 

The revolution which we desired and obtained in 19 15 
will be ours again by the victorious peace in its con- 
clusive phase, and it will be called " Well-being," " Liberty " 
and, above all, "Italy." (Loud applause.) 






THE FASCISTA 103 



FASCISMO AND THE RIGHTS OF VICTORY 

Speech delivered at Florence, 9th October 1919, at the first 
Congress of the Fascisti. 

At Florence was held the first Congress of the " Fasci Italiani di 
Combattimento," which was the name originally given to the Fascista 
movement. This Congress succeeded the improvised, unorganised 
meeting of 19th March at Milan, and was held in an atmosphere of 
isolation and hostility, amid continuous tumult and interruption ; so 
much so, that the members of the Congress were repeatedly obliged 
to suspend their proceedings and go out into the streets to defend 

lemselves against hostile demonstrations. 

At that time Florence, the cradle of art, and famed for courtesy 
hospitality, had been temporarily submerged under waves of 

)lshevism; Serrati and Lenin, referring to the Italian situation, 
ild point to the capital of Tuscany as "the most fertile soil for 
imminent revolutionary harvest." 

But even on that occasion Italian Fascismo was able to hold the 

itre successfully, in spite of the numbers of the adversary. 

>ciSTi comrades! I do not know if I shall succeed 

giving you a very connected speech, as I have not had the 

>portunity of preparing it, as is my habit. I had intended 

make a Fascista speech to-morrow morning for a personal 

>on which might also interest you, and which gave me 

le right to ask some hours of rest. 

The other day I left Novi Ligure in a "S.V.A." with a 
Lificent pilot, and, having crossed the Adriatic, came 
>wn at Fiume, where D'Annunzio gave us a great wel- 
>me. Returning yesterday, we were caught in a storm on 
le Istrian tablelands, and were obliged to go out of our 
mrse and to come down at Aiello. 

At Fiume I lived in what D'Annunzio justly calls 

atmosphere of miracles and prodigies." In the mean- 

te, I bring you his message; he was thinking of writing 

le especially for our meeting. (Applause.) My arrival at 



104 THE FASCISTA 

Fiume coincided with the capture of the ship Persia, about 
which Captain Giulietti of the "Federation of the Sea" 
was so agitated. 

The situation at Fiume is splendid from every point of 
view. There are supplies for three months. The Yugoslavs 
have no intention of moving. Not only that; the Croats, 
to a certain extent, are supplying the town, which shows 
how inappropriate and insidious the movement was which 
tried to stir up the people and make them believe that we 
were on the verge of a war against the Yugoslavs. Nothing 
of this exists. D'Annunzio has not, so far, fired a single 
shot against those who are on the other side of the line of 
the armistice; on the contrary, he has issued a proclamation 
to the Croats, which is a magnificent document both from 
the political and the human point of view. It ends with 
these words: "Long live the Italian-Croat brotherhood! 
Long live the brotherhood on the sea!" 

Now, as regards international relations, the position of 
Fiume is perfectly clear. D'Annunzio will not move, because 
everything is in his favour. What can the plutocratic powers 
of Western capitalism do against him ? Nothing ! Absolutely 
nothing, because to strive against a fait accompli would be 
to let loose a still greater calamity which nobody thinks 
of either in France or England. In France — and we can say 
so with tranquillity — there is a sacred horror of further 
bloodshed ; and as for the English, they have made war very 
well and brilliantly, but now all their ideas are contrary to 
any warlike undertakings and any adventures of even a 
slightly complicated nature. To-morrow Fiume would be 
a fait accompli for everybody, because nobody would have 
the strength to modify it. If the Government had been 
less cowardly, the problem of Fiume would be settled by 
now, and the Allies would have had to accept it. 

The Forces of the Socialist Party. And now we come to 



THE FASCISTA 105 

our affairs. We must keep the Socialist Party within sight. 
Let us look a little closer at their forces. They have had 
lately to number their forces, and 14,000 of its 80,000 
members have disappeared. They are the disbanded. 
As many as 500 sections were not represented in what 
they call the Assizes of the Italian Proletariat. Nothing of 
very great importance was said or done during the congress. 
Bordiga is not a great general. He is only a little above 
mediocrity. What he said to the tribune was what I told 
the crowd in 1913. Only Turati's speech was of any real 
significance. All the other unlimited speeches did not, 
in the end, give practical indications of that which the 
Socialists wish or ought to do. 
Our statements are much more definite than theirs, and 
tell you at once that we must present an ultimatum to 
ie Government, saying that, if the censor is not abolished, 
Fascisti will not take part in the elections. It is necessary 
protest against an enforced censorship during the period 
the elections, otherwise we shall seem to show that we 
re ready to accept an arbitrary act. To this we can 
Id another positive and effective protest. As for the 
:ialists, the larger part of them are distinguished by 
lysical cowardice. They do not like fighting, they do 
)t wish to fight; fire and steel frighten them. 
On the other hand, and I want to draw your attention 
this, we must not confuse this creation, which is for the 
lost part artificial, with a party of which the proletariat 
is a lowest minority, while those members abound who 
it a seat in Parliament, or in the communal councils 
id in the organisations It is really a political clique 
ich wishes to substitute itself for the ruling clique. 
r e must not confuse this group of mediocre politicians with 
ie immense movement of the proletariat which has a 
son for its existence, development and brotherhood. 



lo6 THE FASCISTA 

Against every Idol. I repeat here what I said before. 
No demagogism. Work-worn hands are not yet enough to 
show that a man is capable of upholding a State or a family. 
We must react against these "cajolers" and these new semi- 
idols, in order to uplift these people from the moral and 
mental slavery into which they have fallen. We must not 
approach them in the attitude of partisans. We are syndi- 
calists, because we think that by means of the mass it 
may be possible to determine an economic readjustment, but 
this readjustment involves long and complicated considera- 
tion. A political revolution is accomplished in twenty-four 
hours, but the economic constitution of a nation, which 
forms part of the world system, is not overturned in twenty- 
four hours. 

But we do not, by this, mean to be considered as a 
kind of "bodyguard" of the bourgeoisie, which, especially 
where it is composed of the new rich, is simply unworthy 
and cowardly. If these people do not know how to defend 
themselves, they must not hope for protection from us. 
) We defend the nation and the people as a whole. We desire 
the moral and material welfare of the people. 

I think that, with this as our attitude, it will be possible 
to approach the masses. In the meantime, the Federa- 
tion of Seamen has separated itself from the General 
Federation of Labour; the railwaymen have proved in the 
big strike that they are Italian and wish to be Italian; 
and while the upper bureaucracy of the public administra- 
tion is, on the whole, in favour of Nitti and Giolitti, the 
proletariat of the same administration tends to sympathise 
with us. For fifty years generals, diplomats, and bureau- 
crats have been taken from the upper classes and from a 
certain limited number of persons of rank and position. It 
is time to put an end to all this, if we want to infuse 
new energy and new blood into the body of the nation. 



THE FASCISTA to? 

For the Elections. And now we come to the elections. We 
must deal with them, because whatever happens it is 
always a good thing to keep together and not to burn one's 
boats. It may happen that in this month of October events 
may be hurried on at such a rate that the elections may be side- 
tracked. It may be, on the other hand, that they will take 
place. We must be ready also for the second contingency. And 
then we Fascisti must do our utmost by ourselves, we must 
come out clearly marked and numbered, and if we are few, 
re must remember that we have only been in the world 
ix months. Where there is no probability of isolated success, 
union with the "interveners" of the Left might possibly 
>e formed, which must vindicate, on the one hand, the 
itility of the Italian intervention in the name of human- 
ity and the nation against all those who opposed it, 
whether followers of Giolitti, Socialists or Clericals. On 
the other hand, this programme cannot exhaust our action ; 
id we shall then have to present to the masses the funda- 
tental principles upon which we wish to build up a new 
[taly. Where the situation may prove more complicated we 
light also be able to identify ourselves with a group of 
inter veners ' ' in a wider and fuller sense of the word. 

After Vittorio Veneto. But we wish, above all, to re- 
affirm solemnly at this meeting of ours the great Italian 
victory, vindicating it before all those who wish to deny 

id forget it. 

We have subdued an Empire which was our enemy, 
rhich had advanced to the Piave, and whose leaders had en- 
leavoured to overthrow Italy. We now possess the Brenner, 

le Julian Alps and Fiume, and all the Italians of Dal- 
matia. We can say that between the Piave and the Isonzo 
we have destroyed that Empire and determined the fall 
of four autocracies. (Enthusiastic applause.) 



io8 THE FASCISTA 



THE TASKS OF FASCISMO 

Speech delivered at the Politeama Rossetti at Trieste, 20th 
September 1920. 

The following speech may be considered as the first of the series 
of those which belong to the period of elaboration of the Fascista 
programme. The moment chosen was not the most favourable, 
because it coincided with two manifestations equally critical both 
with regard to internal and to foreign policy. We refer to the occu- 
pation of the factories, then at an acute and threatening stage, and 
to the Legionary occupation of Fiume, the first anniversary of which 
was celebrated at this time. 

Benito Mussolini, although taking into due account these two 
important events, destined not to be ignored by history, could and 
did rise above the circumstances of the moment. As a far-seeing 
statesman looking forward to resistance and final victory, he drew 
the attention of his hearers to a sane conception of the problems of 
foreign policy, not included in the enterprise of Ronchi, and, at the 
same time, heartening all Italians who were panic-stricken under the 
arrogant tyranny of Social-Bolshevism. 

I do not consider you, men of Trieste, as Italians to whom 
the whole truth cannot yet be spoken, because I think of 
you as among the best in the country, and your enthusiasm 
to-day has confirmed me in my opinion. The event, which 
had its counterpart in Rome on the 20th September 1870, 
was a magnificent picture in a poor frame, but upon this I 
am not going to dwell. 

A Comforting Balance. After a lapse of fifty years since 
the breach of Porta Pia, we must undertake the examination 
of our consciences. A nation like ours, which had issued 
from many centuries of disunion, which had barely achieved 
unity, had not then muscles strong enough to bear the 
weight of a world policy. A great Italian thinker x broke this 
tradition. In fifty years Italy has made marvellous pro- 

1 Francesco Crispi. 



THE FASCISTA 



109 



:ess. In the first place she has a sure foundation, and that 
the vitality of our race. There are nations which every 
rear scan the birth-rates with a certain preoccupation, 
because, gentlemen, it is just the want of balance in this 
sphere which produces the great crises — you know to what 
I allude. But Italy is not thus preoccupied. Italy had 
twenty-seven million inhabitants in 1870, she has now fifty 
million ; forty million of whom live in the Peninsula, and re- 
present the most homogeneous block in Europe, because, 
:ompared with Bohemia, for instance, where five millions 
>f the Czecho race govern seven millions of other races, 
Italy has only 180,000 German subjects on the Upper 

idige and 360,000 Slavs, all the rest forming one compact 

mole. And besides these forty millions, there are ten 
millions who have emigrated to all the continents and beyond 
all the oceans; there are 700,000 Italians in New York 

lone, another 400,000 in the state of San Paulo, 900,000 
the Argentine and 120,000 in Tunis. 



National Discipline. It is a pity that foreigners know us 
so little, but it is still more serious that Italians know 
Italy so little. If they knew her a little better, they would 
realise that there are peoples beyond her boundaries who 
are more retrograde than she is; they would learn, for in- 
stance, that Italy possesses the most powerful hydro-electric 
plant in the world. 

Do not speak to me of reactionary forces in Italy. Those 
who talk to me of a reactionary Government make me laugh, 
especially if they are immigrants or renegades from Trieste. 
Because if there is a country in the world where liberty 
is in danger of degenerating into licence, and where it 
is the inviolable patrimony of every citizen, it is Italy. 
There has not yet been seen in our country that which 
has been seen in France, where, as the result of a political 



no THE FASCISTA 

strike, the Republic dissolved the General Confederation 
of Labour, locked up the leaders and keeps them still in 
prison. Nor have we seen that which has been witnessed in 
England, where so-called undesirable elements are sent over 
to the other side of the Channel; or in the ultra-demo- 
cratic republic of the United States, where, in one single 
night, five hundred rebels were seized and sent over the 
Atlantic. If there is something to say, it is this: it is time 
to impose an iron discipline upon the individual and upon 
the masses, because social renovation is one thing — and 
this we are not against — but the destruction of the country 
quite another. As long as transformation is spoken of we 
are all agreed, but when instead it is a question of a leap 
in the dark, then we put our veto upon it. You will pass, 
we say, but it will be over our bodies; you will have to 
overcome our resistance first. 

The Greatness of Victory. Now, after this half -century of 
the life of Italy which I have thus roughly sketched, Trieste 
is Italian and the tricolour waves over the Brenner. If it were 
possible to pause one moment to measure the greatness of 
the event, you would find that the fact of the tricolour on 
the Brenner is of capital importance, in the history not only 
of Italy, but also of Europe. The tricolour on the Brenner 
means that the Germans will no longer descend with im- 
punity upon our lands. Glaciers have now been placed be- 
tween us and them, and on these glaciers are the magnificent 
Alpine soldiers who went to the assault of Monte Nero, 
who were sacrificed at Ortigara, and who have on their 
flag the motto "No passage this way." (Loud applause.) 

Now it is a most important fact that Trieste has come 
to Italy after a great victory. If we were not so occupied 
with the daily material necessities of life and the solution 
of commonplace and banal problems, we should know how 






THE FASCISTA in 

Io appreciate all that which took place on the banks of the 
} iave and at Vittorio Veneto. An Empire was destroyed 
i an hour, an Empire which had outlasted a century, an 
Empire in which necessity had developed a superfine art 
of government which consisted in the eternal "Divide et 
impera," according to the wisdom of Budapest and Vienna. 
This Empire had an army, a traditional policy, a bureau- 
cracy, and had bound all its citizens together in a universal 
suffrage. This Empire, which seemed so powerful and in- 
vincible, fell before the bayonets of the Italian people. 
The Italian Risorgimento is only a struggle between a 
;ople and a State, between the Italian people on one side 
id the Hapsburg State on the other, between the live forces 
the future and the dead past. It was inevitable that, 
Lving passed the Mincio in 1859, and the Upper Adige in 
:866, we had, in 1915, to pass the Isonzo and get beyond; 
was so far inevitable that the neutralists themselves have 
id to acknowledge that Italy could not, under pain of death, 
id what is worse, dishonour, have remained neutral. 
This vindication of our intervention is the fact which gives 
the greatest satisfaction. And what does it matter if I 
.d in a gloomy and pessimistic book that the acquisition 
Trento, Trieste and Fiume still represents a deficit in the 
lance of the war ? This way of arguing is ridiculous. In the 
it place, historical events cannot be regulated like a page 
book-keeping with receipts and payments, debit and 
edit. It is impossible to make out an estimate of historical 
.cts and expect it to agree with the final balance. 
All this is the result of a melancholy philosophy which was 
idespread over Italy after the war. But let us hope it will 
►n pass to leave room for a little optimism and pride, 
is after- war period is certainly critical; I fully recognise 
ie fact. But who can expect that a gigantic crisis like that 
five years of a world- war will be settled at once, that the 



U2 THE FASCISTA 

world will return to its previous tranquil state in less than 
two years ? The crisis is not limited to Trieste, Milan or Italy, 
it is world-wide and is not yet over. 

The Necessity of Struggle. Struggle is at the bottom of 
everything, because life is full of contrasts. There is love and 
hate, black and white, night and day, good and evil, and 
until these contrasts are balanced, struggle will always 
be at the root of human nature, as the supreme fatality. 
And it is a good thing that it is so. To-day there may 
be war, economic rivalry and conflicting ideas, but the day 
in which all struggle will cease will be a day of melancholy, 
will mean the end of all things, will mean ruin. Now this 
day will not come, because history presents itself as a chang- 
ing panorama. An attempt to return to peace and tran- 
quillity would mean fighting against the existing dynamic 
period. It is necessary to prepare ourselves for other sur- 
prises and struggles. " There will not be a period of peace/' 
they say, " unless the nations indulge in a dream of universal 
brotherhood and stretch out their hands beyond the moun- 
tains and the oceans." I, for my part, do not put too much 
faith in these ideals, but I do not exclude them, because I 
never exclude anything; everything is possible, even the 
impossible and absurd. But to-day, being to-day, it would 
be fallacious, criminal and dangerous to build our houses 
on the quicksands of international Christian-Socialist- 
Communism. These ideas are very respectable, but a long 
way from the truth. (Applause.) 

The Patriotism of Fascismo. What is the position of Fas- 
cismo in this difficult post-war period ? The foundation-stone 
of Fascismo is patriotism; that is to say, we are proud of 
being Italian. Now it is just this which separates us from a 
great many other people, who are so ridiculous and small 
and hide their patriotism, because eighty per cent, of the 



THE FASCISTA 113 

Italian population was once illiterate. This does not mean 
anything, for narrow, poor, elementary education may be 
worse than pure and simple illiteracy. It is an outworn 
idea that one who knows how to write must needs be more 
intelligent than one who does not know how to. 

Now we vindicate the honour of being Italian, because 
in our wonderful Peninsula — wonderful, although there are 
inhabitants who are not always wonderful — there has been 
enacted the most marvellous story of humanity. Do you 
think that a man who lives in far Japan or in America or 
in any other far-off spot can be counted educated if he does 
not know the history of Rome ? It is not possible. 

Rome. Rome is the name which filled history for twenty 

tturies. Rome gave the lead to universal civilisation, 

iced the roads and assigned the boundaries; Rome gave 

ie world the laws of its immutable rights. But if 

ds was the universal task of Rome in ancient times, we 

ive now another universal task. Our destiny cannot 

;ome universal unless it is transplanted to the pagan 

round of Rome. By means of Paganism Rome found her 

>rm and found the means of upholding herself in the world. 

Note that the task of Rome is not yet completed. No! 

because the story of Italy of the Middle Ages — the most 

brilliant story of Venice, which lasted for ten centuries, with 

jr ships in all seas and her ambassadors and her govern- 

tent, the like of which is no longer to be found to-day — 

not closed. The story of the Italian communes is full of 

mders, grandeur and nobility. Go to Venice, Pisa, Amain, 

jnoa and Florence, and you will find in the palaces and in 

ie streets the signs and vestiges of this marvellous and 

>t yet decayed civilisation. 

Now, my friends, after this period, in the beginning of 
>, when Italy was divided into seven little States, there 

H 



ii 4 THE FASCISTA 

arose a generation of poets. Poetry also has its task to 
perform in history, in arousing enthusiasm and in kindling 
faith, and not for nothing the greatest modern Italian poet 
— whether second-rate writers, who do not know how to 
express the smallest idea, recognise it or not — Gabriele 
d'Annunzio, represents in a magnificent union of thought 
and sentiment, the power of action which is characteristic 
of the Italian people. 

The Dolomites of Italian Thought. We are proud of being 
Italians, and not only for reasons of exclusivism. The modern 
spirit reaches out towards beauty and truth. One cannot 
think of a modern man who has not read Cervantes, Shake- 
speare, Goethe and Tolstoy. But all this must not make us 
forget that we were great when the others were not yet born, 
that while German Klopstock was writing his verbose 
Messiade, Dante Alighieri had been a giant for centuries. 
And we have also the sculpture of Michelangelo, the 
painting of Raffaello, the astronomy of Galileo, and the 
medicine of Morgagni, and with these the mysterious 
Leonardo da Vinci who excelled in all fields. And then, if 
you want to pass to politics and war, there is Napoleon 
and, above all, Garibaldi, most Italian of all. 

These are the Dolomites of Italian thought and spirit; 
but beside these almost inaccessible peaks are lower summits 
in great numbers, which show that it is quite impossible to 
think of human civilisation without the gigantic contribu- 
tion made by Italian thought. And this must be repeated 
at our boundaries, where there are tribes chattering incom- 
prehensible languages who would pretend, simply on account 
of their numbers, to supplant our marvellous civilisation 
which has endured two millenniums and is ready for a third. 

The Sincerity of Fascismo. The second foundation-stone 
of Fascismo is represented by anti-demagogism and prag- 



THE FASCISTA 115 

matism. We have no preconceived notions, no fixed ideas 
and, above all, no stupid pride. Those who say, "You are 
unhappy, here is the receipt for happiness,' 1 make me 
think of the advertisement "Do you want health?" We 
do not promise men happiness either here or in the next 
world; differing thus from the Socialists, who pretend 
that they can set the Russian mask on the face of the 
Mediterranean. 

Once there were courtiers who burned incense before the 
king and the popes ; now there is a new breed, which burns 
incense, without sincerity, before the proletariat. Only 
those who hold Italy in their hands have the right to govern 
her, they say, while these do not know even how to control 
their own families. We are different. We use another lan- 
guage, more serious, unprejudiced and worthy of free men. 
We do not exclude the possibility that the proletariat may 
be capable of using its present forces to other ends, but 
we say that before it tries to govern the nation it must 
to govern itself, must make itself worthy, technically 
id, still more, morally, because government is a tre- 
tendously difficult and complicated task. The nation is 
>mposed of millions and millions of individuals whose 
iterests clash, and there are no superior beings who can 
;oncile all these differences and make a union of life 
Ld progress. 

Fascismo is not Conservative. But we are not, on the other 
id, traditionalists, bound hand and foot to the stones 
id debris. Everything must be changed in the modern 
city. The ancient streets will no longer stand the wear and 
tear of the trams and motor traffic, because through them 
passes the whole of civilisation. It is possible to destroy in 
order to create anew in a form more beautiful and great, 
for destruction must never be carried out in the method of a 






n6 THE FASCISTA 

savage, who breaks open a machine in order to see what 
is inside. We do not refuse to make changes in our spiritual 
life just because the spirit is a delicate matter. No social 
transformation which is necessary, is repugnant to me. 
In this way I accept the famous control of the factories and 
also their co-operative management by companies; I only 
ask that there shall be a clear conscience and technical 
capacity, and that there shall be increased production. If 
this is guaranteed by the workmen's unions, instead of 
by the employers, I have no hesitation in saying that 
the former have the right to substitute the latter. 

The Bolshevist Mask. That which we Fascisti are opposing 
is the Bolshevist element in Italian Socialism. It is strange 
that a race which has produced Pisacane and Mazzini 
should go in search of gospels first to Germany and then 
to Russia. Pisacane and Mazzini ought to be studied, 
and then it would be seen that some of the truths which 
it is pretended have been revealed in Russia, are only 
truths already consecrated in the books of our great 
Italian thinkers. 

How can Communism be thought possible in the most 
individualistic country in the world? It is only possible 
where every man is a number, not in Italy where every 
man is an individual, and more, has individuality. But 
after all, my dear friends, does Bolshevism exist in Russia? 
It does not any longer. There are no longer councils of the 
factories, but dictators of the factories; no longer eight 
hours of work, but twelve; no longer equal salaries, but 
thirty-five different categories, not according to need, but 
according to merit. There is not in Russia even that liberty 
which there is in Italy. Is there a dictatorship of the 
proletariat? No! Is there a dictatorship of the Socialists? 
No! There is a dictatorship of a few intelligent men, not 






THE FASCISTA 117 

workmen, who belong to a section of the Socialist Party, 

and their dictatorship is opposed by all the other sections. 

This dictatorship of a few men is what is called Bolshevism. 

Now we do not want this in Italy. The Socialists themselves, 

realising what they have seen in Russia, recognise, when you 

question them, that that which has gone badly in Russia cannot 

be transplanted into Italy. Only they are wrong in not saying 

so openly ; they are wrong in playing with equivocations and 

deceiving the masses. We repeat, we are not against the 

working classes, because they are necessary to the nation, 

sacredly necessary. The twenty million Italians who work 

with their hands have the right to defend their interests. 

What we oppose is the deceitful action of politicians to the 

letriment of the working classes; we fight these new priests 

rho promise, in bad faith, a paradise they do not believe in 

lemselves. Those who are the most ardent advocates 

)f Bolshevism here in Trieste take up this attitude in order 

make themselves popular with the Slav masses who live 

tear. And if I have a profound lack of esteem for the Bol- 

levist leaders in Italy, and despise many of them, it is 

jcause I know them all well and have been in contact 

ith them. I know perfectly well that when they play the 

ion they are rabbits, and that they are like certain monks 

Heinrich Heine who openly preach the drinking of water 

Ld drink wine themselves in secret. We wish to see this 

Lameful speculation finish, because it is against the interests 

the nation. 

Always against Italy. Can you tell me by what curious 
tance the Socialists are always against Italy in all 
[uestions ? Can you tell me why they always side with those 
to are against Italy? With the Albanians, the Croats, 
ie Germans and others ? Can you tell me why they shout 
Long live Albania! " who is fighting for Valona, which is 



n8 THE FASCISTA 

Albanian, and do not shout "Long live Italy!" who is fight- 
ing for Trent o and Trieste, which are Italian? By what cri- 
terion are they always against Italy, shouting, "Down, 
down ! " Four Arabs revolt in Libya and they shout, "Down 
with Libya!" Six thousand Albanians attack Valona and 
it is, "Down with Valona!" And if to-morrow the Croats 
of Dalmatia attack us it will be, "Down with Dalmatia!" 
And if, upon the burning mountain of the Carso, an insur- 
rectional movement develops against Trieste, I am afraid 
the Italian Socialists would cry, " Down with Trieste ! " But 
there are Italians here and elsewhere who would strangle 
the fratricidal cry in their throats. 

It was the same with their opposition to the war. War 
is a horrible thing in itself. Those who have been through it 
know. But it is necessary to explain. If they say, "War 
in itself and for itself, for whatever reason, in whatever 
latitude, under whatsoever pretext, must not be made," 
then I respect these humanitarians and Tolstoyans. If they 
say, "I abhor that blood shall be spilled under any pre- 
text," then I respect them and admire them, although I 
find this impracticable. But when they cry, "Down 
with the war!" when Italy makes it, and "Long live the 
war ! " when Russia makes it, it is a different matter. They 
had a paper which was very happy when the so-called 
Bolshevists were marching towards W r arsaw, and employed 
the military style: "While we are writing the cannons ..." 
etc. ; we know it all by heart. Is not this war then the same 
thing ? Does not the Russian war make widows and orphans ? 
Is it not made with guns, aeroplanes and all the innumerable 
instruments which tear and kill human bodies ? Either they 
must be contrary to all wars, in which case we can discuss 
together, or if they make distinctions between war and war, 
between the war which can be made and the war which 
cannot — well, we can tell them that their humanitarianism 



THE FASCISTA 119 

is simply horrible. And if they have reason to make 
war, we had reason to make it for the destinies of the 
country in 19 15. (Applause.) 

The Epic of D'Annunzio. What, then, is to be the task 
of Fascismo? It is this: to bridle Demagogism with cour- 
age, energy and impetuosity. Fascismo is called the Fascio 
of Fighters, and the word "fighters" does not leave any 
doubts about its aims, which are, to fight with peaceful 
arms, but also with the arms of warriors. And this is normal 
in Italy, because all the world is arming itself, and so it is 
absolutely necessary that we Italians arm ourselves in our turn. 

But the task of Fascismo here is more delicate, more 
difficult, and more necessary. Fascismo here has a reason for 
existence, and finds a natural field for development. I have 
unlimited faith in the future of the Italian nation. Crises 
will succeed crises, there will be pauses and parentheses, but 
we shall arrive at a settlement, and the history of to-morrow 
cannot be thought of without the participation of Italy. 

There have been many orders of the day, many articles 
in the papers, much more or less senseless talk, but the only 
man who has achieved a real revolutionary stroke, the only 
man who for twelve or thirteen months has held in check 
all the forces ranged against him is Gabriele d'Annunzio 
with his legionaries. Against this man, of pure Italian 
blood, are leagued all the cowards, and it is for this reason 
that we are proud to be with him, even if all this tribe 
turn against us too. This man also represents the possibility 
of victory and resurrection. And this possibility exists be- 

Luse we have made war and won. It is ridiculous that 
those who most profited by it in wages, votes and honours 
are those who, to-day, turn round and revile it. In any case 
I think, as indeed this meeting of yours bears witness, that 
the hour of the vindication of our national efficiency has 
struck. While on the one hand there is a vast world of 



120 THE FASCISTA 

wretched, poor creatures, there is also a world which does 
not forget and does not ignore our victory. (Applause.) 

The Re-birth of Ideals. Just as I was leaving Milan, I 
received from the mayor of Cupra Marittima, a little town 
of Central Italy, an invitation to be present at their com- 
memoration of the fallen. I did not accept, because I do not 
like making speeches. But this episode, like the pilgrimage 
of the Ortigara, the pilgrimage to the Grappa, the pilgrim- 
age of the 24th October to the rocky Carso, tells you that 
all ideals are not lost, but are, on the contrary, being re-born. 
We wish to assist this spiritual re-birth in every way possible. 

Yesterday, I experienced a moment of great emotion when 
passing over the Isonzo. Every time that I have passed 
that river with my pack on my back, I have stooped to drink 
of its crystal waters. If we had not reached the other side 
of that river, the tricolour would not to-day be flying from 
San Giusto. 

This is the real and true meaning of the war. If the 
tricolour flies from San Giusto, it is because twenty years 
ago a man of Trieste was the forerunner; it is there be- 
cause in 1915 Italian soldiers threw themselves upon the 
Austrian defences, and all Italy took part in that act, from 
the Alpine detachments of the mountains of Piedmont, 
Lombardy and Friuli to the magnificent infantry of the 
Abruzzi, Puglie and Sicily and the soldiers of the generous 
island of Sardinia, too much neglected by the Government ! 
And these generous sons have not yet risen up to take 
reprisals against the demagogues of Italy, because they are 
always ready to fulfil their duty. 

Men of Trieste ! The tricolour of San Giusto is sacred, the 
tricolour on the Nevoso is sacred, and still more so is that 
on the Dinaric Alps. The tricolour will be protected by 
our dead heroes, but let us swear together that it will be 
defended also by the living. (Prolonged applause.) 



fHE FASCISTA 121 



FASCISMO AND THE PROBLEMS OF FOREIGN 

POLICY 

Speech delivered at the Politeama Rossetti, Trieste, 6th February 
1921. 

Just as, a few months before, at the time of Italy's darkest hour, 
when the Bolshevist movement was at its zenith, Mussolini had 
addressed to the people of Trieste wise words of faith, so in the 
spring of 192 1, the spring famous for anti-Socialist reaction, Trieste 
was once more the city he chose as the place best suited for the 
exposition of his analysis of the problems of foreign policy. On that 
occasion the patriotic and liberated town, which gave the first 
impulse of assault in the energetic offensive against the local 
Austrian Bolshevists, accorded to the leader of the new Italy 
hearty manifestations of general assent. 

In order to indicate the direction which Italian foreign 
policy should take in the immediate future, it is a good thing 
to give a glance first at the general situation in the world, 
and at the forces and currents which are at work, with a 
view to rinding out what may be the possible develop- 
ments and results. 

All the States of the world are in a condition of fatal 
interdependence. The period for splendid isolation is passed 
for everyone. It can well be said, that with the war the 
story of mankind has acquired a world movement. While 
Europe, severely weakened, struggles to recover her economic, 
political and spiritual balance, already beyond the bound- 
aries of the old Continent a formidable clash of interests is 
shaping itself. I allude to the conflict between the United 
States and Japan, and to the accounts of recent episodes, 
from the Affair of the Cable to the Bill against the Yellow 
igration in California, which have occupied the papers. 



122 THE FASCISTA 

Japan has a population of yj millions, and the United! 
States no millions. That it was known that a struggle! 
between these two States was inevitable is proved by the! 
very significant fact that the book which had the widest! 
circulation among all classes in Tokio was called Our\ 
Next War with the United States, a book which outlined the I 
war between the continents for the dominion of the Pacific. I 
The centre of world civilisation is tending to alter its] 
position. Up to about 1500 it was in the Mediterranean;] 
after the discovery of America, it shifted to the Atlantic;] 
to-day its passage to the biggest ocean of the planet is in-] 
dicated. I said, last time I spoke here, that we were| 
approaching the "Asiatic" century. Japan is destined to] 
be the fermenting element of all the Yellow world. 

As the result of shifting the centre of civilisation from 
London to New York (which has already seven million | 
inhabitants and will soon be the largest agglomeration of] 
human beings on the earth), and from the Atlantic to the 
Pacific, there are those who foresee a gradual economic 
and spiritual decay of our old Europe, and of our wonderful 
little continent, which has been, hitherto, the guiding light 
of all the world. Shall we live to see the eclipse of the] 
European role in the history of mankind? 

The European Situation. To this disquieting and depress- 
ing question we answer, "It is possible." The life of 
Europe, especially that of Central Europe, is at the mercy 
of the Americans. Europe presents a troubled political] 
and economic panorama, a thorny maze of national and 
social questions, and it happens that Communism is some- 1 
times the mask of Nationalism and vice versa. European | 
" unity " does not seem to be any nearer realisation. Egoism | 
and the interests of nations and classes exist in proud j 
contrast. Russia is no longer an enigma from the economic 



THE FASCISTA 123 

point of view. In Russia there is neither Communism nor 
Socialism, but an agrarian revolution of the democratic 
lower-middle-class kind. She only remains an enigma 
from the political point of view. What foreign policy does 
Russia follow? Is it a policy of peace or war? The variety 
of facts which reach our ears make us continually waver 
between one opinion and another. Perhaps under the 
emblem of the sickle and the hammer is hidden — or not 
hidden — the old Panslavism, which to-day is dominated, 
besides, by the immediate necessity of extending the revolu- 
tion to the rest of Europe, in order to save the Government 
of the Soviet in Russia. If Russia adopts a policy of war, the 
fate of the Baltic States (Lithuania, Lettonia and Esthonia) 
will be sealed. The fate of Poland would also be uncertain, 
and she might find herself driven against the unfriendly 
German wall by an eventual breaking loose of the Russian 
forces. There are serious conflicting interests between the 
different States of those north-east shores. There is a dis- 
agreement between Poland, Lithuania and Russia as regards 
Wilna and Grodno. The rights on the basis of history and 
statistics are with Poland. There are 263,000 Poles in the 
district of Wilna as compared with 118,000 Lithuanians, 
8000 White Ruthenians and 83,000 Jews. The same figures, 
proportionately, are found in Grodno. As for Upper Silesia, 
which keeps the Polish and German worlds in a state of 
continuous agitation, the German statistics give these 
returns: 1,348,000 Poles, 588,000 Germans. Upper Silesia 
is, therefore, Polish, but its final destiny will be decided by 
the plebiscite summoned for the 15th March. 

7*0 Treaties of Peace. The Great War has resulted in six 

ities of peace up to the present : Versailles, St. Germain, 

ion, Neuilly, Sevres, Rapallo. Not one of these treaties 

wholly satisfied the victors; not one, even the Treaty 



124 THE FASCISTA 

of Rapallo, which was supposed to be a masterpiece of 
friendly and peaceful negotiation, has been accepted by 
the vanquished. As far as the Treaty of Versailles, the 
greatest of all, is concerned, even at this moment the im- 
portant question of the indemnity which Germany ought 
to pay is still under discussion. It is a figure which makes 
us feel giddy and the last word has not yet been said. All 
the settlements, especially those made by diplomats, have 
an ironically provisional character. 

The Germans, who have formed the "sacred union'* 
of non-payment, announce that they will make counter- 
proposals by the same representatives who will speak at 
London in a few weeks' time. Our opinion is, that if the 
Germans can pay they ought, as far as it is possible, and 
the experts must ascertain the truth of this possibility. We 
must not forget, before allowing ourselves to pity the Ger- 
mans — who had already fixed our indemnity at 500 milliards 
of gold, in the case of their victory — that it was the Germans 
who began the war, and that the first Irredentism was 
directed against Italy, on account of those minorities which 
had descended, without right, into the Upper Adige. 

German Austria, Macedonia and Smyrna. The present 
Austrian Republic was the result of the Treaty of St. Ger- 
main. Can it continue to live, formed as it is at present? 
It is generally thought not. There remains the alternative 
of a Danube Confederation with its centre at Vienna and 
Budapest, but the "Little Entente'* sees to it that there 
shall be no return, under any form, of the old regime. 
We think that, by the force of events, an economic Danube 
Confederation will be formed sooner or later, in which 
case the conditions of Austria, and especially of Vienna, 
would improve until she had arrived at the point of lessen- 
ing the pro-German annexationist movement. From the 



THE FASCISTA 125 

standpoint of justice, and whenever there was a clear 
manifestation of the will of the people, Austria would 
have the right of separating herself from Germany. This 
possible eventuality cannot leave us indifferent, because of 
the boundaries of the Brenner, which is a question of life 
or death for the Paduan valley. A hungry and pauper 
Austria cannot organise a dangerous Irredentism against us ; 
but as the result of union with Germany the question of the 
Upper Adige would certainly become more acute. 

As for Hungary, she can certainly expect a revision of 
the treaty which mutilates her on every side. It must be 
added, however, that the chapter of Fiume is definitely 
closed in Hungarian history. 

1 Centres of infection for another war exist all over the~l 
dkan world. Let us quote Montenegro and Albania, for 
example. We are in favour of the independence of both 
these States, provided that they show themselves capable 
of enjoying it. Bulgaria has a right to Macedonia x and also 
to a port on the ^Egean. And this is of capital importance 
for the economic expansion of Italy in Bulgaria. The Treaty 
of Sevres crushed Turkey in order to exalt the Greece of 
Venizelos and Constantine, which gave the European war 
the sacrifice of 787 "euzoni.' 1 We consider, as far as the 
Eastern Mediterranean is concerned, that Italy, on the whole, 
should follow a pro-Turkish policy. -J 

The Treaty of Rapallo. Immediately after the signing of 
the Treaty of Rapallo, the Central Committee of the Fascio 
passed its judgment upon it, finding it "acceptable for the 
Eastern boundaries, inacceptable and deficient as regards 
Fiume, and insufficient and to be rejected as regards Zara 
and Dalmatia." At three months' distance this judgment 
does not seem to be contradicted by successive events. 
The Treaty of Rapallo is an unhappy compromise, against 

1 Population: 1,181,000 Bulgarians, 499,000 Turks, and 228,000 Greeks. 



126 THE FASCISTA 

which pages of criticism were printed in the Popolo d 1 Italia, 
which it is now useless to repeat. 

It must be explained why victorious Italy ever arrived 
at the point of signing the Peace of Rapallo. And the 
explanations do not need much mental exertion. Rapallo 
was the logical consequence of the line of foreign policy 
followed by us or imposed upon us before, during and after 
the war. It is explained by Wilson and his so-called 
experts and the absolute lack of Italian propaganda abroad 
and the dead-tiredness of the people. Rapallo is explained 
by the meeting of the oppressed nationalities held at Rome 
in April 1918, which meeting can be directly connected 
with the ill-fated story of Caporetto. Everything is paid for 
in this life. On 12th November 1920, we paid at Rapallo 
for the breakdown of 24th October 1917. Had there been 
no Caporetto, there would have been no Pact of Rome. In 
that congress the Yugoslavs threw dust in our eyes because 
in reality they did nothing towards breaking up the Dual 
Monarchy from within, of which they were the faithful slaves 
to the last, with traditional Croat loyalty. Not for no- 
thing did the Hapsburg monarchy, upon its decease, try to 
present the Jugoslavs with its navy. But it was in the 
April of 1918 that the irreparable was committed, with 
the consent of all currents of Italian public opinion, in- 
cluding ours and the Nationalists — that is to say, our worst 
enemies were raised to the rank of effectual and powerful 
allies, and naturally, when the victory was obtained, there 
was no accepting of the role of vanquished, but they adopted 
that of co-operators with a relative share in the common 
booty. After the Pact of Rome it was no longer possible 
to place our knee on the chest of Yugoslavia — this is the 
truth. And so it happened that the Italian people — tired, 
impoverished and unnerved by two long years of useless 
negotiations, demoralised by the policy of the Government 



THE FASCISTA 127 

and the tremendous wave of after-war sabotage (against 
which only the Fascisti reacted powerfully) — accepted, or 
rather suffered, the Treaty of Rapallo, without manifesta- 
tions of grief or joy. And, in order to finish it once and for 
all, many people would also have accepted the terrible line 
of Montemaggiore. All the parties of all the grades of Left 
and Right accepted the treaty as a lesser evil. We, too, 
submitted to it, considering it merely as a transitory and 
ephemeral act (has there ever been anything definite in 
the world, much less upon the moving sands of diplomacy?), 
and with the intention of gathering our forces to be ready 
for the revision which, sooner or later, would improve the 
reaty and not make it worse, would carry our boundaries 
te Dinaric Alps, but never again allow the boundaries 
Yugoslavia to reach the Isonzo. 

"he fate meted out to Dalmatia makes us very sad. 
the fault does not lie wholly with the negotiators of 
eleventh hour; the renunciation had already been made 
Parliament, in the papers and in the universities them- 
es, where a professor printed a book, which was naturally 
islated at Zagabria, in which he proved, in his own way, 
it Dalmatia is not Italian. The Dalmatian tragedy lies 
this ignorance, bad faith and want of understanding; 
dts which we hope to repair with our work by making 
Dalmatia known, loved and defended. 

The treaty, once signed, could be annulled in one of two 
ways : by outside war or internal revolution. Both equally 
absurd. You do not make the people throng the squares 
in order to change a peace treaty after five years of blood- 
shed. Nobody is capable of working such prodigies. It was 
possible to cause a revolution in Italy in order to obtain 
intervention; but to cause a revolution in November 1920, 
in order to annul a peace treaty which, good or bad, had 
m accepted by ninety-nine per cent, of the Italian people, 



128 THE FASCISTS 

could not be considered. I do not mind much about co- 
herence, but there are stenographic records which beai 
witness to the fact that I steadily refused to go against thd 
treaty either by promoting outside war or internal revolution. 
I considered that it was also dangerous to get mixed up 
in an armed resistance to the treaty. 

The Tragedy of Fiume. Two months of polemics and daily 
articles during November and December bear witness to 
my support of the cause of Fiume, and my open and strong 
opposition to the Parliament. 

It is a pity that oblivion falls so quickly on the words of] 
a daily paper; and I have not the melancholy habit of un- 
earthing what I publish. But the undeniable truth is this: 
that day after day I fought so that the Government at Rome 
should recognise the Government at Fiume; so that the 
representatives of the Regency should be invited to Rapallo; 
and so that the Government at Rome should avoid any 
armed attack on Fiume. At the outset I called the attack of 
Christmas Eve an enormous crime, and I always upheld the 
spirit of justice, liberty and free-will which were the inspira- 
tion of the legions of Ronchi. 

The Audience in the Gallery. It sometimes happens in 
history as in the theatre, that there is an audience in the!: 
gallery, which, having paid for its tickets, demands that 
the performance shall run to a close at all costs. Thus in 
Italy to-day there are two types of individuals : those who 
blame D'Annunzio for having lived to see the end of the( 
Fiume tragedy, and those who blame Mussolini for not! 
having brought about that easy, pretty little thing which I 
is called a revolution ! I have always disdained the cowardly \ 
method by which, in Italy, impotence, anger and misery! 
are laid upon the heads of real or imaginary scapegoats. 
The Fasci had never promised to bring about revolution ! 



I 



THE FASCISTA 129 

in the event of an attack on Fiume, nor have I ever written 
or made known to D'Annunzio that revolution depended 
upon my caprice. Revolution is not a Jack-in-the-box 
which can be worked at will. I do not carry it in my 
pocket, any more than those who fill their noisy mouths 
with its name and in practice do not get beyond disorders 
in the squares after unimportant demonstrations accom- 
panied by a providential arrest to avoid any more serious 
complications. I know the breed. I have been in politics 
for twenty years. In the war between Caviglia and Fiume, 
either great things should have been accomplished, or else, 
for reasons of self-respect, excessive shouting and raising of 
smoke, which vanished at once without trace and without 
bloodshed, should have been avoided. 

With Whom and Where ? History learned from far-off 
events teaches men little; but that which we see written 
daily under our eyes ought to be more successful. Now these 
chronicles of every day tell us that revolution is made with 
an army and not against an army; with arms, not without 
arms; with movements of trained squadrons, not with the 
untrained masses called to meetings in the squares. They 
succeed when they are made in an atmosphere of sympathy 
on the part of the majority; if this is lacking they die down 
and fail. Now in Fiume the army and navy did not fail. 
A certain revolutionary spirit of the eleventh hour did not 
take definite shape ; it was the work sometimes of anarchists 
and sometimes of Nationalists. According to some emis- 
saries it was possible to put the devil and holy water 
together, the nation and that which was against the nation : 
Misiano and Del Croix. Now I reject all forms of Bolshevism, 
but if I were obliged to choose one, I should choose that of 
Moscow and Lenin, if for no other reason because at least 

ihas gigantic, barbaric and universal proportions. What 



i 3 o THE FASCISTA 

revolution was it to be, then? National or Bolshevist? 
A great uncertainty, complicated by a great many minor 
considerations, confused men's minds, while the nation, 
in a mood of revolt against that which had happened round 
Fiume, abandoned itself to an attitude of grief, in which 
the only bright spot was the hope that the episode 
would retain its local character and come quickly to a 
peaceful conclusion. 

Hypotheses and Certainties. If there had been an insurrec- 
tion on our part — and this was not possible owing to the 
armed forces which the Government had at its disposal — 
there must have been one of two results : defeat or victory. 
In the first case, everything would have been irretrievably 
lost in the abyss of civil war. Let us, for the sake of argu- 
ment, presuppose the second hypothesis: that of victory 
with the fall of the Government and of the regime. After 
the more or less easy period of demolition, what form 
would the revolution take? Social, as some Bolshevists 
wish — those with the motto "Always further Left/' the 
equivalent of the grotesque "Go to the reddest" — or 
national, Dalmatian and reactionary, as others desire? 

There is no possibility of reconciliation between the two 
currents. In a revolution of the social order, what im- 
portance would the territorial questions, and more precisely 
that of Dalmatia, have had ? In the other event of a national 
revolution against the Treaty of Rapallo, everything would 
have been limited to a formal annulment of the treaty 
and to a substitution of men; to be followed later by 
another treaty in another Rapallo, in order that one day 
or another the nation might have her peace. An episode 
of civil war was not remedied by letting loose a bigger war 
in times like these through which we are passing, and 
nobody is capable of prolonging and creating artificially 



THE FASCISTA 131 

historical situations which are over and done with. Only 
the man who knows how to lift himself above common 
passions, who knows how to draw conclusions from con- 
flicting elements and how to distinguish the pure grain 
from the equivocal chaff, is able to understand that Fiume 
Christmas, which can be called the tragic crossroads be- 
tween the reasons of the State and of the ideal: the 
meeting-place of all our deficiencies and all our greatness. 

Suspended Problems. The first is that of Fiume. We do 
not feel the necessity of reaffirming our sympathy for the 
sacrificed city. We have given the most tangible proofs, 
recently, of our solidarity with the Fascio of Fiume, in order 
to put it in a position to undertake the struggle against 
the Croats, who are now beginning to show signs of life, 
'he action of the Fascisti must tend, for the moment, 
►wards economic annexation of Fiume to Italy, to arousing 
te interest of the Government and private individuals, and 
the same time keeping alive, by every means, the torch 
Italy, so that in due time economic will be followed 
political annexation. We shall achieve this in spite of 
r ery thing. All the Fascist a force, national and parlia- 
tentary, must be concentrated on Zara, so that the little 
city shall be able to accomplish her important and delicate 
mission in history. There must be efficacious education 
for the Italians who have remained in the principal cities 
of Dalmatia, and no separate constituencies for the Slavs in 
Istria and the Germans in the Upper Adige. It is not pos- 
sible to establish such a precedent, as it would carry us far. 
Ee French of the Val d'Aosta, who are in reality excellent 
lians, have no special constituencies and privileges of that 
t. These duplicate constituencies would be a grave 
mistake. It is up to the Fascisti of Trento and Trieste to 
revent this happening at any cost. 



132 THE FASCISTA 

Old and New Directions. The lines of the programme 
laid down at the meeting at Milan in May last year have 
not become out of date or in need of revision. Fascismo 
has the name of being " imperialist.' ' This accusation goes 
together with that of being reactionary. Fascismo is against 
renunciations when they mean humiliation and diminution. 

Given these general premises — first, that Fascismo does 
not believe in the principles of the so-called League of 
Nations nor in its vitality; secondly, that Fascismo does not 
believe in the Red Internationals, which die, reproduce 
themselves, multiply and die again: for they are small, 
artificial organisations, small minorities compared to the 
masses of the population, which, living, dying, progressing 
or retrogressing, finishes by deciding those changes of 
interests before which the international organisations of 
the first, second and third order crumble to pieces ; thirdly, 
that Fascismo does not believe in the immediate possi- 
bility of general disarmament, and fourthly, considers that 
Italy, in the present historical period, should follow a 
policy of European equilibrium and conciliation — it follows 
that the Italian Fascio of Fighters demands: — 

1. That the treaties of peace shall be revised and modified 
in those parts which have proved inapplicable, or which 
might prove in application the cause of formidable hatred 
and new wars. 

2. The economic annexation of Fiume to Italy, or the 
care of the Italians resident in Dalmatia. 

3. The gradual economic emancipation of Italy from abroad 
by the development of her productive forces. 

4. The renewal of relations with the enemy countries — 
Austria, Germany, Bulgaria, Turkey and Hungary — but 
with dignity and holding fast to the supreme necessity of 
maintaining our northern and eastern boundaries. 

5. The creation and intensification of friendly relations 



I 



THE FASCISTA 133 

with the peoples of the East, not excluding those governed 
by the Soviet and South-eastern Europe. 

6. The vindication of the rights and interests of the nation 
as regards the colonies. 

7. The abandonment of the old systems and the replace- 
ment of all our diplomatic representatives with others from 
the special university faculties. 

8. The furtherance of the Italian colonies in the Mediter- 
ranean and beyond the Atlantic by economic and educational 
means and by rapid communications. 

Towards a New Italy. I have enormous faith in the future 
greatness of the Italian people. Ours is the most numerous 
and homogeneous of the peoples of Europe. 

The war has enormously increased the prestige of Italy. 
" Long live Italy ! " is now cried in far-off Lettonia and still 
more distant Georgia. 

Italy is the tricolour wing of Ferrarin, the magnetic wave of 
Marconi, the baton of Toscanini, the revival of Dante, in 
the sixth centenary of his departure. Let us prepare our- 
selves by energetic everyday work for the Italy of to-morrow 
of which we dream; an Italy free and rich, resounding 
with song, with her skies and seas populated with her 
fleets, and her earth fruitful beneath her ploughs. And 
may the coming citizens be able to say what Virgil said 
of ancient Rome: "Imperium oceano, famam terminavit 
astris " (The Empire ended with the ocean, but .her fame 

iched the wars). 



134 THE FASCISTA 



HOW FASCISMO WAS CREATED 

ITS EVOLUTION AND ESSENCE 

Speech delivered at the Teatro Comunale of Bologna, 3rd April 
1921. 

Bologna, the capital of the so-called red region of Emilia, a region 
thought to be lost to the Italian State as far as laws and authority 
were concerned, from the 2nd to the 4th of April passed through 
truly memorable days. 

The learned and noble city, with its fine patriotic traditions, 
whose very walls recall the popular and patrician insurrection 
against the Austrians, welcomed Benito Mussolini with manifesta- 
tions of solidarity and veneration such as were accorded to Giuseppe 
Garibaldi. For if the latter was a liberator from foreign tyranny, the 
former had been no less a liberator from an equal tyranny, arising 
from similar causes, although materialised through different means 
and by different agents living in our midst. 

All who witnessed those enthusiastic manifestations instantly 
perceived that the problem of Italian internal politics was now 
solved by the definite defeat of that parasitic, anti-National Social- 
ism, the enemy of liberty, which had chosen the Valle Padana as 
the most suitable experimental field for the fecundation of the 
microbes of Collectivist Utopia, and incidentally for the exploitation 
of the masses of the proletariat. 

Fascisti of Emilia and Romagna — Citizens of Bologna ! I 
feel that I might be carried out of that sphere of eloquence 
which is mine by all the circumstances of this meeting, 
beginning with the welcomes of yesterday evening and the 
songs of last night, and ending with this magnificent sea 
of heads and the greeting which I received with the 
greatest veneration from the widow of our unforgettable 
Giulio Giordani, and the presence of two heroic women, 
the widows of the two heroes, Battisti and Venezian. 
(Applause.) But as I hope, and am almost certain, that 
you do not expect eloquence from me, but a short abrupt 






THE FASCISTA 135 

speech as is my habit, I will proceed to speak clearly in 
the Fascista manner. j^ € <+**<* ^<^ ^ be* (fu***JU^ f*»~.* uo, 

Octattb 

How Fascismo was born. I thank my friend Grandi for 
having presented me to you and with such flattering words. 
I do not think, however, that I am guilty of the sin of pride 
if I accept them. I think I may say, in accordance with 
Socrates, that I know myself. (Applause.) 

How then was this Fascismo born ; amid what conflicting 
passions, sympathy, hatred, and lack of comprehension? 
It was not only born in my mind and heart, in that meeting 
held in March 19 19 in the little hall at Milan, it was born of 
the profound and perennial need of this our Mediterranean 

id Aryan race, which felt the essential foundations of its 

istence threatened by a tragic folly which will crumble 
to pieces, to-day, upon the ground on which it was raised. 

We felt then — we, who were not penitent Magdalens; 

r e, who had always had the courage to uphold intervention 

id reason in those days of 1915 ; we, who were not ashamed 
>f having barred the way to Austria on the Piave and having 
:rushed her at Vittorio Veneto ; we, who wished for a victor- 
ious peace, felt at once, almost before the exultation of vic- 
tory had passed, that our task was not ended, and I, myself, 
Felt that my work was not done. As a matter of fact, at 
jvery turn of events it was said that my task and the task 
>f the forces I lead was accomplished. In May 1915, when 

ie Fascismo of Revolutionary Action had swept away all 
leutralists from the streets and squares of Italy, even in 

ie smallest villages, it was said : " Mussolini has no more to 

Ly to the nation." But when the tragic days of Caporetto 
ie and Milan was grey and ghastly for those who felt 

tat if the Austrians passed and came to the city of the 
'inque Giornate it would be the end of Italy, then we felt 

iat we still had a word to say. And again, after victory, 



136 THE FASCISTA 

when there arose the more or less democratic school of 
renunciation which was intent upon mutilating the victory, 
we Fascisti had the supreme and unprejudiced courage to 
proclaim ourselves Imperialists and against all renunciation. 

That was the first battle, fought in the theatre of the 
Scala in January 1919. But how did it happen? We had 
won ; we had sacrificed the flower of our youth, and they 
came to us with bills of usury and extortion ! They disputed 
with us the sacred boundaries of the country, and there were 
Democrats in Italy, whose democracy consisted in Im- 
perialism for others and no Imperialism for us, who threw 
this ridiculous accusation at us, because we intended that 
Italy should be bounded on the north by the Brenner, as 
she shall be while there is Italian blood in Italy! We in- 
tended that the eastern boundaries should be at the Nevoso, 
because that is the just and natural confine of our country; 
and they accused us because we did not turn deaf ears to 
the appeal of Fiume, because we feel in our hearts the 
sufferings of our brothers in Dalmatia, because, in fact, we 
feel those bonds of race to be alive and vital which bind us, 
not only to the Italians of Zara, Ragusa and Cattaro, but also 
to those of the Canton Ticino and Corsica, to those beyond 
the oceans, to all that great family of fifty million men whom 
we wish to unite in the same pride of race. (Applause.) 

Already we have noticed the first signs of the Socialist 
offensive. On 16th February, Milan was the witness — to 
the fear and terror of the trembling middle classes — of a 
procession of 20,000 Bolshevists, who, after having hymned 
Lenin from the top of the castle towers, proclaimed that the 
Bolshevist revolution was imminent. 

The Pride of Victory. On the morrow of that day I issued 
an article, 1 which made an impression also among some 
friends, and which was entitled, "The Return of the Trium- 
1 Popolo d' Italia, 17th Feb. 191 9. 




THE FASCISTA 

phant Beast." In it was said: "We are ready to dig 
trenches in the squares of Italy and set up barbed wire, in 
order to win and fight to the last against the enemy.' 1 And 
the sabotage, begun with that parade, lasted all the summer. 
Also, in those days, we Fascisti had the courage to defend 
certain actions which, measured by the standard of current 
morals, perhaps were indefensible. But, gentlemen, war 
is like revolution, it must be taken as a whole; detail cannot 
and must not be gone into. But, meanwhile, the cam- 
paign had its results upon the elections. One million eight 
hundred and fifty thousand electors registered their vote 
with the symbol of the sickle and the hammer. One hundred 
and fifty-six deputies were returned to the Chamber. The 
catastrophe seemed imminent. Then I was fished out, a 
;uicide (!) of the waters — not by any means too limpid — of 
te old Naviglio ! 

But one thing had been forgotten — our tenacious spirit 
id sometimes indomitable will. I, proud of my four 
lousand votes — and those who saw me in those days know 
>w immovably I accepted that electoral response — said, 
he battle goes on!" Because I firmly believed that 
le day would come in which the Italians would be ashamed 
of the elections of 16th November, that the day would 
come in which the Italians would no longer elect in two 
cities that ignoble deserter whom I do not wish to name. 
And it has proved true, because this man to-day, not being 
>le to maintain his part in the drama, has descended from 
ie stage and, having despised the Guardie Regie, now asks 
tern for protection. 

But has the growth of this movement of Fascismo, this 
>ung ardent and heroic movement, finished yet? I, who 
idicate the paternity of this, my creature so overflowing 
ith life, feel sometimes that it has already overstepped 
Le modest boundaries I laid down for it. Now we Fascisti 



138 THE FASCISTA 

have a clear programme; we must move on led by a 
pillar of fire, because we are slandered and not understood. 
And, however much violence may be deplored, it is evident 
that we, in order to make our ideas understood, must beat 
refractory skulls with resounding blows. 

Necessary Violence. But we do not make a school, a 
system or, worse still, an aesthetic of violence. We are 
violent when it is necessary to be so. But I tell you at once 
that this necessary violence on the part of the Fascisti must 
have a character and style of its own, definitely aristocratic, 
or, if you prefer, surgical. 

Our punitive expeditions, all those acts of violence which 
figure in the papers, must always have the character of a 
just retort and legitimate reprisal; because we are the 
first to recognise that it is sad, after having fought the 
external enemy, to have to fight the enemy within, who, 
whether they like it or not, are Italians. But it is necessary, 
and as long as it is necessary, we shall continue to carry 
out this hard and thankless task. 

Now the Democrats, the Republicans and the Socialists 
accuse us of various things. The Socialists, hitherto, have 
said that we were sold to the profiteers and the agrarians. 
Now there are not enough profiteers in the whole of Italy 
to support a movement like ours, and in any case I must 
say that they would be rather stupid profiteers, because 
from the March of 19 19 we, in our Fascista programmes, 
have laid down fiscal provisions which are pretty heavy 
and in any case anti-profiteer. The accusations of the 
Democrats are equally ridiculous, and also those of the 
Republicans. I cannot explain to myself why the Re- 
publicans are against a movement which has republican ten- 
dencies like ours. I could understand them being against us 
if we were in favour of the monarchy. They say to us : " You 



THE FASCISTA 139 

have no preconceptions." We have not, and we are proud of 
it. But you must explain the phenomenon of the anger and 
the incomprehension of the Socialists. The Socialists had 
formed a State within a State. If this new State had been 
more liberal, more modern, nearer the old type, there would 
have been nothing against it. But this State, and you know 
it by direct experience, is more tyrannical, illiberal and 
overbearing than the old one; and for this reason that 
which we are causing to-day is a revolution to break up the 
Bolshevist State, while waiting to settle our accounts with 
le Liberal State which remains. (Applause.) 

The Socialist Crisis and the Fascista Attitude to the 
lections. There are those who think that the Socialist 

isis is only a crisis limited to a few men ; but it goes deeper, 

ly dear friends, and it represents a general upheaval. 

Among other absurd things, there has been that of 
>aptising Socialism as scientific. Now there is nothing 

dentine in the world. Science explains the " how " of things, 
>ut does not explain the "why." If, then, there is nothing 

dentine in what are called the exact sciences, what is more 
ibsurd than to try and pass off as scientific a vast, un- 

jrtain, underground and dark movement such as Socialism 
tas been, even though it may have had a useful function 
it first, when it directed the oppressed peoples towards new 

'ays of life, because you will agree with me that there is 
lo turning back ? Foolish reactionary and Conservative""! 

mtraband practices must not be carried on under the J 
r ascista flag. To wrench from the masses the conquests 

tey have obtained through sacrifice would be impossible. 

r e are the first to recognise that a State law should grant 

Le eight-hour day, and that there should be a social legisla- 
:ion corresponding to the exigencies of the new times. And 

is is not because we recognise the importance of the 



140 THE FASCISTA 

proletariat. We look at the question from another point of 
view. We realise that there cannot be a great nation, 
capable of doing great things, if the working masses are con- 
strained to live under brutalising conditions. It is necessary, 
then, that by preaching and practising the reconciliation of 
right and duty, which I call Mazzinian, this enormous mass 
of tens of millions of people who work shall be raised to 
an ever higher level of life. 

' 1 Brothers, not Enemies! It is absurd to depict us as the 

enemies of the working classes. We feel ourselves to be 

brothers in spirit of all those who work; but we do not 

make distinctions, we do not put work-worn hands into the 

first rank. We do not place the new divinity, manual labour, 

n Uipon the altar. For us all work — the astronomer who 

in his observatory consults the trajectory of the stars, 

the lawyer, the archaeologist, the student of religion and the 

artist, if they are increasing by their work the sum total 

\ of spiritual wealth which is at the disposal of mankind. 

\ FWe wish to see the realisation of a communion between 

\ spirit and matter, between the arm and the brain, the 

Lrealisation of the solidarity of the race. 

Fascismo is then the blast of heresy which beats at the 
doors of all the churches and says to the old and more or 
less tearful priest ; " Get out of the way of these times which 
threaten ruin to you, for our triumphant heresy is destined 
to bring light to all brains and all souls!" And we say to 
all men, great and small, upon the national political scene : 
"Make way for the youth of Italy which wishes to affirm 
its faith and passion. And if you do not make way spon- 
taneously, you will be overwhelmed in our universal punitive 
expedition, which is to collect all the free spirits of Italy 
and bind them together in a Fascio." (Applause.) 
We are now face to face with a fact, which is that of the 






THE FASCISTA 141 

elections. The Chamber being old, and more than old, 
worn out, the protagonists of this semi-tragedy being tired 
and misled, it is time to make that new appeal to the electors 
which is imperative. Do you not feel that, if the elections 
of 1 919 had the character of sabotage, the elections of 192 1 
will be definitely Fascista? Do you not feel that the helm 
of State will never return to the old men of the old Italy ? 

I received a message to-day on the strength of which 
I feel I can state that the difference, more or less artificially 
created, which existed between the defenders of Fiume — 
to whom we pay the homage of our gratitude — and us, 
her defenders at home, has no more raison d'etre. And this 
difference, which, rather than by the legionaries, was created 

tf certain politicians who were not even at Fiume when it 
as attacked seriously, will be put an end to by Gabriele 
d'Annunzio. 

The Day consecrated to Fascismo. Another characteristic 

Fascismo is pride of nationality. And, in connection 

ith this, I am pleased to tell you that we have already 

ided the Fascista day. If the Socialists have May Day, 

the Popular Party have 15th May, and other parties other 

tys, we Fascisti will have one, too, and it shall be the 

ty of the birth of Rome, 21st April. Upon that day, in 

)ken of the eternity of Rome, in memory of that city 

'hich gave two civilisations to the world and will give 

third, we Fascisti will gather together, and the re- 

ional legions will file past in the Fascista order, which 

is neither military nor German, but simply Roman. We 

have abolished the procession and substituted this ancient 

>rm of manifestation, which imposes individual control 

each participator and order and discipline upon all. 

or we wish to introduce strict national discipline, without 

r hich Italy cannot become the Mediterranean and world 

ition of which we dream. And those who blame us for 



142 THE FASCISTA 

marching like the Germans must remember that it is not 
we who imitate the Germans, but they who imitate 
the Romans, for which reason it is we who go back to 
the original, who return to the Roman style, the Latin 
and Mediterranean style. 

We have no prejudices, because we are not a church, we 
are a movement. We are not a party, we are a band of free 
men. If anyone is tired of being Fascista, there are twenty 
shops, twenty churches at whose doors to knock and ask 
for hospitality. We have not institutions either, we con- 
sider them superfluous. Ours is an army characterised by 
enthusiasm and voluntary discipline, and known, above 
all, not in the light of guardian of some party or faction, 
but as guardian of the nation. We are known for the love 
we bear to Italy, to her history and her civilisation, as well 
as to her inhabitants and geographical constitution. 

Yesterday, while the train carried me to Bologna, I felt 
myself in harmony with all things and all men. I felt 
bound to this earth; I felt myself an infinitesimal part of 
that great river which flows from the Alps to the Adriatic; 
I recognised my brothers in the peasants, those peasants 
with the grave attitudes of those who work the soil; I saw 
myself in the blue sky, which awakened my inextinguish- 
able passion for flight ; I recognised myself in all the aspects 
of nature and man. And a profound prayer arose in my heart. 
It is the prayer that every Italian should make, when the 
sunrise illumines the sky and the twilight descends over the 
earth. "We, Italians of the twentieth century, who have 
witnessed the great tragedy which has brought about the 
fulfilment of our nationality; we, who carry in the depths 
of our souls the memory of the dead, who are our religion ; 
we, citizens of Italy, shall make one oath, one single resolu- 
tion: that we only shall be the modest but persevering 
builders of her present and future fortunes/' (Applause.) 



E FASCISTA 143 



THE ITALY WE WANT WITHIN, AND HER 
FOREIGN RELATIONS 

The four following speeches are undoubtedly the most important 
of this collection, because they depict Mussolini as the polemic, the 
agitator, the warrior, the leader, travelling to his political maturity. 
In reading them one recognises the condottiero who is quite sure of 
himself, who is near the end of his march, and is certain of reaching 
his final goal. 

Except for a gradually accelerated rhythm, proportionate to the 
precipitation of events, the tone of the four speeches is almost the 
same. There is no pause, no perplexity, nothing which might induce 
the reader to think of a change of direction, of a truce, of the 
relinquishing of the struggle. But rather one notices the close 
march of a compact and well-equipped army, determined to 
struggle on and to win at whatever cost. 

At Udine, that strong old town, the sentinel of the country, dear 
to the heart of all Italian soldiers, the leader of Fascismo initiates 
the spiritual and physical mobilisation of the "black shirts," while 
he hurls the first challenge at the old political caste and lays down 
the fundamental points of the imminent national revolution. 

The speech which I intend to make to-day is going to be an 
exception to the rule which I have imposed upon myself of 
limiting my speeches, as far as I can. Oh ! if it were only 
possible to do as the poets advise and strangle the ver- 
bose, inconclusive oratory which has side-tracked us for so 
long ! I am certain, or at any rate I hope, that you do not 
expect anything from me in a speech which is not eminently 
cista, that is to say straightforward, hard, bare facts. 

The Unity of the Country. Do not expect a commemora- 
>n of the 20th September. Certainly the subject would be 



144 THE FASCISTA 

tempting and there would be ample material for reflection 
in re-examining by what prodigies of immeasurable force, 
and through how many and how great sacrifices, Italy has 
been able to achieve her not yet complete unity. I say 
not yet complete, because perfect unity cannot be spoken 
of until Fiume and Dalmatia and the other territories have 
come back to us, thus fulfilling the proud dream which we 
carry in our hearts. Instead, I ask you to consider that 
throughout the Risorgimento — which began with the first 
attempt at rebellion on the part of a small section of a 
cavalry regiment at Nola, and ended with the breach of 
Porta Pia in '70 — two forces were brought into play : one, 
the traditional and conservative force, of necessity rather 
stationary and sluggish, the force of the Savoy and 
Piedmont tradition; the other, the rebellious and revolu- 
tionary force which sprang from the best elements among 
the bourgeoisie especially. And it was only as the 
result of the reconciliation and balancing of these two 
forces that we were able to realise the unity of the Country. 
Perhaps something of the sort can be found to-day, and of 
this I shall go on to speak later. 

Rome I Have you ever asked yourselves why the unity 
of the country is summed up in the symbol and the name of 
Rome ? We Fascisti must forget the more or less ungrateful 
welcome we received at Rome in the October of last year, 
otherwise we should show ourselves to be mean-spirited, 
and we must have the courage to own that part of the 
responsibility for what happened belongs to us, on account 
of some elements among us which were not on the high level 
the situation required. 

And Rome must not be confused with the Romans; 
with those hundreds of so-called "fugitives of Fascismo" 
which are to be found at Rome, Milan and other centres 



THE FASCISTA 145 

in Italy, who effectively arouse harmful anti-Fascista 
feeling in the country. But if Mazzini and Garibaldi tried 
three times to arrive at Rome, and if Garibaldi gave his 
"red shirts" the tragic and inexorable alternative of 
"Rome or death," this means that, to the best men of the 
Risorgimento, Rome already had an essential function of 
the first importance to perform in the new history of the 
Italian nation. 

Let us then, with minds pure and free from animosity, 
lift up our thoughts towards Rome, which is one of the few 
spiritual cities which exist in the world; because at Rome, 
among those seven hills so pregnant with history, occurred 
one of the greatest spiritual miracles which have ever taken 
place — that is, the transformation of an Eastern religion, 
not understood by us, into a universal one, and which 
has succeeded, under another form, to the Empire that the 
Roman legions had carried to the extreme ends of the earth. 
And we want to make Rome the city of our ideals, a city 
cleaned and purified of all those elements which corrupt 
and defile her; we wish to make Rome the throbbing heart, 
living spirit of the Italy of which we dream. 
>omebody might object, saying: "Are you worthy of 
te? Are you capable of inheriting and transmitting the 
Is and glories of an Empire? " And then surly critics 
themselves with trying to find signs of uncertainty 
in our young, exuberant organisation! 

t 7 ascista Discipline. People speak to us of Fascist a 
onomy. I tell the Fascisti and citizens that this 
onomy has no importance whatsoever. It is not an 
autonomy of ideas and prejudice. Fascismo has no 
prejudices; they are the sad privilege of the old parties, 
associations scattered over all countries, whose members, 
liaving nothing better to do or to say, end by imitating 



146 THE FASCISTA 

those sordid priests of the East who discussed all the 
questions of the world while the Byzantine Empire perished. 
The few and sporadic attempts on the part of Fascisti to 
establish autonomy are either frustrated or nearly so, be- 
cause they represent only revenge of a personal nature. 

We come to another question: discipline. I am in favour 
of the most rigid discipline. We must first sternly discipline 
ourselves, otherwise we shall not have the right to discipline 
the nation. And it is only by the discipline of the nation 
that Italy can make herself heard in the councils of the 
other countries. Discipline must be accepted. If it is not, 
it must be imposed. We put aside the democratic dogma 
that one must for ever proceed by sermonising and lecturing 
in a more or less liberal manner. At a given moment disci- 
pline must show itself under the form of a command or of 
an act of force. 

I exact discipline, and I do not speak to the men of the 
Friulian district, who are — let me say — perfect as regards 
sobriety and correctness, austerity and quiet living, but 
I speak to the Fascisti of all Italy, who, if they must have 
a dogma, must have one which bears the clear name of 
discipline. Only by obedience, by the humble and sacred 
pride in obedience, can the right to command be conquered. 
And only when it is conquered can it be imposed upon 
others ; otherwise, no ! The Fascisti of Italy must take note 
of this. They must not interpret discipline as a call to order 
of the administrative kind or as the fear of shepherds who 
foresee the scattering of their flock. This cannot be, because 
we are not shepherds and our forces cannot be called, by 
any means, a flock. We are an army, and it is just 
because we have this special organisation that we must 
make discipline the supreme pivot of our life and action. 

Violence ! I come now to the question of violence. 



THE FASCISTA 147 

Violence is not immoral. On the contrary it is sometimes 
moral. We dispute the right of our enemies to bewail our 
violence, because, compared with that which was com- 
mitted in the unlucky years of '19 and '20 and with 
that of the Bolshevists in Russia — where two million 
people have been executed and another two million still 
pine in prison — our violence is child's-play. On the other 
hand violence is decisive, because at the end of July and 
August, after having made use of it systematically for 
forty-eight hours, we got results which we should not have 
obtained in forty-eight years of sermons and propaganda. 
When, therefore, violence removes a gangrene of this sort, 
it is morally sacred and necessary. 

But, my Fascista friends, and I speak to the Fascisti 
of all Italy, our violence must have certain Fascista char- 
acteristics. The violence of ten to one is to be disowned and 
condemned. There is a violence that frees and a violence 
that binds; there is moral violence and stupid, immoral 
violence. Violence must be proportionate to the necessities 
of the moment, and not made a school, a doctrine or a sport. 
The Fascisti must be careful not to spoil with sporadic, 
individual and unjustifiable acts of violence, the brilliant 
id splendid victories of August. 

This is what our enemies are waiting for. As the 
;ult of certain episodes — let us frankly admit disagree- 
>le episodes — such as that at Taranto, they have been 
to believe and to hope that violence has become a 
>rt of second habit, and that when we no longer have 
target upon which to practise, we shall turn against 
irselves and against each other, or the Nationalists. Now 
the Nationalists differ from us on certain questions, but 
the truth is this, that in all the battles we have fought we 
have had them by our side. It may well be that among 
them there are leaders who do not see Fascismo as we see 



148 THE FASCISTA 

it, but it must be recognised and proclaimed that the "blue 
shirts" 1 at Genoa, Bologna and Milan, and in another 
hundred centres, were with the "black shirts.' 1 In conse- 
quence the occurrence at Taranto was most displeasing, and 
I hope that the leaders of Fascismo will act in such a way 
that it remains an isolated incident to be forgotten in a 
local reconciliation and in a national manifestation of 
sympathy and solidarity. 

Our Syndicalism. Another argument which raises the 
hopes of our enemies is the existence of the masses. You 
know that I do not worship the new divinity, the masses. 
It is a creation of Democracy and Socialism. Just because 
they are numerous, they must be right. Not a bit of it, 
the opposite has often proved to be true that the masses 
are against the right. In any case history proves that it 
has always been the minorities, a handful from the first, 
that have produced profound changes in human society. 
We do not adore the masses, even if they have got work- 
worn hands and brains. We shall bring, instead, into our 
examination of social life, ideas and elements new at any 
rate in Italian circles. We could not turn away the masses; 
they came to us. Ought we to have received them with 
kicks on the shins ? Are they sincere ? Do they come to us 
as the result of conviction or fear, or because they hope to 
get from us what they failed to obtain from the Socialists ? 
These questions are really superfluous, as no one yet has 
found the way to penetrate into their inmost minds. 

We have, therefore, had to adopt syndicalism, and we 
are doing so. They say: "Your syndicalism will end by 
being in every way exactly like that of the Socialists, and 
you will have, of necessity, to promote class war." The 
democracy, or a section of them, that section which does 

1 The Nationalists. 



THE FASCISTA 149 

not seem to have any better object than stirring up the mud, 
continue from Rome (where they print too many papers, 
many of which do not represent anybody or anything) 
to work in this direction. But our syndicalism differs from 
that of the others, because we do not allow strikes in public 
services under any pretext, and we are in favour of co- 
operation among the classes, especially in a period like the 
present one of acute economic crisis. We try to make this 
conception penetrate the brains of our syndicates. But it 
must be made equally clear that the industrial workers 
and their employers must not blackmail us, because there 
is a limit which must not be passed; and these workers 
and their masters — the bourgeoisie in a word — must take 
into account that the nation also consists of the people, 
a mass which labours, and one cannot think of the great- 
ness of the nation if this portion is restless and idle. The 
task of Fascismo is to make the people organically one 
with the nation, so that they may be ready to-morrow when 
the nation has need of them, as the artist takes his raw 
material in order to create his masterpiece. Only with the 
masses forming an intimate part of the life and history of 
the nation can we have a foreign policy. 

Foreign Policy. And now I come to the subject which, 
at the present moment, is of the greatest positive importance. 
It is evident that at the end of the war it was not understood 
how to make peace. There were two alternatives : the peace 
of the sword, and the peace of approximate justice. But, 
under the influence of a pernicious democratic mentality, 
the peace of the sword was not made by occupying Berlin, 
Vienna and Budapest, and neither has the approximate 

ice of justice been accomplished, 
[en, many of whom were ignorant of history and geo- 

iphy (and it seems that these famous experts who thus 



150 THE FASCISTA 

disarrange and rearrange the map of Europe at their will 
really know as little about it as their masters), have said: 
"The moment the Turks give trouble to the English, we 
will suppress Turkey; but the moment that Italy, in order 
to become a Mediterranean power, ought to have the 
Adriatic as her inland gulf, we deny Italy her Adriatic rights/' 
What is the result ? The result is that this kind of treaty 
naturally falls to pieces before the others. But, since every- 
thing depends upon the making up of these treaties, since 
they are all connected with each other, so the failure of the 
Treaty of Sevres may possibly involve the failure of all the 
others. Moreover, if the position becomes more involved, 
you will see the indestructible Russian Cossack, who changes 
his name but not his nature, coming forward again. Who 
armed the Turkey of Kemal Pasha? France and Russia. 
Who may possibly arm Germany to-morrow? Russia. 
Considering what we aim at in our foreign policy, it is 
very fortunate that besides our national army, of glorious 
tradition, there is the Fascista army. 

Our Ministers for foreign affairs ought to know how 
to play this card too, with the warning: "Be careful; 
Italy no longer follows a policy of renunciation and 
cowardice, cost what it may! " So it has come about that 
while in other countries men are beginning to realise the 
force represented by Italian Fascismo, in the field of foreign 
policy our Ministers still remain in a yielding attitude. 
We are asked what is our programme. I have already 
answered this question, which was meant to be insidious, 
at a little meeting held at Levanto in the presence of thirty 
or forty Fascisti, and I did not think that a little homely 
speech would have such a vast echo. 

Our Programme. The Crisis of the Liberal State. Our pro- 
gramme is simple : we wish to govern Italy. They ask us 



THE FASCISTA 151 

for programmes, but there are already too many. It is not 
programmes that are wanting for the salvation of Italy, 
but men and will-power. 

There is not an Italian who does not think that he pos- 
sesses the one sure method by which the most acute problems 
of our national life may be solved. Rut I think you-are all 
convinced, thatjpur jroliticaLclass_is deficient. __The crisis 
ofJhe^LifeexaJ State has proved jt . We have made a splendid 
war from the point of view of collective and individual 
acts of heroism. From having been soldiers, the Italians, 
i n iqi8. H pgme warmers I beg you to note the essential 
difference. But our political class carried on the war as if it 
had been work of ordinary administration. These men whom 
we all know, and whose very features are familiar to every one 
of us, now appear men of the past, ruined, tired and beaten. 

I do not deny, in my absolute objectivity, that this middle 
class, which might, with a world-wide title, be called Gio- 
littian, has its merits. It certainly has. But to-day, when 
Italy is still under the influence of Vittorio Veneto — to-day, 
when Italy is bursting with life, vigour and passion, these 
men, who are above all accustomed to Parliamentary mystifi- 
cation, do not aj^ear to us to be big enough for the situati on. 
It is necessary, therefore, to consider how to replace this 
political class which has of late consistently surrendered to 
that swollen-headed puppet, Italian Socialism. 

I think that this replacement has become necessary, and 

lat the more complete it is the better. Certainly Fascismo, 

taking the entire forty-seven millions of Italians under 
its care, will assume a great responsibility. It is to be 
foreseen that many will be disappointed, because, in any 

Lse, there is always disappointment sooner or later, 
whether things are accomplished or not. 

Friends! Like the life of the individual, the life of the 
iat ion brings with it a certain amount of risk. One cannot 



152 THE FASCISTA 

hope to run for ever on the Decauville track of daily regu- 
larity. At a given moment both men and parties must have 
the courage to shoulder heavy responsibility and to adopt 
a daring policy. They may succeed; they may fail. But 
there are also unsuccessful attempts that suffice to ennoble 
and uplift for all time the soul of a movement such as 
Italian Fascismo. 

The Question of Regime. The Monarchy and Fascismo. 
I had intended to repeat this speech at Naples, but I think 
that I shall have other things to deal with there. Do not 
let us delay, therefore, about entering on the delicate subject 
of regime. 

Many of the controversies which were raised by the 
question of the nature of my tendencies are forgotten, and 
everybody is convinced that they were not formed suddenly, 
but represented a settled idea. It is always like that. 
Certain attitudes appear improvised to the general public, 
which is neither fitted nor obliged to follow the slow changes 
which take place in a restless spirit desirous of making 
a profound examination of certain problems. But there 
is inward pain and toil, which is sometimes tragic. You 
must not think that the heads of Fascismo do not know 
what this individual, and above all national, travail is. 

The much-talked-of republican tendency had to be a kind 
of attempt at separation from the many elements which had 
come to us simply because we had won. These elements 
do not please us. These people who always side with the 
victor, and who are ready to change their flag with a change 
of fortune, must be looked upon with suspicion and carefully 
watched by the Fascisti. Is it possible — here is the question 
— to bring about a profound transformation in our political 
regime and to create a new Italy without touching the 
monarchic system? What is the general attitude of the 



HE FASCISTA 153 



Fascisti as regards political institutions ? Our attitude does 
not commit us in any sense. In truth, perfect regimes 
1 are only to be found in books of philosophy. I think that 
it would have been disastrous for the Greek city if the 
theories of Plato had been literally applied. A people 
content under a republic never dreams of having a king. 
A people not accustomed to a republic longs to return 
to a monarchy. 

It was in vain that the Germans tried to make the 
Phrygian cap fit their square heads. The Germans hate a 
republic, and the fact that it was imposed by the Entente 
and that it has been a kind of ersatz, is another reason for 
their hating it. So that, generally speaking, political forms 
cannot be approved of or condemned for ever, but must 
be examined from the point of view of their direct rela- 
tion with the mentality, the economic condition and the 
spiritual force of any particular people. (A voice cries: 
"Long live Mazzinil") 

Now, I think that the regime can be largely modified 
without interfering with the monarchy. In reality — and 
I refer to the cry of my friend — the same Mazzini, re- 
publican and advocate of republicanism, did not consider 
his doctrines incompatible with the monarchic aspect 
of Italian unity. He resigned himself to it and accepted 
it. It was not his ideal, but the ideal cannot always 
be realised. 

We shall, then, leave the monarchic institution outside 
our field of action, which will have other great objects, 
because we think that a great part of Italy would regard 
with suspicion a change in the regime which was carried 
thus far. We should have regional separatism, perhaps, 
because it is always so. To-day there are many indifferent 
to the monarchy who to-morrow would be its supporters, 
and who would find highly respectable and sentimental 



li 



154 THE FASCISTA 

reasons for attacking Fascismo, if it had dared to aim 
at this target. 

-T~db~lidTT3iink that the monarchy has really any object 
in opposing what must now be called the Fascista revolu- 
tion. It is not in its interests, because by doing so it 
would immediately make itself an object of attack, in 
which case we could not spare it, because it would be a 
question of life or death for usA 

Those who sympathise wifri us must not withdraw into 
the shade; they must stay in the light. They must have 
the courage to remain monarchists. The monarchy would 
represent the historical continuity of the nation ; a splendid 
task and one of incalculable importance. 

On the other hand, the Fascista revolution must also 
avoid risking everything. Some firm ground must be left, 
so that the people shall not feel that everything is falling 
to pieces, that everything must be begun again, because 
in that case the first wave of enthusiasm would be followed 
by a wave of panic. Now everything is very plain. The 
social-democratic superstructure must be destroyed. 

The State we want. We must have a State which will 
simply say: " The State does not represent a party, it repre- 
sents the nation as a whole, it includes all, is over all, protects 
all, and fights any attempt made against her inviolable 
sovereignty.' ' 

This is the State which must arise from the Italy of Vit- 
torio Veneto. A State which does not acknowledge that the 
strongest power is right ; which is not like the Liberal State, 
which, after fifty years of life, was unable to install a tem- 
porary printing press so as to issue its paper when there 
was a general strike of printers ; a State which does not fall 
under the power of the Socialists; which does not think 
that problems can be settled only from the political point 
of view, as machine-guns do not suffice if there is not the 



THE FASCISTA 155 

spirit behind to keep them going. The whole armoury of the 
State falls to pieces like the old scenery in an operatic theatre 
when it is not inspired by the most deep-rooted sense of 
the necessity of the fulfilment of duty — nay, of a mission. 

That is why we want to remove from the State all its 
economic attributes. We have had enough of the State 
railwayman, the State postman and the State insurance 
official. We have had enough of the State administration at 
the expense of Italian tax-payers, which has done nothing 
>ut aggravate the exhausted financial condition of the 
mntry. It still controls the police, who protect honest 
len from the attacks of thieves, the masters responsible 
>r the education of the rising generations, the army 
rhich must guarantee the inviolability of the country 
id our foreign policy. 

It must not be said that the State thus shorn will re- 
very small. No! It will remain very great, because 
will still have all the spiritual dominion, having given 
only material power. 

Citizens, I have placed my ideas before you as a whole, 
is enough, to my mind, for you to individualise them. 

To Friends and Enemies. If this mentality of ours was 
not sufficient, there are our methods, there is our daily 
activity, which we do not mean to give up, though 
watching at the same time that it is not carried to ex- 
tremes, that it does not over-reach itself and so harm 
Fascismo. But when I say these words, I say them with 
intention, because if Fascismo was a movement like all the 
rest, the attitude of the individual or of the group would 
have a relative importance. But blood has been shed for 
our movement, and this must be remembered when there 
are attempts at autonomy and lack of discipline. The 
ecent dead must be thought of before all things. It must 



156 THE FASCISTA 

be remembered that such autonomy and lack of discipline 
serve to arouse the miserable instincts of the Socialists, 
who, though subdued, still secretly hatch plots for revenge, 
a revenge which we shall prevent by collective action and 
the avoidance of bloodshed. 

After all, the Romans were really right ; if you want peace 
you must show yourself prepared for war. Those who are 
not prepared for war do not have peace, and are defeated 
into the bargain. So we say to all our enemies: "It is not 
enough for you to go planting the tricolour all over the 
place. We wish to see you put to the proof. You will 
have for a little while to undergo a sort of spiritual and 
political quarantine. Your leaders, who might again 
infect us, must be sent where they can do no harm." 
Only by thus avoiding the lure of the mistaken idea 
of quantity shall we succeed in saving the quality and 
the spirit of our movement, which is no ephemeral one, 
since it has already lasted four years, equal in this tem- 
pestuous century to forty. Our movement is still in 
its prehistoric period and in process of formation; its real 
history begins to-morrow. All that Fascismo has accom- 
plished thus far has been negative. Now it must begin 
to reconstruct. In this way its force, its spirit and its 
nobility will appear. 

Friends, I am sure that the Fascisti officers will do their 
duty. I am sure, too, that the men will do theirs. Before 
proceeding to the great task we must make an inexorable 
selection from the rank and file. We cannot carry useless 
impedimenta; we are an army of velites, with a rearguard of 
solid territorials. We do not wish to have untrustworthy 
elements amongst us. 

I salute Udine, this dear old Udine to which I am bound 
by so many memories. Many generations of Italians who 
were the flower of our race have passed by its broad ways. 



,. 



HE FASCISTA 



157 



Many of its young men now sleep their last sleep in the 
little isolated cemeteries of the Alps or beside the Isonzo, 
now once again the sacred river of Italy. 

Men of Udine ! Fascisti ! Italians ! Take upon yourselves 
the spirit of these our unforgettable dead and make of it 
the burning emblem of our immortal country! (Loud 
applause.) 



158 THE FASCISTA 



"THE PIAVE AND VITTORIO VENETO MARK THE 
BEGINNING OF NEW ITALY" 

Speech delivered at Cremona, 25th September 1922. 

Before forty thousand contadini set free from the Social-Clerical 
yoke, who march past in military order in closely-following 
battalions, the leader's eloquence is roused and elated, so that one 
seems to hear the very sound of joy bells ringing in his speech. 

Fascisti and working men of Cremona and the pro- 
vinces ! As so often happens, reality has surpassed the most 
brilliant expectations. Your meeting, Fascisti of Cremona, 
is the most impressive that I have yet attended. I have 
come among you to tell you how completely I am with 
you, from your fine leader Roberto Farinacci to the last 
man in your ranks. (Prolonged applause.) 

Here in times long past great ideas were conceived. 
This was the birthplace of Democracy, which had a period 
of glory before it became crippled and enfeebled by the 
influence of Socialism. And in spite of the profound differ- 
ences of opinion which divided us after the war, I must call 
to remembrance another noble figure of your fruitful land — I 
speak of Leonida Bissolati. (Frantic applause.) 

Those who, as the result of being led into false ideas by 
incorrect information, talk about agrarian slavery, ought to 
come here and see with their own eyes this crowd of genuine 
workers, people with shoulders broad enough and arms 
strong enough to bear the weight of the increasing fortunes 
of the nation. (Applause.) 

Only the rabble could accuse us of being the enemies of 
the people, for we are the sons of the people; we have 



THE FASCISTA 159 

known what manual labour is; we have always lived 
among the working classes, who are infinitely superior to 
the false prophets who pretend to represent them. (Unani- 
mous and prolonged applause.) But just because we are 
the sons of the people, we do not wish to deceive them, 
we do not wish to mystify them or promise them the 
unattainable, although we solemnly and formally pledge 
ourselves to protect them and to vindicate their just 
rights and their legitimate interests. 

As I watched your procession passing — disciplined, 
ardent and exulting — as I watched the little Balillas, who 
represent the still immature spring of life, followed by the 
squadrons in the full flush of youth, and finally the men in 
the vigour of manhood and even old men, I said to myself 
that the series was complete since all phases of life, from 
the first to the last, were represented. 

Fascist i ! Great tasks await us. That which we have ac- 
complished is nothing compared to that which awaits us. 
There is already a strong and manifest contrast between 
the Italy of the cowardly politicians and the vigorous healthy 
Italy which is preparing to give the death-blow to all in- 
efficiency and egoism and to clear away the infected strata 
of the Italian community. (Loud applause, and cries of 
"Rome! Rome!") 

Our adversaries must not delude themselves. They 
thought in the unfortunate year of 19 19, when we here in 
Cremona and all over Italy were no more than a handful 
of men, that Fascismo would only be a passing phenomenon. 
Fascismo has now been alive four years, and it has tasks 
enough to fill a century. Nor must our enemies deceive 
themselves by thinking that they can break up our organisa- 
tion, because we intend to make it more compact, more 
solid, better equipped against all emergencies; since, my 

tnds, if a decisive blow is necessary, every man from 



160 THE FASCISTA 

the first to the last will do his exact duty. In a word, we 
want Italy to become Fascista. (Clamorous applause.) 

That is simple and clear. We want Italy to become 
Fascista, because we are tired of seeing her governed by 
men whose principles are continually wavering between 
indifference and cowardice. And, above all, we are tired of 
seeing her looked upon abroad as a negligible quantity. 

What is that feeling which stirs you when you hear the 
song of the Piave? It is that the Piave does not mark an 
end, it marks a beginning. (Hear, hear!) It is from the 
Piave, it is from Vittorio Veneto, it is from our victory — 
even if it was mutilated by a mistaken diplomacy — that 
our standards move on ! 

It was on the banks of the Piave that the march was 
begun that cannot stop until Rome is reached. (Enthusi- 
astic applause.) And there are no obstacles, either of men or 
things, that can prevent us from arriving there. 

I wish to thank you, Fascisti of Cremona and people of 
this city, for your reception. I know and like to think that 
it is not to me personally that you pay this honour, but to 
the ideal, our cause, which has been sanctified by so much 
blood shed by the flower of Italian youth. And embracing 
my old friend Farinacci I mean to embrace all the Fascisti 
of Cremona, to the cry of Long live Italy! Long live 
Fascismo! (Enthusiastic applause.) 



rHE FASCISTA 161 



THE FASCISTA DAWNING OF NEW ITALY 

Speech delivered at Milan at the "Sciesa" on 6th October 1922. 

At the seat of the local Fascista group "Antonio Sciesa," 
Mussolini pays his tribute to the memory of her two dead who fell, 
as Garibaldi fell, during the days of August, and then devotes 
himself to the analysis of a well-matured plan, strategic and tactical, 
for the coming battle. 

I agreed to come and speak to the "Sciesa" group this 
evening for three reasons — first sentimental, second per- 
sonal, and third political. For the sentimental reason, 
because I wished to pay the tribute of my admiration and 
profound devotion to our unforgettable and magnificent 
fallen — Melloni, Tonoli and Crespi; the first two of your 
squad and the last of the "Sauro." I remember them 
perfectly. Then I agreed also because of the way in which 
this group has interpreted this meeting. Lastly, in view of 
the general attitude of suspense all over Italy at this 
moment, I did not wish to let the opportunity slip for 
defining certain points, a definition which is necessary in 
these difficult times through which we are passing. 

You feel, to judge from your silent and austere bearing, that 
if the flesh is corruptible, the spirit is immortal. You feel 
that here in this little hall this evening the spirits of our fallen 
are still with us. We feel their presence, because the soul 
cannot die, and they fell in the most heroic action yet 
accomplished by Fascismo in the four years of its history. 
Many times when the Fascisti have gone forth to destroy with 
fire and sword the haunts of the cowardly Social-Communist 
delinquents, they have only seen the backs of the flying 
enemy, but the members of the "Sciesa" squad and the 
two fallen, whom we remember, and all the squadrons of 
the Milanese Fascio, went to the assault of the offices of the 



162 THE FASCISTAI 

Avanti as they would have attacked an Austrian trench. 
They had to scale the walls, break through barbed wire, \ 
burst open doors and face the leaden hail which the enemy 
poured forth from their weapons. This is heroism. This 
is violence. This is the violence of which I approve and 
which I uphold, and which Fascismo — and I speak to the 
Fascisti of all Italy — ought to make hers. Not little, in- 
dividual, sporadic acts of violence, but the great, wonderful, 
relentless violence of the decisive hour. It is necessary, 
when the moment comes, to strike with the utmost decision 
and without pity. You must not think that I wish to hide 
the very strong sympathy I have for the Milanese Fascio, 
because my love, above all, is for the cause. When a cause 
has been sanctified by so much pure young blood, it must 
not, at any cost, become defiled in any way. Our friends 
have been heroes, their action has been that of warriors, 
their violence saintly and moral. We exalt them, we re- 
member them, and we will avenge them. We cannot 
accept the humanitarian, Tolstoyan moral standard, the 
moral standard of slavery. In times of war we adopt the 
formula of Socrates: "Overcome friends with kindness, 
overcome enemies with evil." 

Nation and State. Our line of conduct is perfectly correct. I 
Those who do good to us will have good ; those who do ill, j 
ill. Our enemies cannot complain, if being such, they are| 
treated hardly, as enemies must be treated. We are in an i 
historical period of crisis which every day becomes more 
acute. The general strike, which was averted by the 
sacrifice of blood of the Fascisti, was an episode in this I 
crisis. Dissension lies between the State and the nation.! 
Italy is not a State, she is a nation, because from the Alps 
to Sicily there is the fundamental unity of our race, ourj 
customs, our language and our religion. The war fought i 



HE FASCISTA 163 

>m 1915 to 1918 consecrates this unity, and if this is enough 
characterise the nation, the Italian nation exists, full of 

>wer and resource and impelled towards a glorious destiny. 

But the nation must create for itself the State. And there 
is no State. To-day the paper which represents Liberalism 
in Italy, the paper with the largest circulation — and which, 
for this reason, by upholding absurd arguments has done 
a great deal of harm at times — stated that there are two 
Governments in Italy, and if there are two, there is one 
too many. There is the Liberal Government and the Fas- 
cista Government; the State of to-day and the State of 
to-morrow. "Wanted, a Government,'* said the Corriere 
delta Sera. We agree, a Government is wanted. 

» 
The Lesson of Two Episodes. Two occurrences during 

these last days — one characteristic of our activity in the 
cause of humanity, the other of our activity in the cause 
of national rights — have proved the superiority of the 
Fascista over the Liberal State, and have shown that 
Fascismo is capable and worthy to succeed that State. 

At San Terenzo of Spezia, if all the dead were buried and 
the wounded taken to the hospital, if the country was 
cleared of debris, and the furniture and belongings safe- 
guarded from the base attempts of human jackals, if the 
soldiers had their supplies in good time, it was by the 
activity of the Fascista State. And the mayor of Lerici — 
who is not a Fascista — telegraphed his great gratitude, 
not to the Prime Minister, but to us, as you learnt in the 
Popolo d'ltalia. 

I This is a question of mercy, humanity and national 
lidarity. Let us transfer our attention to Bolzano. Here 
is a question of our rights and the Italian law. Who 
3od up for those rights and imposed the Italian nationality 
a city which ought to be Italian ? Fascismo. Who 



164 THE FASCISTA 

banished Perathoner who for five years held in check five 
Italian Ministers ? Fascismo. It has been Fascismo that 
has given a school and a church to the Italians in the 
Upper Adige and inspired them with the sense of their own 
dignity. Who placed the bust of the king in the Council 
Hall ? The Fascisti. The Germans are astonished at seeing 
before them all these young Fascisti, splendid physically 
and morally. Inhabiting as they do without right our 
Italian soil, they seem to wonder: "What Italy is this?'* 
And we answer: "By the action of the defeatist ministers 
and as a result of the unfortunate peace, you Germans are 
accustomed to the Italy of Abba Garima; now you must 
accustom yourselves to the Italy of Vittorio Veneto, which 
has force and energy, and which says : ' We are at the 
Brenner, and there we mean to stay! We do not wish to 
go to Innsbruck, but do not imagine that Germany and 
Austria can ever return to Bolzano! '" 

This is the Fascista State which reveals itself to Italian 
eyes in two typical moments of everyday history, the 
disaster of San Terenzo and the occupation of Bolzano. 

For the Italy of To-morrow. The citizens wonder which 
State will end by dictating its law upon the nation. 
We have no hesitation in answering that it will be the 
Fascista State. The Corriere delta Sera says that something 
must be done quickly, and we agree. A nation cannot live 
nursing in its bosom two States, two Governments, one in 
action and the other in power. But what is the way to give 
the nation a Government? I say Government, because 
when we say State we mean something more. We mean 
the spirit and not merely the inert and transitory form. 
There are two ways, gentlemen. If the whole of Rome was 
not suffering from softening of the brain, they would sum- 
mon Parliament at the beginning of November, and having 



THE FASCISTA 165 

passed the Bill for Electoral Reform, make an appeal to the 
electors in December. Because the crisis for which the 
Corner e asks could not alter the situation. Thirty crises in 
the Italian Parliament as it is to-day would mean thirty 
reincarnations of Signor Facta. If the Government does 
not follow this path, gentlemen, we shall be obliged to take 
the other. You see our tactics are now clear. When it is 
a question of assaulting the State it is no longer possible 
to have recourse to little plots, of which the "to be or 
not to be" remains a secret to the last. We must give 
orders to hundreds and thousands of men, and it would 
be merely absurd to try to keep it secret. We play an open 
game. We leave our cards on the table until it is necessary 
to lift them; and we say: "There is an Italy which you 
Liberal leaders no longer understand. You do not under- 
stand it because your mind works on old-fashioned lines, 
you do not understand it because Parliamentary policy 
has killed your spirit. The Italy which has come from 
the trenches is strong, and full of life." 

Fascismo, the Bourgeoisie and the Proletariat. It is an 

y which deserves to begin a new period of history. 

ere exists, therefore, a dramatic contrast between the 

y of yesterday and our Italy. The conflict appears 

vitable. It is a question now of developing our forces, 

moning all our energies and strength, so that the conflict 

1 end in victory for us — and, as a matter of fact, upon 

t score there can be no doubt. 

Now the Liberal State is a mask behind which there is 
face, it is a scaffolding behind which there is no building. 
There is force but there is no spirit behind them. All those 
who ought to uphold it feel that it is approaching the extreme 
its of incompetence, impotence and absurdity. 
On the other hand, as I said at Udine, we do not wish to 



166 THE FASCISTA 

stake everything on the game, because we do not present 
ourselves as the saviours of humanity, nor do we promise 
anything special to the people. We may even impose 

T greater discipline and more sacrifices upon them. And we 
shall make no difference between the proletariat and the 
bourgeoisie, because there is an infected proletariat just 
as there is a bourgeoisie still more infected. There is a 
part of the proletariat that must be chastised in order that 
it may be redeemed afterwards, and there is a part of the 
middle class which detests us and tries to throw our lines 
into confusion, which finances anti-Fascista slander, which 
has hitherto ignobly courted the anti-national forces, and 

|^ for which I do not feel one ounce of pity. We are sur- 
rounded by enemies, and those who are our open foes, and 
who belong to the Bolshevist parties, have now perfected 
themselves in the art of ambush and assassination. 

A Warning ! But there are other insidious enemies who 
try to harm Fascismo under cover of the tricolour and other 
similar emblems, who try to insinuate themselves into our 
movement and to create simulacra of organisations in 
order to weaken us just at the time when it is most neces- 
sary for us to remain united. Now I must say that if we do 
not have mercy upon those who attack us from behind 
hedges, neither shall we have mercy upon those who attack 
us thus insidiously. When the clock of history strikes the 
hours, we must speak as the peasants do, simply, sincerely 
and loyally. 

We have no great obstacles to overcome, as the nation 
is waiting for us, the nation hopes in us and feels itself 
represented in us. Certainly we cannot promise to plant 
the tree of liberty in the squares. We cannot give liberty 
to those who would profit by it to assassinate us. The 
shortsightedness of the Free State lies in this, that it gives 



THE FASCISTA 167 

freedom to all, including those who use this freedom to over- 
throw it. We shall not give this universal liberty, not even { , 
if it assumes the garb of immortal principles. Finally, it J ' 
is not electoral subterfuges which divide us from Democracy. 
If people wish to vote, let them vote. Let us all vote until we 
are sick of it ! Nobody wants to suppress universal suffrage. 

Policy needed. But we shall carry out a severe and re- 
actionary policy ; we are not afraid of doing so. If the re- 
presentative organs of Democracy say that we are reactionary 
I it does not offend us, because what distinguishes us from the 
Democrats is mentality and spirit. History does not follow 
a given itinerary ; it is made up of contrasts and all kinds 
of vicissitudes, there are no centuries which are all light 
and no centuries which are all darkness. It is not possible 
to transport Fascismo out of Italy, as Bolshevism has been 
transported out of Russia. 

The Italians can be divided into three categories: the 

idifferent, who will stay at home ; the sympathetic, who will 
tave freedom of movement ; and the antagonistic, who will 
lave their freedom restricted. We shall make no promises. 

r e shall not give ourselves out as missionaries who bring 

le revealed truth. 

But I do not think that our enemies will place serious 
>bstacles in our way. Bolshevism is defeated. Look at the 
Congress of Rome. What a pitiful sight ! When the leader 
)f a congress behaves like the lawyer of Busto, then you 

iderstand that we are upon the bottom rung of the ladder. 

tere was one Socialism, to-day there are four, and there 

a tendency towards further divisions. And not only this, 

>ut each of these divisions claims to represent the authentic 

:ty. It is no wonder that the proletariat scatters, dis- 

mraged and disgusted by the attitude of Socialism. As 

have already said, the day of Socialism is not only past 



168 THE FASCISTA 

as a party, its philosophies and doctrines no longer stand. 
The Italians and the Western peoples in general must burst 
with logical criticism the grotesque bubble of international 
Socialism. Perhaps, looking at things from an historical 
point of view, it is a struggle between the East and the West, 
between the chaotic, fatalistic East (look at Russia) and us, 
we people of the West, who cannot be carried away by 
flights of metaphysics and require hard concrete realities. 

Let us flee from Imitations. Italians cannot be mystified 
for long by Asiatic doctrines, which are absurd and criminal 
in their practical application. This is the essence of Italian 
Fascismo, which represents a reaction against the Democrats 
who would have made everything mediocre and uniform and 
tried every way to conceal and to render transitory the 
authority of the State, from the supreme head to the last 
usher in the law courts; consequently everybody from the 
King to the lowest official has suffered from this false con- 
ception of life. Democracy thought to make itself indis- 
pensable to the masses, and did not understand that the 
masses despise those who have not the courage to be what 
they ought to be. Democracy has taken " elegance M from 
the lives of the people, but Fascismo brings it back; 
that is to say, it brings back colour, force, picturesqueness, 
the unexpected, mysticism, and in fact all that counts in 
the souls of the multitude. We play upon every cord of the 
lyre, from violence to religion, from art to politics. We are 
politicians and we are warriors. We are syndicalists and we 
also fight battles in the streets and the squares. That is 
Fascismo as it was conceived at Milan, and as it was and is 
realised. And, my friends, we must maintain this privilege, 
and Fascismo must be kept up to this level of strength and 
wisdom. We must not abandon ourselves to imitations, 
because that which is possible in a particular agricultural 
region in a given time and place is not possible here in Milan. 



THE FASCISTA 169 

Here the situation has been dominated more by the spon- 
taneous maturing of events than by men's violence or by 
circumstances. Here our domination becomes more and 
more decided. 

But, my friends, we must prepare ourselves with hearts 
free from preoccupation for the tasks which await us. To- 
morrow it is probable, almost certain, that the formidable 
burden of the direction of a modern State will be on our 
shoulders. And it will be on the shoulders not only of a few 
men, it will be on the shoulders of the whole of Fascismo. 

Towards a more Glorious Destiny. And millions of eyes, 
many of them malicious, and millions of men, many of them 
beyond our frontiers, will be looking at us. They will want 
to see how we are organised, how justice is administered 
in the Fascista State, how honest people are protected, how 
we deal with the problems of the school and the army. 
And the wrong-doing of any man, his error and his shame 
react upon the whole organisation of the State and of 
:essity upon Fascismo. Have you, my friends, realised 
>w formidable is the task which awaits you? Are you 
)iritually prepared for it ? Do you think that enthusiasm 
lone is enough? — because it is not enough. It is necessary, 
:ause it is a primitive and fundamental force in human 
iture, it is impossible to do anything not inspired by 
itense passion or religious mysticism; but that is not 
tough. Together with these must work the reasoning forces 
of the brain. I think that in the case of a general crisis 
Fascismo would have all that was necessary to impose 
itself and to govern, not according to the ideas of dema- 
gogism, but according to the ideas of justice. And then, 
by ruling the nation well, by leading her towards a more 
glorious destiny, by conciliating the interests of all classes 
without increasing the hatred of one and the selfishness 






170 THE FASCISTA 

of another, by uniting the Italian people to face the world- 
task, by fulfilling with patience this hard and cyclopean task, 
we shall inaugurate, thus, a really great period in Italian his- 
tory. Thus will our dead be made immortal and their names 
written in the gold book of the Fascista aristocracy. We 
shall point them out to the rising generation, to the children 
who are growing up and who represent the eternal spring 
of life. We shall say: "Great was the effort and hard the 
sacrifice, and pure was the blood that was shed; and it 
was not shed to safeguard the interests of individuals, 
class or caste, it was not shed in the name of materialism, 
it was shed in the name of an ideal, of all that is most noble, 
beautiful and generous in the human soul." With the 
example of our dead before you, I ask you to remember 
to be worthy of their sacrifice and to examine daily 
your own activity. Friends, I have faith in you. You 
have faith in me. In this mutual trust is the guarantee 
and certainty of our victory. Long live Italy! Long 
live Fascismo! Honour and glory to the martyrs of our 
cause! (Loud applause.) 



THE FASCISTA 171 



"THE MOMENT HAS ARRIVED WHEN THE ARROW 
MUST LEAVE THE BOW OR THE CORD WILL 
BREAK ! H 

Speech delivered at Naples, 26th October 1922. 

At this, the final stage of the pilgrimage of the ever-swelling 
ranks of Italian youth, where the first trench is dug in preparation 
for the imminent assault of the "black shirts," Mussolini in the 
morning, as politician, hurls his vehement reproach against "the 
three black souls," the ministerial exponents of anti-Fascista reaction. 
In the afternoon he shows himself in the guise of a warrior, and, 
wearing the colours of Rome on his breast, contemplates thought- 
fully his fifty thousand faithful crusaders in Piazza Plebiscito, who 
shout with one insistent voice, "To Rome! To Rome!" 

r ASCiSTi and citizens! It may be, or rather it is almost 
irtain, that my eloquence will disappoint you, accus- 
>med as you are to the impetuosity and rich imagery of 
rour own orators. But since I realise my incapacity for 
letoric, I have decided to limit myself, when speaking, 
plain necessity. 

We have gathered together here at Naples from every part 
Italy to perform an act of brotherhood and love. We 
Lve with us our brothers from the borderland of betrayed 
latia, men who do not mean to yield. (Applause, and 
ies of "Long live Italian Dalmatia!") There are also 
te Fascisti from Trieste, Istria and Venezia Tridentina, 
r ascisti from all parts of Northern Italy, even from the 
lands, from Sicily and Sardinia, all come together to affirm 
luietly and positively the indestructibility of our united 
ith, which means to oppose strongly every more or less 
tasked attempt at autonomy or separatism. 
Four years ago the Italian infantry, made great through 
renty years of work and hardship, the Italian infantry in 



172 THE FASCISTA 

which the sons of your country were so largely represented, 
burst from the Piave and, having defeated the Austrians, 
surged on towards the Isonzo, and only the foolish demo- 
cratic conception of the war prevented our victorious 
battalions from marching through the streets of Vienna and 
the highways of Budapest. (Applause.) 

From Rome to Naples. A year ago at Rome, at one time, 
we found ourselves surrounded by a secret hostility, which 
had its origin in the misunderstandings and infamies char- 
acteristic of the uncertain political world of the capital. 
(Hear, hear!) We have not forgotten all this. 

To-day we are happy that all Naples — this city which I 
call the big safety-reserve of the nation — (Applause.) — 
welcomes us with a sincere and frank enthusiasm, which 
does our hearts good, both as men and Italians. For this 
reason I request that not the smallest incident of any kind 
shall disturb this meeting, for that would be a mistake, 
and a foolish one. I demand also, as soon as the meeting 
is over, that every Fascista not belonging to Naples shall 
leave the town immediately. 

All Italy is watching this meeting, because — and let me 
say this without false modesty — there is not a post-war 
phenomenon of greater interest and originality in Europe 
or the world than Italian Fascismo. 

You certainly cannot expect from me what is usually 
called a big speech. I made one at Udine, another at 
Cremona, a third at Milan, and I am almost ashamed to 
speak again. But in view of the extremely grave situation 
in which we find ourselves to-day, I consider this an appro- 
priate opportunity to establish the different points of the 
problem in order that individual responsibilities may be 
settled. The moment has arrived, in fact, when the arrow 
must leave the bow, or the cord, too far stretched, will 
break. (Applause.) 



THE FASCISTA 173 

The Solving of the Problem. You remember that my friend 
Lupi and I placed before the Chamber the alternatives of 
this dilemma, which is not only Fascista but also national; 
that is to say, (legality or illegality; Parliamentary con- 
quest or revolution. By which means is Fascisrno to become 
the State? For we wish to become the State !l Well! By 
3rd October I had already settled the question. 

When I ask for the elections, when I ask that they shall 
take place soon, and be regulated by a reformed electoral 
law, it is clear to everyone that I have chosen my 
path. The very urgency of my request shows that the 
tension of my spirit has arrived at breaking point. To 
have, or not to have, understood this means to hold, or 
not to hold, the key to the solution of the whole Italian 
iolitical crisis. 

The request came from me ; but it also came from a party 
sisting of a formidably organised mass, which includes 

e rising generations in Italy and all the best, physically 

id morally, of the youth of the country ; and from a party, 
which had a tremendous following among the vague 

id unstable public. 

But, gentlemen, there is more. This request was made 
upon the morrow of the incidents of Bolzano and Trento, 

Ihich had made plain to all eyes the complete paralysis of 
le Italian State, and revealed, at the same time, the no less 
Dmplete efficiency of the Fascista State. 
Well! In spite of all this, the inadequate Government 
t Rome puts the question on the footing of public safety 
nd public order ! 
What we have asked the Government. The whole question 
as been approached in a fatally mistaken manner. Poli- 
ticians ask what we want. We are not people who beat about 
the bush. We speak clearly. We do good to those who do 



174 THE FASCISTA 

good to us, and evil to those who do evil. What do we want, 
Fascisti? We have answered quite simply: the dissolution 
of the present Chamber, electoral reform, and elections 
within a short time from now. We have demanded that the 
State shall abandon the ridiculous neutral position that it 
occupies between the national and the anti-national forces. 
We have asked for severe financial measures and the post- 
ponement of the evacuation of the third Dalmatic zone ; we 
have asked for five portfolios as well as for the Commission 
of Aviation. We have, in fact, asked for the Ministry of 
Foreign Affairs, the War Office, the Admiralty, the Ministries 
of Labour and of Public Works. I am sure none of you will 
find our requests excessive. But to complete the picture, 
I will add that I shall not take part with the Government 
in this legal solution of the problem, and the reason is obvious 
when you remember that to keep Fascismo still under my 
control I must of necessity have an unrestricted sphere of 
action both for journalistic and polemic purposes. 

A Ridiculous Answer. And what has been the Govern 
ment's reply? Nothing! No; worse than that, it has given 
a ridiculous answer. In spite of everything, not one of the 
politicians has known how to pass the threshold of Monte- 
citrio in order to look the problem of the country in the 
face. A miserable calculation of our strength has been made ; 
there has been talk of Ministers without portfolios, as if 
this, after the more or less miserable experiences of the war, 
was not the culmination of human and political absurdity. 
There has been talk of sub-portfolios, too ; but that is simply 
laughable ! We Fascisti do not intend to arrive at govern- 
ment by the window; we do not intend to give up this 
magnificent spiritual birthright for a miserable mess of 
ministerial pottage. (Loud and prolonged applause.) Be- 
cause we have what might be called the historical vision 



THE FASCISTA 175 

of the question as opposed to the merely political and 
Parliamentary view. 

It is not a question of patching together a Government 
with a certain amount of life, but of including in the Liberal 
State — which has accomplished a considerable task which 
we shall not forget — all the forces of the rising generation 
of Italians which issued victorious from the war. This is 
essential to the welfare of the State, and not of the State 
only, but to the history of the nation. And then . . . ? 

A Question of Strength. Then, gentlemen, the question, 
it being understood within its historical limits, asserts 
If and becomes a question of strength. As a matter of 
t, at turning-points of history force always decides 
en it is a question of opposing interests and ideas. This 
why we have gathered, firmly organised and strongly 
iplined our legions, because thus, if the question must 
settled by a recourse to force, we shall win. We are 
•rthy of it. It is the right and duty of the Italian people 
liberate their political and spiritual life from the parasitic 
station of the past, which cannot be prolonged in- 
finitely in the present, as it would mean the death of the 
future. (Applause.) 

tit is then quite natural that the Government at Rome 
ould try to divert and counteract the movement ; that it 
should try to break up the Fascista organisation, and to 
surround us with problems. 

These problems have the names of the Monarchy, the 
Army and Pacification. 

The Acceptance of the Monarchy. I have already said 
that the discussion, abstract or concrete, of the good and 

«'l of the monarchy as an institution is perfectly absurd, 
ery people in every epoch of history, given the time, 
ce and conditions necessary, has had its regime. There 
no doubt that the unity of Italy is soundly based upon the 



176 THE FASCISTA 

House of Savoy. (Loud applause.) There is equally no 
doubt that the Italian Monarchy, both by reason of its 
origin, development and history, cannot put itself in 
opposition to the new national forces. It did not manifest 
any opposition upon the occasion of the concession of the 
Charter, nor when the Italian people — who, even if they were 
a minority, were a determined and intelligent minority — 
asked and obtained their country's participation in the war. 
Would it then have reason to be in opposition to-day, 
when Fascismo does not intend to attack the regime, but 
rather to free it from all those superstructures that over- 
shadow its historical position and limit the expansion of 
our national spirit? Our enemies in vain try to keep this 
alleged misunderstanding alive. 






Fascismo and Democracy. The Parliament, gentlemen, 
and all the paraphernalia of Democracy have nothing in 
common with the monarchy. Not only this, but neither do 
we want to take away the people's toy — the Parliament. 
We say "toy " because a great part of the people seem to 
think of it in this way. Can you tell me else why, out of 
eleven millions of voters, six millions do not trouble them- 
selves to vote? It might be, however, that if to-morrow 
you took their "toy" away from them, they would be 
aggrieved. But we will not take it away. After all, it is 
our mentality and our methods that distinguish us from 
Democracy. Democracy thinks that principles are un- 
\^changeable when they can be applied at any time or in any 
place and situation. 

We do not believe that history repeats itself, that it 
follows a given path; that after Democracy must come 
super-Democracy. If Democracy had its uses and served 
the nation in the nineteenth century, it may be that some 
other political form would be best for the welfare of the 






THE FASCISTA 177 

nation in the twentieth. (Well said!) So that not even 
fear of our anti-Democratic policy can influence the decision 
in favour of that continuity of which I spoke just now. 

The Army. As regards the other institution in which the 
regime is personified — the army — the army knows that 
when the Ministry advised the officers to go about in civilian 
clothes to escape attack, we, then a mere handful of 
bold spirits, forbade it. (Prolonged applause.) We have 
created our ideal. It is faith and ardent love. It is not 
necessary for it to be brought into the sphere of reality. 
It is reality in so far as it is a stimulus for faith, hope and 
courage. Our ideal is the nation. Our ideal is the greatness 
of the nation, and we subordinate all the rest to this. 

For us the nation has a soul and does not consist only in 
so much territory. There are nations that have had immense 
possessions and have left no traces in the history of 
humanity in spite of them. It is not only size that counts, 
because, on the other hand, there have been tiny, micro- 
scopic States that have left indelible marks in the history 
of art and philosophy. The greatness of a nation lies in the 
aggregation of all these virtues and all these conditions. 
A nation is great when its spiritual force is transferred into 
reality. Rome was great when, from her small rural de- 
mocracy, little by little, her influence spread over the whole 
of Italy. Then she met the warriors of Carthage and fought 
them. It was one of the first wars in history. Then, bit by 
bit, she extended the dominion of the Eagle to the further- 
most boundaries of the known world, but still, as ever, the 
Roman Empire is a creation of the spirit, as it was the spirit 
which first inspired the Roman legions to fight. (Applause.) 



o 



ur Syndicalism. What we want now is the greatness of 
the nation, both materially and spiritually. That is why 
we have become syndicalist, and not because we think 



178 THE FASCISTA 

that the masses by reason of their number can create in 
history something which will last. These myths of the lower 
kind of Socialist literature we reject. But the working 
people form a part of the nation ; and they are a great part 
of the nation, necessary to its existence both in peace and 
in war. They neither can nor ought to be repulsed. They 
can and must be educated and their legitimate interests 
protected. (Applause.) We ask them: " Do you wish this 
state of civil war to continue to disturb the country ?" No! 
For we are the first to suffer from the ceaseless Sunday 
wrangling with its list of dead and wounded. I was the 
first to try to bridge over the gap which exists between 
us and what is called the Italian Bolshevist world. 

How Peace can be obtained. To prove this, I have just 
recently signed an agreement most gladly; in the first 
place because it was Gabriele d'Annunzio who asked me 
to, and in the second place because it was, as I thought, 
another step towards a national peace. 

But we are no hysterical women who continually worry 
themselves by thinking of what might happen. We have 
not the catastrophic, apocalyptic view of history. The 
financial problem which is so much talked about is a question 
of will-power. Millions and millions would be saved if there 
were men in the Government who had the courage to sa 
"No" to the different requests. But until the financial 
question is brought on to a political basis it will not 
be solved. We are all for pacification, and we should 
like to see all Italians find the common ground upon 
which it is possible for them to live together in a civilised 
way. But, on the other hand, we cannot give up our 
rights and the interests and the future of the nation for 
the sake of measures of pacification that we propose with 
loyalty but which are not accepted in the same spirit by 






THE FASCISTA 179 

the other side. We are at peace with those who ask for 
peace, but for those who ensnare us and, above all, ensnare 
the nation, there can be no peace until after victory. 

A Hymn to the Queen of the Mediterranean. And now, 
Fascisti and citizens of Naples, I thank you for the attention 
with which you have listened to me. 

Naples gives a fine display of strength, discipline and 
austerity. It was a happy idea that led to our coming 
here from all parts of Italy, that has allowed us to see you 
as you are, to see your people who face the struggle for life 
like Romans, and who, with the desire to rebuild their 
lives and to gain wealth through hard work, carry ever in 
their hearts the love of this their wonderful town, which is 
destined to a great future, especially if Fascismo does not 
deviate from its path. 

Nor must the Democrats say that there is no need for 
Fascismo here, as there has been no Bolshevism, for here 
there are other political movements no less dangerous than 
Bolshevism and no less likely to hinder the development 
of the public conscience. 

I already see the Naples of the future endowed with an 
even greater splendour as the metropolis of the Mediter- 
ranean ; and I see it together with Bari (which in 1805 had 
sixteen thousand inhabitants and now has one hundred 
and fifty thousand) and Palermo forming a powerful tri- 

igle. And I see Fascismo concentrating all these energies, 

irifying certain circles, and removing certain members 
society, gathering others under its standards. 

And now, members of the Fascio of all Italy, lift up your 
;s and salute Naples, the capital of Southern Italy and the 

ieen of the Mediterranean. 



PART V 

USSOLINI THE " FASCISTA MEMBER 
OF PARLIAMENT" 



MUSSOLINI THE "FASCISTA MEMBER 
OF PARLIAMENT" 

FASCISMO AND THE NEW PROVINCES 

Speech delivered in the Chamber, 21st June 192 1. 

Hon. Mussolini. I am not displeased, gentlemen, to make 
my speech from the benches of the Extreme Right, where 
formerly no one dared to sit. 
I may say at once, with the supreme contempt I have for 
11 nominalism, that I shall adopt a reactionary line through- 
out my speech, which will be, I do not know how Parlia- 
mentary in form, but anti-Socialist and anti-Democratic 
in substance. (Approval.) In spite of this I am audacious 
enough to affirm that I shall be listened to with advantage 
by all sections of the Chamber. In the first place by the 
rovernment, which will notice our position with regard to 
it. In the second place by the Socialists, who, after seven 
rears of changing fortunes, see before them, in the proud 
ittitude of a heretic, the man they excommunicated from 
ieir orthodox church. They will listen to me, too, because, 
laving held their fortunes in the palm of my hand for two 
rears, there may still be some secret longings for me in 
te depths of their hearts! 

I may also be listened to with interest by the Popular 

Party and the other groups and sections. In fact, since I 

lope to define some political aspects, and I may add some 

dstorical ones, of this extremely powerful and complicated 

lovement Fascismo, perhaps what I have to say may have 

)litical consequences worthy of note. 

I beg you not to interrupt me, because I shall never 

iterrupt anybody, and I add that from this moment I 

183 



184 THE FASCISTA 

shall make sparing use of my freedom of speech in this 
Assembly. 
And now to the argument. 

Italophobia on the Upper Adige. In the speech from the 
throne, the Hon. Giolitti made the Sovereign say that the 
barrier of the Alps was entirely in our hands. I dispute 
the geographical and political exactness of this statement. 
We have not yet, at a few kilometres from Milan, the 
barrier of the Alps as the defence of Lombardy and the 
valley of the Po. 

I am touching on a delicate subject, but it is well known, 
both in this Chamber and elsewhere, that in the Canton 
Ticino, which is being Germanised and bastardised, there 
is springing up a nationalist vanguard whom the Fascisti 
look on with favour. 

What is the present Government doing to defend the 
Alpine barrier of the Brenner and the Nevoso? Its policy, 
as regards the Upper Adige, is simply lamentable and, 
though its representatives would doubtless be extremely 
capable of running a kindergarten, I absolutely deny that 
they have the necessary qualifications for governing a 
region where several languages are spoken and the rivalry 
between the races is very bitter. The Governor of Venezia 
Tridentina, for instance, has made a present of the con- 
stituency of Gorizia to the Slovaks and of four German 
deputies to the Italian Chamber; while the other belongs 
to that category of more or less respectable people 
who are slaves to one so-called immortal principle, 
which consists in maintaining that there is only one 
form of good government in the world, and that it is 
applicable to all peoples, at all times, and in all quarters 
of the globe. 

Allow me to put before the Chamber the results of a few 



MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT 185 

personal enquiries I have made into the situation on the 
Upper Adige. 

The political anti-Italian movement on the Upper Adige 
is monopolised by the Deutscher Verband, an offspring of 
the Andreas Hoferbund, which has its centre at Munich, 
and claims that the German frontier is not at the Pass of 
Salorno but at the Bern Clause or Chiusa di Verona. 
Now the representative of whom I have just spoken 
responsible for this German propaganda, because he has 
•itten the preface to a book which states that the natural 
>undaries of Germany are at the foot of the Alps towards 
le valley of the Po. In the first days of the military occupa- 
;ion, immediately after the Armistice, this Italophobia was 
lot possible ; but when, by a great misfortune, this governor 
ras appointed, the attitude of the people changed immedi- 
itely and the submission previously shown was succeeded 
an insolent arrogance, which denied the Austrian 
{verses and kept alive the desire for the return of the 
[apsburgs. 

At the sample fair organised by the Chamber of Commerce 
)f Bolzano, a nest of Pangermanism, all Italian firms were 
xluded, so much so that the invitations were issued in 
;rman, and a Bavarian band played for the whole duration 
the fair ! 

I come now to the events of 24th April, when a Fascista 
>mb, justly administered by way of reprisal, and for 
rtiich I take upon myself the moral responsibility — (Loud 
>plause and comments.) — marked the limit to which Fas- 
>mo intended that the German movement should go. 
The demonstration of 24th April in the Tyrol was only 
simultaneous manifestation to the plebiscite which had 
in summoned that day beyond the Brenner, because the 
irmans in the Upper Adige resort to these subtle tricks 
of making the same manifestations under different guises. 



i86 THE FASCISTA 

In this way, when they publicly mourned the loss of the 
Upper Adige on this side of the Brenner, on the other they 
did the same for the fallen Austrian soldiers. When the 
Fascisti presented themselves at Bolzano, they found the 
police helmeted and tasselled, and when they were arrested, 
the enquiry was entrusted to Count Breitemburg, a notorious 
member of the Deutscher Verband. 

I will not linger over the cases of Malmeter, because they 
are more like the chapters of a novel. But I cannot help 
mentioning one most curious episode. 

The Commissioner of Merano went to the commune of Maja 
Alta and was received, not in the town hall, but in an old 
mansion house, where were gathered the mayor and the 
councillors. The commissioner read the form of the oath, 
and the mayor and the councillors, sitting down immediately, 
put on their hats and burst out laughing. The commissioner 
had hardly recovered from his surprise when the mayor 
rose to his feet and began a storm of abuse against the 
King, Italy and the commissioner, who, returning to Merano, 
requested the dismissal of this council. But the Deutscher 
Verband interceded with the governor, who returned the 
commissioner's report, writing at the same time that it 
was not a good thing to practise irredentism. And the 
representatives of the commune remained as they were! 

Since the period of mismanagement the Upper Adige 
is no longer bi-lingual. The mayor himself refused to accept 
the evidence he had asked for concerning the events of 
24th April, because they were written in Italian. These 
are small individual cases, but they serve to give an idea 
of the whole situation. 

At Megre* the Italophobe president of the Young Catho- 
lics' Club turned out two young men because they presented 
their demands in Italian, saying that that language would 
not do for his office and telling them to keep it for them- 



MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT 187 

selves. And among all those competing for the office of 
President of the Court of Appeal of redeemed Italian Trento, 
the one selected was a man who in 1915 had resigned his 
magistracy in order to serve as a "Kaiser-Jager" volunteer 
under the Austrian flag. To-day this man administers 
justice in the name of Italy! (Comments.) 

If you imagine that the postal and telegraphic services 
in the Upper Adige are in Italian hands, you are much 
mistaken. The Deutscher Verband has control of all the 
communications and disposes of them at its pleasure. 
Although 24th April was a holiday, the Pangermans and 
the heads of the movement at Innsbruck were kept in- 
formed all along of the development of events at Bolzano, 
while all communications with the civil and military 
authorities were cut and the town completely isolated 
from Trento and the rest of Italy for twenty-four hours. 
This is the situation. 

What the Fascisti ask as regards the Upper Adige. Gentle- 
men of the Government, as regards the Upper Adige, we ask 
you for these immediate measures : 

1. The abolition of everything which reminds us of the 
Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, even in outward form. Be- 
cause I wish to say to the House that it is useless to make 
compacts to prevent the return of the Hapsburgs with 
the Austrian heirs, who are more Austrian than Austria, 
when we leave a great part of Austria intact within our 

Im boundaries. 
2. The dissolution of the Deutscher Verband. 
3. The immediate dismissal of the two Italian governors. 
4. The formation of a united province of Trento with 
the administration at Trento, and the strictest observ- 
ance of the use of the two languages in every act of 
iblic administration. 



i88 THE FASCISTA 

I do not know what measures will be adopted by the 
Government in these cases, but I hereby declare, and I do 
so before the four German deputies that they may repeat 
it and make it known beyond the Brenner, that there we are 
and there we mean to stay at all costs. (Applause.) 

Giolitti (Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior). 
Upon this we are all agreed. (Applause.) 

Mussolini. I note with pleasure the explicit declaration 
the Prime Minister has just made. 



r 



MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT 189 



THE QUESTION OF MONTENEGRO'S 
INDEPENDENCE 

Same speech delivered in the Chamber, 21st June 1921. 

Hon. Mussolini. What is going to be our line of policy 
in view of the vast field for disagreement which has 
been left by the peace treaty, or rather peace treaties, all 
over the world? 

I shall not touch upon the quarrel between Greece and 
:key, although inconceivable complications may result 

it is true, as is said, that Lenin is an ally of Kemal Pasha 

id has already despatched the advance guard of the Red 
ly to Asia Minor. Neither shall I speak of Upper Silesia, 
I have not yet succeeded in defining the attitude of the 

>vernment on this question. Egypt, again, I shall leave 

itouched. But I cannot hold my peace about the fate 

spared for Montenegro. 

How is it that Montenegro has lost her independence ? 
theory she has not lost it, but actually she lost it in 

:tober 1918. And yet Count Sforza said that the inde- 
pendence of Montenegro was completely guaranteed, first 
by the Treaty of London of 19 15, which presupposed her 
aggrandisement at the expense of Austria and the restitu- 
tion of Scutari; secondly, by the conditions laid down by 
Wilson for the Allies, which safeguarded her existence with 
that of Belgium and Serbia; and thirdly, by the decision 
of the Supreme Council of the Conference of January 1919, 
in which the right of Montenegro to be represented by a 
Delegate at the Paris Peace Conference was recognised. 
Not only this, but when Franchet d'Esperey entered 
Montenegro with Serb and French elements, he gave out 
that he was governing in the name of King Nicholas. 



iqo THE FASCISTA 

When, however, King Nicholas, the Court and the I 
Government wished to return to Cettinge, France, in whose I 
interest it was to create a powerful Yugoslavia to counter- I 
balance Italy in the Adriatic, informed the Montenegrin I 
Government that she would have broken off all diplomatic I 
relations had they done so. 

What attitude did Italy adopt in this difficult situation ? I 
The Hon. Federzoni spoke yesterday of a Convention that 
became a scrap of paper; and it was this Convention of 
30th April 1919. In it the relations between Italy and 
Montenegro are clearly established. And this is what it I 
says: "Following upon the agreement made between the 
Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Government 
of Montenegro" (so there was a Government still in 1919), 
" represented by their Consul General at Rome, Commander 
Ramanadovich, the Montenegrin Government will form a 
nucleus of officers and troops, drawn from the Montenegrin 
refugees, and will receive from the Italian Government the 
necessary funds in money for the payment of the allowances 
of the officers and men." Other conditions follow, the last 
being: "The present Convention cannot be altered without 
the common consent of both the Italian and Montenegrin 
Governments." 

Now this Convention was destroyed after the death of 
King Nicholas. Signs of disaffection were noticed among the 
Montenegrin troops, and the commander asked for military I 
aid from our Government, in order to proceed to the work 
of elimination. A Commission was appointed, presided 
over by Colonel Vigevano. This commission, which was 
to save the Montenegrin army, was the chief cause of its 
disbandment. And not only this — on 27th May the Italian 
Minister for Foreign Affairs told the Montenegrin Government 
that the troops must be disbanded or no more funds would 
be forthcoming from Italy. And in this way the Convention 



MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT 

of 30th April 1919 was violated, because in it it had been 
said that no alteration was to be made without the common 
consent of the two Governments, and this decision had 
never been accepted by the consul general at Rome, who 
represented the Montenegrin Government. The fact is that 
the Italian Minister had made use of the presence of the 
Montenegrin army in Italy for political purposes, thinking 
thereby to obtain better terms with Yugoslavia. This 
expectation not being realised, the Montenegrin army, at 
a given moment, was cast aside like a worn-out coat. The 
fact of the election of the Constituent does not justify the 
tragic state of abandonment in which Italy left Montenegro, 
because only twenty per cent, of the electors voted, and of 
those only nine per cent, in favour of annexation by Serbia. 
The Serbian authorities have introduced a real reign of 
terror in Montenegro and have prevented the presentation 
of lists which might contain the names of candidates favour- 
able to the independence of the country. 

But I hope Count Sforza will not think that the question 
of Montenegro is a thing of the past. First, as he knows, 
the Montenegrin people are still in arms against the Serbs, 
and secondly, the Italian people are unanimous as regards 
this question. Even the Socialists, and I say it to their 
honour, have several times declared in their papers that the 
independence of Montenegro is sacred. The Universities of 
Padua and Bologna have pronounced in favour of her 
independence, while the Fascisti have presented a motion 
to this effect. 

The shameful page which signs the death warrant of the 
Montenegrin people must be redeemed by the adoption of 
our motion, because if you bring the question once more 
before the Great Powers, so that another plebiscite be 

Iummoned, I am certain that, under conditions of liberty, 
nti-Serbian results will be returned. 



192 THE FASCISTA 

D'ANNUNZIO AND FIUME 

Same speech delivered in the Chamber, 21st June 1921. 

Hon. Mussolini. In the speech from the throne, the Alps 
which go down to the Brenner were spoken of. Now we 
wish to know if these Alps include Fiume or not. I deplore 
the fact that in this speech no notice was given to the action 
of Gabriele d'Annunzio and his legionaries — (Applause.) — 
without whom our boundaries to-day would be at Monte 
Maggiore instead of at the Nevoso. Such a reference would 
have been generous, as well as politically opportune. 

I do not intend to enlarge upon the sacrifice of Dalmatia. 
My honourable friend Federzoni spoke very eloquently on 
the subject yesterday. But I was surprised when in that 
same speech from the throne it was affirmed that Zara 
must be the advance guard of Italy on the opposite shores, 
because Zara is crushed between the Slav sea and the 
Slav hinterland. 

While upon the subject of the Adriatic, gentlemen, we 
Fascisti cannot forget, we who speak for the first time in 
this hall, the attitude that you adopted in the affair of 
Fiume. We cannot forget that you attacked Fiume; and 
that when on 28th December General Ferrario said that he 
could not suspend the order for the bombardment that 
would have levelled that town to the ground, that general 
and the Government that gave him the order com- 
promised our national dignity more than a little. (Approval 
on the Right.) 

You put a knife to the throat of Fiume, but you did not 
solve the problem. You sent a commander there with an 
amazing scheme for the formation of a Government, which 



MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT 



193 



was to accept the conditions agreed upon at Belgrade — accept, 
that is to say, the Consortium, which means the near, if not 
immediate, destruction of the port of Fiume. Because you 
are well aware that after the lapse of twelve years Porto 
Barro and the Delta ought to go to Yugoslavia, and you have 
already handed them over, because, if you had not done so, 
you would have been obliged to make statements which 
have not been made. 



194 



THE FASCISTA 



ITALY, SIONISM, AND THE ENGLISH MANDATE 
IN PALESTINE 

Same speech delivered in the Chamber, 21st June 192 1. 

Hon. Mussolini. I come now to another very delicate 
question that must be faced, because it is historically neces- 
sary and because, in view of the recent Pontifical Allocution 
before the Secret Consistory, it can no longer be put off. 

We must choose : the Government must decide what line 
it is going to take up. Either it must adopt the English 
attitude in favour of the Sionists, or that of Benedict XV. 
I do not think that I shall be boring the Chamber if I run 
over the antecedents of this question. 

On 2nd November 19 17, the English Government declared 
itself in favour of the creation in Palestine of a national 
centre for the Jewish race, it being clearly understood that 
nothing would be done to offend the rights, civil or religious, 
of the non- Jewish communities already existing in Palestine 
or of the Jews in the rest of the world Later the Allied 
Powers agreed to this, and finally, in Article No. 222 of the 
Peace Treaty, confirmed on 20th August at Sevres, Turkey 
renounced all her rights in Palestine, and the Allied Powers 
chose England as mandatory. 

Now it has come about, that while the civilised nations I 
of the West have not altered the common regime of liberty 
for the different religions, in Palestine just the reverse has 
happened, and this in particular because the administra- 
tion of the State in embryo has been entrusted to the political 
organisation of the Sionists. 

But there have been Arabs in Palestine for ten centuries. 
There are 600,000 now, and 70,000 Christians, while the 
Jews only number 50,000. In this way an extraordinarily 
interesting situation has been created. 



MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT 195 

The native Jews, who have lived for years under the 
shadow of the mosque of Jerusalem, cordially dislike those 
immigrant elements which come from Poland, Ukraine 
and Russia, on account of their extremely emancipated 
ideas. They have already divided into three sections, one 
of which, commonly known by its abbreviated name 
"Mopsy," being already inscribed in the Third Inter- 
national at Moscow as Communist Section. 

I wish to say, however, that no anti-Semitism, whiclr 
would be new in this hall, must be read into my words. O 

I recognise the fact that the sacrifices made by the Italian 
Jews during the war were considerable and generous, but 
now it is a question of examining certain political posi- 
tions and of indicating what line the Government might 
eventually adopt. 

An alliance between the Arabs and the Christians has 
now been established in Palestine, and a party formed at 
the Conference of Jaffa, which opposes by civil war all 
Jewish immigration. On the 1st and 14th of May, serious 
disturbances occurred which resulted in some hundreds 
of wounded and several deaths, including a writer of note. 

Now, according to the Bulletin du Comite des Diligations 
Juives, page 19, it appears that the text of the English 
Mandate for Palestine must be submitted to the Council 
of the Society of the League of Nations in the next meeting 
at Geneva. I should wish the Government, in this delicate 

f" nation, to accept the point of view of the Vatican. 
This is in the interest of the Jews, who, having fled from 
the pogroms of Ukraine and Poland, must not meet Arab 
pogroms in Palestine; moreover, it is advisable that the 
Western nations should refrain from creating a painful 
legal position for the Jews, since to-morrow those same 
Jews, becoming citizen-subjects of those States, might 
immediately form foreign colonies within them. 



i 9 6 THE FASCISTA 



THE ATTITUDE OF FASCISMO TOWARDS COM- 
MUNISM AND SOCIALISM 

Same speech delivered in the Chamber, 21st June 1921. 

Hon. Mussolini. I do not wish to enlarge upon the question 
of foreign policy, as I should then find myself out in the 
open, and I might ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs what 
Italy's position exactly is in the face of the formidable 
conflicts which loom upon the horizon of international 
politics. While Count Sforza is at the head of Foreign 
Affairs in Giolitti's Cabinet, we Fascisti cannot but find 
ourselves among the opposition. (Comments.) 

I shall pass now to an examination of the position of 
Fascismo with regard to the various parties — (Signs of atten- 
tion.) — and I shall begin with the Communists. 

Communism, the Hon. Graziadei teaches me, springs 
up in times of misery and despair. When the total sum of 
the wealth of the world is much reduced, the first idea that 
enters men's minds is to put it all together so that everyone 
may have a little. But this is only the first phase of Com- 
munism, the phase of consumption. Afterwards comes the 
phase of production, which is very much more difficult; 
so difficult, indeed, that that great and formidable man 
(not yet legislator) who answers to the name of Wladimiro 
Ulianoff Lenin, when he came to shaping human material, 
became aware that it was a good deal harder than bronze 
or marble. (Approval and comments.) 
P I know the Communists. I know them, because a great 
1 many of them are my sons — I mean, of course, spiritually — 
(Laughter.) — and I recognise with a sincerity that might 
appear cynical, that it was I who first inoculated these 



MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT 197 

people, when I put into circulation among the Italian 
Socialists a little Bergson mingled with much Blanqui. 

There is a philosopher * sitting among the Ministers who 
certainly teaches me that the neo-spiritualistic philosophies 
continually oscillating between the metaphysical and the 
lyrical are very dangerous for small minds. (Laughter.) 
The neo-spiritualistic philosophies are like oysters — they 
are palatable, but they have to be digested. (Laughter.) 
These, my friends or enemies . . . 
(Voices from the Extreme Left: " Enemies, enemies! ") 
Mussolini. Very well, then — enemies, swallowed Bergson 
ten they were twenty-five and have not digested him 
thirty. I am very surprised to see among the Communists 
economist of the standing of Antonio Graziadei, with 
10m I had great battles when he was a reformer and had 
:own aside Marx and his doctrines. While the Com- 
>ts speak of the dictatorship of the proletariat, of 
>ublics more or less united with the Soviet, and other 
-fetched absurdities of that kind, between them and 
there cannot be other than war. (Interruptions from 
Extreme Left. Comments.) 
Our position is different as regards the Socialist Party, 
the first place we are careful to make a distinction between 
party Socialism and the Socialism of Labour. (Comments 

fthe Extreme Left.) 
I am not here to overrate the importance of the syndicalist 
movement. When you think that there are sixteen millions 
of working men in Italy and of these hardly three millions 
belong to the syndicates, whether the General Conference 
of Workmen, the National Italian Syndicate, the Italian 
Workmen's Union, the Confederation of Italian Economic 
Syndicates, the White Federation or other organisations 

tch do not concern us, and that their membership 
_ 



198 THE FASCISTA 

increases and diminishes according to the times; when you 
think that the really advanced and scrupulous thinkers 
are a scanty minority, you will realise at once that we are 
right when we do not overrate the historical importance 
of this movement of the working classes. 

But we recognise the fact that the General Federation 
of Workers did not manifest the attitude of hostility at 
the time of the war which was shown by a great part of the 
Official Socialist Party. We recognise, also, that through 
the General Federation of Workers technical forces have 
come to the front which, in view of the fact that the 
organisers are in direct and daily contact with the complex 
economic reality, are reasonable enough. (Interruptions 
from the Extreme Left and comments.) 

We — and there are witnesses here who can prove the truth 
of my words — have never taken up a priori an attitude of 
opposition to the General Federation of Workers. I add 
also that our attitude might be altered later if the Con- 
federation detached itself — and the political directors have 
for some time considered the possibility of this being done — 
from the political Socialist Party — (Comments.) — which is 
only a fraction of political Socialism, and is formed of those 
people who, in order to act, have need of the big forces 
represented by the working-class organisations. 
« Listen to what I am going to say. When you present the 

/Bill for the Eight Hours Day, we will vote in favour of it. 

/ (We shall not oppose this or any other measures destined to 
perfect our special legislation. We shall not even oppose 
experiments of co-operation; but I tell you at once that 
we shall resist with all our strength attempts at State 

, Socialism, Collectivism and the like. We have had enough 
of State Socialism, and we shall never cease to fight 
your doctrines as a whole, for we deny their truth and 
oppose their fatalism. 



MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT 199 

We deny the existence of only two classes, because there"^ 
are many more. (Comments.) We deny the possibility of 
explaining the story of humanity in terms of economics. J 
We deny your internationalism, because it is a luxury \ 
which only the upper classes can afford ; the working people ] 
are hopelessly bound to their native shores. — ' 

Not only this, but we affirm, and on the strength of recent 
Socialist literature which you ought not to repudiate, 
that the real history of capitalism is beginning now, because 
capitalism is not only a system of oppression, but a selection 
of that which is of most worth, a co-ordination of hier- 
archies, a more strongly developed sense of individual 
responsibility. (Applause.) So true is this that Lenin, after 
having instituted the building councils, abolished them and 
put in dictators; so true is it that, after having nationalised 
commerce, he reintroduced the regime of liberty; and, as 
'ou who have been in Russia well know, after having 
suppressed — even physically — the bourgeoisie, to-day he 
summons it back, because without capitalism and its 
technical system of production Russia could never rise 
jain. (Applause from the Right. Comments.) 
Let me speak to you frankly and tell you the mistakes 
r ou made after the Armistice, fundamental mistakes which 
*e destined to influence the history of your politics. 
First of all you ignored or underrated the survival of , 
Lose forces which had been the cause of intervention in 
ie war. Your paper went to ridiculous lengths, ne\< 
lentioning my name for months, as if by that you could 
liminate a man from life and history. You showed your- 
selves worse knaves than ever by libelling the war and 
ictory. (Loud approval on the Right.) You wildly pro- 
>agated the Russian myth, awakening almost messianic 
expectation; and only afterwards, when you realised the 
truth, did you change your position by executing a more or 



200 THE FASCISTA 

less prudent strategic retreat. (Laughter.) Only after two 
years did you remember, beside the sickle — a noble tool — and 
the hammer — no less noble — to place the book — (Bravo !) — 
which represents the rights of the spirit over matter, rights 
which cannot be suppressed or denied — (Bravo!) — rights 
which you, who consider yourselves the heralds of a new 
humanity, ought to be the first to inscribe upon your 
banners. (Great applause from the Extreme Right.) 






MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT 201 



THE ATTITUDE OF FASCISMO TOWARDS THE 
POPULAR PARTY. THE VATICAN AND SOCIAL 
DEMOCRACY 

Same speech delivered in the Chamber, 21st June 192 1. 

Hon. Mussolini. I come now to the Popular Party; and I 
wish to remind it first that in the history of Fascismo there 
are no invasions of churches, and not even the assassination 
of the monk Angelico Galassi, who was killed by revolver 
shots at the foot of the altar. I confess to you that there 
have been some chastisements and the sacred burning of the 
offices of a newspaper which called the Fascisti a band 
of criminals. (Comments; interruptions from the Centre.) 

Fascismo neither practises nor preaches anti-Clericalism. 
It can also be said that it is not in any way tied to Free- 
masonry; this, however, should not be the cause of alarm 
which it is to some members of the Popular Party, as to my 
mind Freemasonry is an enormous screen behind which there 
are generally small things and small men. (Comments and 
laughter.) But let us come to concrete problems. 

The question of divorce has been touched on here. I am 
not, at bottom, in favour of divorce, because I do not believe 
that questions of the sentimental order can be settled by 
juridical formulae ; but I ask the Popular Party to consider 
if it is just that the rich can obtain divorce by going into 
Hungary, while the poor are sometimes obliged to be tied 
all their lives. 

We are one with the Popular Party as regards the liberty 
of schools. We are very near them as regards the agrarian 
problem, for we think that where small properties exist it 



202 THE FASCISTA 

is useless to destroy them ; that where it is possible to create 
them, they ought to be created; that where they cannot be 
created, because they would be unproductive, other methods 
must be adopted, not excluding more or less collective 
co-operation. We agree about administrative decentralisa- 
tion, provided, necessarily, that autonomy and federation 
are not spoken of, because regional federation would lead 
to provincial federation, and so on till Italy returned to 
what she was a century ago. 

But there is another problem more important than these 
incidental questions to which I wish to draw the atten- 
tion of the Popular Party, and that is the historical 
problem of the relations between Italy and the Vatican. 
(Signs of attention.) 

All of us, who from fifteen to twenty-five drank deep at 
the fountain of Carduccian literature, learned to hate "una 
vecchia vaticana lupa cruenta" of which Carducci speaks, 
I think, in the ode To Ferrara; we heard talk of "a pontifi- 
cate dark with mystery" on the one hand, and on the other 
of the sublime truth and the future in the words of the poet- 
prophet. Now all this, confined to literature, may be most 
brilliant, but to us Fascisti, who are eminently practical, 
it seems to-day more than a little out of date. 

I maintain that the Imperial and Latin tradition of Rome 
is represented to-day by Catholicism. If, as Mommsen said 
thirty years ago, one could not stay in Rome without being 
impressed by the idea of universality, I both think and 
maintain that the only universal idea at Rome to-day is 
that which radiates from the Vatican. I am very disturbed 
when I see national churches being formed, because I think 
of the millions and millions of men who will no longer look 
towards Italy and Rome. For this reason I advance this 
hypothesis, that if the Vatican should definitely renounce 
its temporal ambitions — and I think it is already on 



MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT 



203 



that road — Italy ought to furnish it with the necessary 
material help for the schools, churches, hospitals, etc., 
that a temporal power has at its disposal. Because the 
increase of Catholicism in the world, the addition of four 
hundred millions of men who from all quarters of the globe 
look towards Rome, is a source of pride and of special 
interest to us Italians. 

The Popular Party must choose; either it is going to 
be our friend, our enemy or neutral. Now that I have 
spoken clearly, I hope that some member of the party 
will do likewise. 

Social Democracy seems to have a very ambiguous posi- 
tion. First of all one wonders why it is called Social Demo- 
cracy. A democracy is already necessarily social ; we think, 
however, that this Social Democracy is a kind of Trojan 
horse which holds within it an army against whom we 

tall always be at war. 



PART VI 



MUSSOLINI THE " FASCISTA PRIME 
MINISTER " 



MUSSOLINI THE "FASCISTA PRIME 
MINISTER" 

We deem it superfluous to linger over a detailed analysis of the 
separate speeches delivered by Benito Mussolini after ist November 
[922, the day on which, by the will of the people, he rose fully 
[uipped to the dignities and responsibilities of power. 
Foreigners are to a great extent ignorant of the origin, the char- 
ter and the evolution of the Fascista movement, owing to the 
ick of literature on the subject outside Italy. They have, however, 
ready had the means of appreciating the qualities of strength, 
lance of mind, and foresight revealed from the very first by the 
Italian Fascista Premier. Although European public opinion may be 
>gically entitled to an attitude of reserve in the face of the crisis of 
solution and renovation through which Italy is passing, it is certain 
tat the young President of the Council— of humble birth, and risen 
power by a remarkable combination of circumstances — romantic, 
ing, ingenious, tempestuous — stands now the principal figure in 
te arena of world politics. 

A NEW CROMWELL IN THE PARLIAMENT 

Speech delivered in the Chamber, 16th November 1922. 

Hon. Mussolini. Honourable Members, — (Signs of great 
attention.) — I perform to-day in this hall an act of formal 
leference towards you for which I do not expect any 
special gratitude. 
I have the honour of announcing to the Chamber that 
[is Majesty the King, by a Decree of 31st October, has 
iccepted the resignations of the H on. Luigi Facta from the 
>ffice of President of the Council and oi his colleagues, 
[inister and Under-Secretaries of State, and has asked me 
to form the new Ministry. On the same day His Majesty 

207 



208 THE FASCISTA 

has appointed me President of the Council of Munitions 
and Minister of the Interior and of Foreign Affairs, etc. 

For many years — for too many years — crises in the Govern- 
ment took place and were solved by more or less tortuous 
and underhand manoeuvres, so much so that a crisis came 
to be regarded as a regular scramble for portfolios, and the 
Ministry was caricatured in the comic papers. 

Now, for the second time in the brief space of seven 
years, the Italian people, or rather the best part of it, 
has overthrown a Ministry and formed for itself an en- 
tirely new Government from outside, regardless of every 
Parliamentary designation. 

The seven years of which I speak he between the May of 
1915 and the October of 1922. I shall leave to the gloomy 
partisans of super-Constitutionalism the task of discours- 
ing, more or less plaintively, about all this. I maintain that 
revolution has its rights; and I may add, so that everyone 
may know, that I am here to defend and give the greatest 
value to the revolution of the " black shirts," inserting it 
intrinsically in the history of the nation as an active force 
in development, progress and the restoration of equilibrium. 
(Loud applause from the Left.) I could have carried our 
victory much further, and I refused to do so. I imposed 
limits upon my action and told myself that the truest 
wisdom is that which does not forsake one after victory. 
With three hundred thousand young men, fully armed, ready 
for anything and almost religiously prompt to obey any 
command of mine, I could have punished all those who have 
slandered the Fascisti and thrown mud at them. (Approval 
on the Right.) I could have made a bivouac of this gloomy 
grey hall; I could have shut up Parliament and formed a 
Government of Fascisti exclusively; I could have done so, 
but I did not wish to do so, at any rate at the moment. 
Our adversaries remained in their shelters and then quietly 



PRIME MINISTER 



209 



issued forth and obtained their freedom, of which they are 
already taking advantage to set traps for us and slander us, 
as at Carate, Bergamo, Udine and Muggia. 

I have formed a Coalition Government, not with the // 
intention of obtaining a Parliamentary majority, with 
which at the moment I can perfectly well dispense, but in 
order to gather together in support of the suffering nation 
all those who, over and above questions of party and section, 
wish to save her. 

From the bottom of my heart I thank all those who have 
worked with me, both Ministers and Under-Secretaries; 
I thank my colleagues in the Government, who wished to 
share with me the heavy responsibilities of this hour; and 
I cannot remember without pleasure the attitude of the 
Italian working classes, who indirectly encouraged and 
strengthened the Fascisti by their solidarity, active or 
passive. I believe also that I shall be giving expression to 
the thoughts of a large part of this assembly, and certainly 
of the majority of the Italian people, if I pay a warm tribute 
to our Sovereign, who, by refusing to permit the useless 
reactionary attempts made at the eleventh hour to pro- / 
claim martial law, has avoided civil war and allowed the f 
fresh and ardent Fascista current, newly arisen out of the 
war and exalted by victory, to pour itself into the sluggish 
main stream of the State. (Cries of "Long live the King!" 
The Ministers and a great many deputies rise to their 
feet and applaud.) 

Before arriving here we were asked on all sides for a 
programme. It is not, alas! programmes that are wanting 
in Italy, but men to carry them out. All the problems of 
Italian life — all, I say — have long since been solved on 
paper; but the will to put these solutions into practice 
has been lacking. The Government to-day represents that 
firm and decisive will. 






2io THE FASCISTA 



THE FOREIGN POLICY OF THE FASCISTA 
GOVERNMENT 

Same speech delivered in the Chamber, 16th November 1922. 

Hon. Mussolini. Honourable Members, — Our foreign 
policy is the business which chiefly concerns us at the 
present moment. I shall speak of it at once, as I think 
that what I am going to say will dispel many appre- 
hensions. I shall not touch upon all the questions con- 
nected with the subject, because, in this sphere as in all 
others, I prefer actions to words. 

The fundamental principle upon which our foreign 
policy is based is that treaties of peace, once signed and 
ratified, must be carried out, no matter whether they are 
good or bad. A self-respecting nation cannot follow another 
course. Treaties are not eternal or irreparable; they are 
chapters and not epilogues in history; to put them into 
practice means to try them. If in the course of execu- 
tion they are proved to be absurd, that in itself con- 
stitutes the possibility of a further examination of the 
respective positions. 

I shall bring before the consideration of Parliament 
both the Treaty of Rapallo and the Agreements of Santa 
Margherita, which are derived from it. 

Agreed that treaties, when once perfected and ratified, 
must be loyally carried out, I go on to establish another 
fundamental principle, which is the rejection of all the 
famous "reconstructive" ideology. We admit that there 
is a kind of economic union or interdependence among 
European countries. We admit that this economic life 



PRIME MINISTER 211 

must be reconstructed, but we refuse to think that the 
methods hitherto adopted will succeed in doing so. Com- 
mercial treaties concluded between two Powers — the basis 
of the closest economic relations between nations — are of 
more value in the reconstruction of the European economic 
world than all the complicated and confused general plenary 
conferences, whose lamentable history everybody knows. 
As far as Italy is concerned, we intend to follow a policy 
rhich will be dignified and at the same time compatible 
ith our national interests. (Loud applause.) We cannot" 
low ourselves the luxury of a policy of foolish altruism, 
of complete surrender to the desires of others. Do ut des. 
r or Italy to-day has a new importance which must be 
jckoned with adequately, and this fact is beginning to be 
cognised beyond her boundaries. We have not the bad 
>te to exaggerate our powers, but neither do we wish to 
ilittle them with excessive and useless modesty. 
My formula is simple: "Nothing for nothing." Those 
rho wish to have concrete proofs of friendship from us 
tust give us the same. Fascista Italy, just as she does 
lot intend to repudiate treaties for many reasons, political, 
loral and economic, does not intend, either, to abandon 
te Allies — Rome is in line with London and Paris; but 
italy must assert herself and impose upon the Allies that 
Lrict and courageous examination of conscience which has 
tot been faced by them from the time of the Armistice 
ip to the present day. 
Does an Entente still exist in the full sense of the word? 
iat is the position of the Entente with regard to Germany 
id Russia? with regard to an alliance between these two 
>untries? What is the position of Italy in the Entente, 
>f the Italy who, not solely by reason of the weakness 
)f her governors, lost strong positions in the Adriatic and 
te Mediterranean, who did not obtain any colonies or raw 



212 THE FASCISTA 

materials, who is literally crushed under the load of debts 
incurred in order to obtain victory, and whose most sacred 
rights, even, were held in question? In the conversations 
I intend to have with the Prime Ministers of England 
and France, I mean to face clearly and in its entirety the 
question of the Entente and Italy's position within it. 

As a result of this, alternatives will arise; either the 
Entente, finding a way of settling her inward perplexities 
and contradictions, will become a really solid homogeneous 
body, with evenly distributed forces, with equal rights 
and equal duties, or her hour will have struck, and Italy, 
regaining her freedom of action, will turn loyally with a 
new policy to the work of safeguarding her interests. 

I hope that the first eventuality will be realised, particu- 
larly in view of the new uprising in the East and the growing 
intimacy between Russia, Turkey and Germany. But, 
however it may be, we must get beyond conventional 
phrases. It is time, in fact, to abandon diplomatic expedi- 
ents, which are renewed and repeated at every conference, 
in order to deal directly with historical fact, by which alone 
it is possible to decide one way or another the trend of events. 
Our foreign policy, which aims at protection of our interests, 
respect of treaties and the settling of our position in the 
Entente, cannot be described as adventurous and im- 
perialist, in the vulgar sense of the word. We want to follow 
a policy of peace that will not, however, be at the same 
time suicidal. 

In order to refute the pessimists who expected cata- 
strophic results to follow upon the advent of the Fascisti 
to power, it is enough to remind them that our relations 
with the Swiss are perfectly friendly, and that a commercial 
treaty, already in the process of formation, will further 
contribute towards strengthening them when it is com- 
pleted; that they are perfectly correct as regards Yugo- 



PRIME MINISTER 213 

slavia and Greece; we are on good terms with Spain, 
Czechoslovakia, Poland and Roumania, and the other 
Baltic States, where of late Italy has gained a great deal 
of sympathy, and where we are trying to make commer- 
cial agreements; and on equally good terms with the 
other States. 

As far as Austria is concerned, Italy will keep faith as 
regards her promises, and will not neglect to enter into 
economic relations with her as well as with Hungary 
and Bulgaria. 

We maintain, as regards Turkey, that what is now an 
accomplished fact ought to be recognised as such at Lau- 
sanne, with the necessary guarantees as to trade in the 
Straits, European interests and the interests of the small 
Christian communities. The situation which has arisen in 
Islam is going to be carefully watched. When Turkey has 
got what belongs to her she must not try to obtain more. 
There will come a day when it will be necessary to say, 
Thus far and no further!" The danger of complications 

the Balkans, and in consequence in Europe in general, 
can be avoided by firmness, which will have an increased 
effect in proportion to the loyalty of the Allies' conduct. 
We do not forget that there are 44,000 Mohammedans in 
Roumania, 600,000 in Bulgaria, 400,000 in Albania, and 
1,500,000 in Yugoslavia; a world which the recent victory 
of the Crescent has exalted, at any rate secretly. 

As far as Russia is concerned, Italy believes that the 
moment has come to face the question of her relations with 
that country in their actual reality; but this apart from 
internal conditions in that country, with which we, as a 
Government, do not wish to interfere, since in our turn we 

tall admit of no interference in our home affairs. In 
consequence we are disposed to consider the possibility of 
a definite solution of the situation. As regards the presence 



214 THE FASCISTA 

of Russia at Lausanne, Italy has supported the most liberal 
point of view and does not despair of its eventual triumph, 
although thus far she has only been invited to discuss the 
single question of the Dardanelles. 

Our relations with the United States are very good, and 
I shall make it my care to see that they are improved, 
especially as regards a close economic co-operation. A 
commercial treaty with Canada is on the point of being 
signed. We are on cordial terms with the republics of Central 
and South America, and especially with Brazil and the 
Argentine, where millions of Italians live. They must not 
be denied the possibility of taking part in the local political 
life around them, which will not estrange them from, but 
rather bind them all the closer to their Mother Country. 

As for economic and financial problems, Italy will main- 
tain in the approaching conference at Brussels that debts 
and reparations form an indivisible binomial. 

In order to carry out this policy of dignity and regard 
for our national interests, we need to have at the Ministry 
for Foreign Affairs a central staff competent to deal with 
the new necessities of the national life and of the increased 
prestige of Italy in the world. (Applause.) 



PRIME MINISTER 215 



THE POLICY OF FASCISMO FOR ITALY: ECONOMY, 
WORK AND DISCIPLINE 

Same speech delivered in the Chamber, 16th November 1922. 

Hon. Mussolini. Honourable Members, — The policy we 
shall follow as regards the country itself can be summed 
up in three words: economy, work and discipline. The 
financial problem is a fundamental one, the balancing of 
the State Budget must be accomplished as soon as 
possible by a regime of careful administration, intelli- 
gence in the use of money, the utilisation of all the 
productive forces of the nation and the removal of the 
trappings of war. (Loud applause.) For further infor- 
mation as regards the financial question, which, though 
serious, is open to rapid improvement, I refer you to my 
colleague Tangorra, 1 who will give you information when 
the financial measures are discussed. 

He who talks of work, talks of the productive middle 
classes in the towns and in the country. It is not a question 
of privileges for the first or for privileges for the second, 
but of the safeguarding of all the interests which are in 
accordance with national production. The proletariat^ 
which works, and whose well-being concerns us, though not 
from weak demagogic motives, has nothing to fear, nothing 
to lose and everything to gain from a financial policy which 
preserves the balance of the State and prevents bankruptcy, 
which would have a disastrous effect, especially among the\ 
humbler classes. -4 

Our policy as regards emigration must free itself of an 
excessive "paternalism," while, at the same time, an Italian 
1 Late Minister of Finance, 



216 THE FASCISTA 

who emigrates must know that his interests will be securely 
guarded by the representatives of his country abroad. 
The growth of the prestige of a nation in the world is in 
proportion to the discipline it shows at home. There is 
no doubt that the internal condition of the country has 
improved, but it is not yet as I should like to see it. I do 
not intend to indulge myself in easy optimism. I am no 
lover of Pangloss. In the big cities, and in all the towns in 
general, there is peace; instances of violence are sporadic 
and peripheral; but, at the same time, these also must 
cease. The citizens, no matter to what party they belong, 
shall have freedom of movement; all religions shall be 
respected, with particular regard to the dominant faith, 
Catholicism; statutory liberty shall not be infringed and 
the law shall be made to be respected at all costs! 

The State is strong and will prove its power equally 
where all classes of citizens are concerned, including illegal 
Fascismo, because it would now be irresponsible illegality 
and without any justification. I must add, however, that 
almost all the Fascisti have submitted to the new order of 
things. The State does not mean to abdicate for anyone, 
and whoever opposes it must be punished. This explicit 
statement is a warning to all citizens, and I know will be 
particularly pleasing to the Fascisti, who have fought and 
won in order to have a State which would make itself felt 
in every direction with inexhaustible energy. It must not 
be forgotten that, besides the minority that represent 
actual militant politics, there are forty millions of excellent 
Italians who work, by their splendid birth-rate perpetuate 
our race, and who ask, and have the right to obtain, 
freedom from the chronic state of disorder which is the 
sure prelude to general ruin. Since sermons, evidently, 
are not enough, the State will put the army it has at its 
disposal in order by a process of selection and improvement. 



PRIME MINISTER 217 

The Fascista State will form a perfectly organised and united 
police force, of great mobility and with a high moral standard ; 
while the army and navy — glorious and dear to every Italian 
heart — withdrawn from the vicissitudes of Parliamentary 
politics, reorganised and strengthened, will represent the 
last reserve of the nation both at home and abroad. 

Gentlemen, from the last communication issued you will 
learn what the Fascista programme is in detail with 
regard to each individual Ministry. I do not wish, as long 
as it is possible to avoid it, to govern against the wishes of 
the Chamber; but the Chamber must understand the pecu- 
liar position it holds, which makes it liable to dismissal 

two days or in two years. (Laughter.) We ask for full 

wers, because we wish to take full responsibility. Without 

powers you know perfectly well that not a penny — a 

ny I say — would be saved. By this we do not intend to 

elude the possibility of voluntary co-operation, which we 

cordially accept, whether it be from deputies, senators 

single competent citizens. We have, every one of us, 

religious sense of the difficulty of our task. The country 
encourages us and waits. We shall not give you further 
words but facts. Let us solemnly and formally pledge our- 
selves to balance the Budget, and we shall do it. We wish 
to have a foreign policy of peace, but, at the same time, 
it must be dignified and firm; and we shall have it. None 
of our enemies, past or present, need deceive themselves 
about the rapidity of our advent to power. (Laughter; 
comments.) Our Government has a formidable hold upon 
the hearts of the people and is supported by the best 
elements in the country. There is no doubt that in these 
last days an enormous step has been taken towards spiritual 
unity. The Italian nation has found herself again, from the 
north to the south, from the Continent to those generous 
ds which shall no more be forgotten — (Applause.) — 



lslan 



218 THE FASCISTA 

from Rome to the industrious colonies of the Mediterranean 
and the Atlantic. Gentlemen, do not throw useless words 
at the nation; fifty- two requests to speak on my lists 
is too much. Let us work, rather, with pure hearts and 
ready brains to assure the prosperity and the greatness 
of the country. 

And may God help me to carry my arduous task to a 
victorious end. (Loud applause. Many deputies come 
down to congratulate the President.) 



PRIME MINISTER 219 



"CONSCIENTIOUS GENERAL DIAGNOSIS OF THE 
CONDITIONS OF THE COUNTRY AND ITS 
FOREIGN POLICY' 4 

Sitting of 27th November 1922, Senate. 

Hon. Mussolini. Honourable Senators, — I have listened 
with deep interest and attention to all the speeches touching 
upon various subjects which have been delivered in this hall. 
The Ministers directly concerned can answer to the different 
individual questions. I shall limit myself to confuting some 
of the statements which can be said to be of a general order. 
Of course if the vote of the Senate be unanimous, it will 
please me — (Laughter.) — but you must not believe that unani- 
mity flatters me excessively. I entertain a thorough contempt 
for those who have more or less clamorously sided with me 
in these last days. They are so often the kind of people 
who follow the fair wind and are ready to tumble headlong 
over to the other side when the wind changes direction. 
(Laughter.) I prefer sincere enemies to doubtful friends. 

Of the speeches delivered in this hall some have a par- 
ticular importance, as for instance that, generally optimistic, 
of Senator Conti, which reminded me of the analogous 
speech, also optimistic, delivered in the Chamber by the 
Hon. Buozzi. This favourable view of economic conditions 
in Italy, coming thus from a head of the proletariat and a 
head of the great Italian industries, is a curious coincidence 

id certainly of good omen. 

A Neat Surgical Operation. I owe a special answer to 

mat or Albertini. I admire his firm faith in pure Liberalism, 

I take the liberty to remind him that Constitutionalism 



220 THE FASCISTA 

in England, Liberalism in France, in fact all the ideas and 
doctrines which have in common the name of Liberalism, 
spring out of a fierce revolutionary travail without which, 
to-day, Signor Albertini would not, very probably, have been 
able to pay these tributes to pure Liberalism. 

How was it possible to find a way out of this internal 
crisis, which every day was becoming more alarming and 
distressing? A temporary and transitional Ministry was 
no longer possible. It did not solve the problem, it hardly 
delayed it. Consequently in two, three or six months' 
time at the most, with that mobility of opinions and desires 
that characterised certain Parliamentary circles, we should 
have found ourselves where we were at the beginning, with 
nothing gained but the failure which would have aggravated 
the crisis. (Hear, hear!) 

After having thought over the matter deeply, therefore, 
and having clearly realised the ironic paradox, becoming 
every day more manifest, of the existence of two States — one 
the actual State itself and the other which nobody succeeded 
in defining — I said to myself at a certain moment that only 
a neat surgical operation could make one compact State 
of the two and save the fortunes of the nation. 

Senator Albertini must not think that this decision was 
other than the result of long meditation; he must not 
think that I had not well considered all the dangers and 
risks of this illegal action. I willed it deliberately. I dare 
to say more than this — I forced it on. To my mind there was 
no other way except by revolution to revive a political 
class grown enormously tired and discouraged in all its 
sections; and since experience teaches something, or ought 
to teach something, to intelligent men, I at once set limits 
and established rules for my action. I have not gone beyond 
a certain point, I did not in the least become intoxicated 
by victory, nor did I take advantage of it. Who could have 



PRIME MINISTER 221 

prevented me from closing Parliament ? Who could have pre- 
vented me from proclaiming a Dictatorship with two or three 
men ? Who could withstand me ? Who could have withstood 
a movement which consisted not only in 300,000 member- 
ship cards but in 300,000 rifles? Nobody. It was I who, 
for love of our country, said that it was necessary to subor- 
dinate impulse, sentiment and personal ambition to the 
supreme interests of the nation; and it was I who put the 
movement at once on constitutional lines. 

I have formed a Ministry with men from all parties in the 
House. I did not hesitate to include a member of the old 
Cabinet. I gave importance to technical efficiency and paid 
no attention to political labels. I formed a Coalition Ministry 
and I presented it to the Chamber. I asked for its judgment 
and its vote and I found that Chamber a little changed. 
But when I found out that not less than thirty-three orators 
had presented thirty-six orders of the day, I said to myself 
that perhaps it was not necessary to abolish Parliament, 
but that the country would be glad to see it enjoying a 
holiday for a certain period. (Laughter.) I have, therefore, 
no intention of dismissing the Chamber, of destroying all 
the fruits of the Liberal revolution. I can boast of all this 
philosophically from a point of view which might almost 
be called negative. But philosophy must be silent in the 
face of political necessity. Let us speak frankly! What is 
this Liberalism, this Liberalism put into practice? Because 
if there is anyone who believes that, to be a true Liberal, 
it is necessary to give some hundreds of irresponsible people, 
fanatics and scoundrels, the power of ruining forty millions 
of Italians, I refuse absolutely to give them this power. 
(Applause.) Gentlemen, I have no fetishes, and where the 
interests of the country are concerned the Government has 
the right to intervene. If it did not do so, it would be 
inadequate the first time and the next time suicidal. 



222 THE FASCISTA 

Respect for the Constitution. I do not intend to deviate 
from the Constitution or to improvise. The example of other 
revolutions has shown me that there are some fundamental 
principles in the life of the people that must be respected. 
(Hear, hear!) I do not intend that national discipline shall 
be any longer merely a word. I do not intend that the law 
shall be any longer a blunt weapon. (Hear, hear !) I do not 
intend that liberty shall degenerate into licence. I do not 
intend, either, to remain above the fray among those who 
love, who work for, and who are ready to sacrifice themselves 
for the nation, or, on the other hand, among those who are 
ready to do the reverse. 

It was for just such a foolish "Rolandism" that this 
last Government failed. One cannot remain above the 
fray when the moral forces which are the foundation of 
the national community are at stake; and nobody can say 
that a national policy, understood thus, is reactionary. 
For me all these names of Left and Right, of Conservative, 
Aristocracy and Democracy are so many empty academic 
terms. They serve occasionally to distinguish, but more 
often to confuse. 

I shall not follow an anti-proletariat policy, for reasons 
national, and other than national. We do not want to oppress 
the proletariat; we do not want to drive it back into 
humiliating conditions of life. On the contrary we want to 
elevate it materially and spiritually; but not because we 
think that the masses, the populace, could create a special 
type of civilisation in the future. Let us leave this kind of 
ideology to those who profess themselves to be ministers 
of this mysterious religion. The reasons for which we wish 
to follow a policy of proletarian welfare are quite different. 
They lie in the interests of the nation; they are dictated 
by the reality of facts, by the conviction that no nation 
can be united and at peace if twenty millions of workmen 



PRIME MINISTER 223 

are condemned to live in humiliating and inadequate 
conditions of life. And it may be, nay, it is certain, that 
our labour policy — or rather anti-demagogic policy, because 
we cannot promise the paradise we do not possess — will 
ultimately prove to be much more useful to those same 
working classes than the other policy which, like an oriental 
mirage, has hypnotised and mystified them into a vain 
attitude of waiting. (Approval.) 

The Military Organisation of Fascismo. "What will you 
do with the military organisation of Fascismo?" I have 
been asked. This military organisation gave Rome an im- 
posing spectacle. There were 52,000 "black shirts," and 
they left Rome within the twenty-four hours prescribed 
by me. They obey. I dare even to go further and to say 
that they have the mysticism of obedience! I do not 
intend to disperse these exuberant forces, not only for the 
sake of Fascismo itself, but in the interests of the nation. 
What I shall impose upon Fascismo is the discontinuance 
of all the acts for which there is now no necessity — (Hear, 
hear !) — those small, individual and collective acts of violence 
which are rather humiliating to everyone, which are often 
the result of local situations and could with difficulty be 
associated with the big problems of the different Italian 
parties. I am sure that what might be called "illegal Fas- 
cismo," now happily on the decline, will soon end alto- 
gether. This is one of the conditions of that pacification 
to which my friend Senator Bellini alluded; but in order 
that this pacification may succeed, the other side must also 
cease their ambushes and acts of violence. 

Foreign Policy. I thank the Senate for not having dwelt 
much on foreign policy. I am particularly glad that 
■ascismo has universally accepted with enthusiasm my 
decision as regards the application of treaties, because 



224 THE FASCISTA 

if I do not allow illegality in internal policy, still less shall I 
allow it in foreign affairs. (Hear, hear !) So let it be clear to 
all inside this hall and out. Foreign policy will be in the 
hands of one man alone, of the man who has the honour 
of representing and directing it; because there cannot be 
an unlimited division and diffusion of responsibility, and 
foreign policy is too difficult and delicate a matter to be 
thrown as occupation to those who have nothing better 
to do. (Laughter.) 

I can then tell the Hon. Barzilai that I shall keep the 
Ministry for Foreign Affairs for myself. At bottom the 
Ministry of the Interior is a Ministry of Police, and I am glad 
to be the head of the police. I am not in the least ashamed 
of it. On the contrary, I hope that all Italian citizens, 
forgetting certain atavisms, will recognise in the police 
one of the most necessary forces for the welfare of our social 
existence. But, above all, I intend to follow a line of foreign 
policy which will not be adventurous, while, at the same 
time, it will not be characterised by self-sacrifice. (Strong 
approval.) Certainly miracles are not to be expected in 
this field, as it is impossible to cancel in a conversation, 
even in a dramatic one of half an hour, a policy which 
has been the result of other conditions and of another 
period of time. 

I think that foreign policy should have as its supreme 
aim the maintenance of peace. This is a fine ideal, especi- 
ally after a war that has lasted four years. Our policy, 
therefore, will not be that of the Imperialists who seek the 
impossible, while, at the same time, it will not necessarily 
rest upon the negative formula according to which one 
should never have recourse to force. It is well to keep the 
possibility of war in sight ; it cannot be discarded a priori, 
because in that case we should find ourselves disarmed 
with the other nations in arms. (Great applause.) 



I 



PRIME MINISTER 225 

But I have no illusions, for, in accordance with my tem- 
perament, I disdain all easy optimism. People who see 
things through rose-coloured spectacles make me laugh; 
I often pity them. I think, however, I have already suc- 
ceeded in something, and in no small thing either, which 
will have no small results. That is to say, I think I have 
succeeded in making the Allies and other peoples of Europe, 
who had not yet attained a true vision of Italy, see her as 
she really is. Not as something vaguely prehistoric, not 
the Italy of monuments and libraries — all most respectable 
things — but Italy as I see her born under my eyes, the Italy 
of to-day, overflowing with vitality, prepared to give her- 
self a new lease of life, pregnant with serenity and beauty ; 
an Italy which does not live like a parasite on the past, 
but is prepared to build up her own, future with her own 
forces and through her own work and martyrdom. 

This is the Italy which has now flashed, be it ever so 
vaguely, before the eyes of the representatives of other 
nations, who henceforward must be convinced, whether 
they wish it or not, that Italy does not intend to follow in 
the wake of others, but intends to vindicate her rights 
with dignity, and with no less dignity to protect her 
interests. (Approval.) 

God and the People. I have been admonished in turn by 
all those who have spoken in this hall. They have said to 
me: "The responsibility which you take is enormously 
heavy." Yes! I know it and I feel it. Sometimes, intensified 
by a deep and vibrating expectancy, it almost crushes me. 
it these times I have to gather all my force, to arm myself 

ith all my determination, in order to keep before me the 
Lterests and the future of our country. Well I know that 

is not my interests that are at stake. Certainly, if I do 

)t succeed I am a broken man. These are not experiments 



226 THE FASCISTA 

that can be tried twice in a lifetime. But my person is of 
little value. Not to succeed would not mean much to me 
personally, but it would be infinitely serious for the nation. 
(Hear, hear!) I intend to take the helm of the ship, and I 
do not intend to yield it to anybody. But I shall not refuse 
to take on board all those who wish to form my crew, all 
those who wish to work with me, who will give me advice 
and suggestions, who will, in a word, give me their invaluable 
and indispensable co-operation. 

In the other Chamber I invoked the help of God. In this 
— and I hope my words will not be taken as mere rhetoric — 
I shall invoke the Italian people. In doing this I might 
feel that I was walking in the steps of Mazzini, who made a 
union between God and the people. But if, as I hope and 
earnestly desire, the people will be disciplined, laborious, 
and proud of this their glorious country, I feel I shall not 
fail to arrive at my goal ! (Ovation ; the Ministers and many 
Senators advance to congratulate the orator.) 



PRIME MINISTER 



227 



"I REMAIN THE HEAD OF FASCISMO, ALTHOUGH 
THE HEAD OF THE ITALIAN GOVERNMENT" 



Speech delivered in London, 12th December 1922, before the Fascisti. 

Fascisti! You must feel that in this last month the Italian 

people have raised themselves considerably in the eyes of 

all the other nations. Everybody knows now that a new 

id vigorous Italy was born in those historic days of 

October. Remember that the revolution was great, but 

lat it is not over, indeed that it has hardly begun. Hard 

tasks and heavy responsibilities await us. I remain the head 

>f Fascismo, although the head of the Government. Beneath 

iese official clothes, which I wear as a duty, I shall keep 

te Fascista uniform, just as I wore it before His Majesty 

rhen he summoned me to form a new Cabinet. 

Fascista Italy, I assure you, is in very strong hands. All 
>ur enemies know that every attempt at revolt will be inex- 
>rably crushed. The old Italy is dead and will not come to 
fe again. The men who gave their lives in the war will 
>revent it; those who fell in the Fascista war, no less 
sacred and necessary, will prevent it ; the living will prevent 
it. We, here and everywhere, are ready for any battle so 
tat we may uphold the foundations of our race and of 
>ur history. The time has come to face serenely the sons 
)f other nations. The era of renunciations and obligations 
past; the head of the Government tells you this. You 
>ked me to come here upon this occasion of the inaugura- 
:ion of the London section of the Fascista Party. I present 
r ou with your banner; keep it as you keep alive the flame 
>f that faith for which so many fine young men have died, 
:eep it for the fortunes of Italy and Fascismo. 



228 THE FASCISTA 



"OUR TASK IN HISTORY IS TO MAKE A UNITED 
STATE OF THE ITALIAN NATION " 

Speech delivered 2nd January 1923, upon the occasion of the Ministerial 
Reception in Palazzo Chigi at Rome, in answer to the Hon. Teofilo 
Rossi, Minister of Industry and Commerce, who had concluded his 
address to the President by saying: "The victorious Greeks return- 
ing from Troy through the storm cried: 'Nil desperandum Teucro 
duce et auspice Teucro. ' We in our turn will say: 'Nil desperandum 
while at the helm of the State there is a man like Benito Mussolini.' " 

Dear Colleagues, — Let me first of all say how happy I am 
that we should have met in these magnificent rooms which 
furnish evidence of the strength and beauty of our race, 
and are also a testimony of our victory, as, if I am not mis- 
taken, these were the apartments of an enemy's Embassy. 1 

I was very much touched by the words spoken just now 
by our colleague Rossi. The nation as a whole is not de- 
ceived, and follows with brotherly sympathy the work of 
our Government. It is aware of the difficulties we have to 
overcome: difficulties which arise from the double work of 
demolition and reconstruction which we have undertaken 
simultaneously. The nation, little by little, is being restored 
to order. There are more than ten thousand communes 
in Italy, and there is no reason to fear a catastrophe because 
there is a quarrel, without any particular positive import- 
ance, in one of them during the critical days of Saturday 
and Sunday. 

All this does preoccupy me, however, and I intend by 
every means possible to get the nation back into a state 
of general discipline that will be above all sects, factions 
and parties. 

There was an Italian people who had not yet become a 

1 Palazzo Chigi, at present Ministry for Foreign Affairs, formerly was the 
seat of the Austrian Embassy to the Quirinal. 



PRIME MINISTER 229 

nation; the travail of fifty years of history and, above all, 
the last war has made them a nation. The task in history 
which awaits us is this: to make a State of this nation, 
that is to say, a moral idea which is personified and expressed 
in a system of individual, responsible hierarchies composed 
of men who, from the first to the last, feel it a pride and a 
privilege to fulfil their duty. 

This work, seen from the standpoint of historical develop- 
ment, cannot be completed in two months and probably 
not even in two years. But this is the direction in which 
our Government is working, and every decision we make 
and every act we achieve is guided by the necessity of 
establishing one united State, which will be the only de- 
positary of our history and of the future and the strength 
of the Italian nation. 

It is a difficult and arduous undertaking. But fife would 
tot be worth living if we did not face these tasks, and if 
re had not the satisfaction of having met them all the more 
irenely for their difficulty. 

No! I am certain that we shall not frustrate the legis- 
late hopes of the Italian people. We can and we will 
adopt a policy of wisdom and severity towards the people 
and towards ourselves. We must foster the ideals of the 
nation, and deal relentlessly with the slightest manifestation 
of lack of discipline. 

I, too, should like to quote from the tales of ancient 
Greece. When the Spartan mothers presented their de- 
parting sons with their shields, it was with these words: 
" Either with this or on it." Now I should like our programme 
to be inspired by this idea, for with this programme, and 
ith this only, shall we win. 

Through our efforts, our work and our suffering will rise 

lat powerful, prosperous and peaceful Italy of which we 
dream, which we long for and desire to see! Long live Italy! 



230 THE FASCISTA 



THE ADVANCE IN THE RUHR DISTRICT 

Speech delivered at Rome, 15th January 1923, before the members of 

the Cabinet. 

The Prime Minister. Honourable Colleagues, — The 
most important event of these last few days in the 
international world has been the French advance on the 
Ruhr. It is well to establish clearly the attitude of Italy 
with regard to this advance, since, for political reasons 
and also for reasons connected with the Stock Exchange, 
it has purposely not been properly estimated. 

It is necessary to go back to the Conference of Paris, 
and the rejection of Bonar Law's proposals on the part of 
Italy, France and Belgium, in order to understand the line 
of conduct adopted by the Italian Government. It is a fact 
that each one of the Powers in the Entente has taken up an 
attitude of its own, due to its own particular conditions. 
Without taking into consideration the Americans, who have 
withdrawn their troops from the Rhine, this is the position 
of the Powers. 

England has not joined with France, but has not decided, 
at any rate up to the present, to recall her troops from 
German soil, nor has she changed in her friendly attitude 
towards France, as was set forth by the most recent com- 
munications from the Foreign Office. 

France, interested in the problem of reparations, has, 
upon the basis of the deliberations of the Commission 
appointed to enquire into this question, sent into the Ruhr 
a Board of Control for the production of coal and, later, 
troops for the purpose of protection. 



PRIME MINISTER 231 

Belgium has afforded France some military co-operation 
and undivided political support. 

Italy has only given political and technical support, 
sending her engineers to the Ruhr. Our country could not 
isolate herself without committing a very grave mistake. 
She could not exclude herself entirely from any opera- 
tion of control taking place in a region of coalfields, and, 
therefore, of fundamental importance in European and 
Italian economics. 

As regards the project for a continental alliance directed 
against England, such an idea simply does not exist. The 
Italian Government never suggested such a thing, and, 
in any case, would never have been able to consider the 
possibility of a continental union against England, both 
on account of her importance in the economic life of the 
Continent and of existing relations between Italy and 

tat country. 

It is true, on the contrary, that the Italian Government 
had advised France to limit, as far as possible, the military 
character of the advance in the Ruhr district, and not to 
reject all possibilities of agreement in this burning question. 
*ut if this understanding, which would give peace to 
Europe, were to be realised, it is the opinion of Italy that 
it could not come about without the co-operation of England. 
Italy, which has no coal, cannot afford the luxury of re- 
nunciations and isolation, but it is as well to make it clear — 
because it is the truth— that Italian policy upon this occa- 
sion, as upon all others, is inspired by considerations of a 
general nature, as decided in the Memorandum of London, 
for the protection of Italian interests and of European 
economics generally. The Italian Government thinks that 
if there is a possibility of agreement — and it works in this 
direction — it would be a grave mistake on the part of 
Germany to refuse it. 



232 THE FASCISTA 

It seems as if a detente between the French command 
and some of the industrial magnates of the Ruhr district 
has already taken place. As for the mass of the workmen, 
it appears as if they do not intend to put insuperable 
difficulties in the way of the work of control. 

The payment of the quota for the 15th January is post- 
poned until the end of the month. There are, therefore, 
fifteen days of useful time, sufficient to mend the situation. 
It does not seem improbable that the French will support 
the Italian project presented at London upon the subject 
of reparations. 

As for the attitude of the Soviet Government, it appears 
to be very circumspect,, and has not changed from that 
previously manifested, though only in words, towards the 
German proletariat. 

From Lausanne comes satisfactory news. I have the 
pleasure of announcing that, in some of the very delicate 
questions which seemed to be leading to a rupture, such 
as that of minorities, if an agreement has been reached, 
it has been due to the wise and level-headed work of the 
Italian Delegation. 

(Without discussion, the declarations of the Prime 
Minister are unanimously approved.) 

The Great Fascista Council. My colleagues in the Cabinet 
will certainly have read with attention the deliberations of 
the Great National Council of the Fascisti, and have noticed 
the importance of their character. 

It is an essentially political organisation, which, however, 
does not encroach in any way upon the sphere of action 
of the Government, represented by the Cabinet. In fact none 
of the legislative measures passed or to be passed by the 
Cabinet were made the subject of discussion by the Fascista 
Council. All its decisions are of a purely political nature. 



PRIME MINISTER 233 

Thus they have definitely settled the character of the national 
militia. They have constituted the organisation which is 
to establish relations between Fascisti and Nationalists, 
as well as those between Fascismo and the other parties 
which loyally co-operate with the Government and the 
organisations of employers already in existence before the 
formation of the analogous Fascista groups. 

Important also is the vote by which the associations of 
ex-soldiers (including the disabled) who have entered the 
sphere of the State have been asked to give men for the 
purposes of administration. The declaration of loyal devo- 
tion to the Monarchy is both magnificent and solemn, and 
dispels every little misunderstanding of interested dabblers 
in politics on that score, for whom the warning that closed 
the proceedings of the Great Council came opportunely — 
the warning, that is to say, that the Government — note, 
the Government — will inexorably crush every attempt at 
direct or indirect opposition to its authority. 

The Great Fascista Council has also sent messages to the 
working people of Italy, who are in the process of re- 
establishing active discipline amongst themselves, and who 
accept the provisions of the Government, even the hardest, 
because they are sure that they are inspired by purely 
national necessity. 

Thus the essentially historic function of the Great 
Fascista Council at this moment is clearly outlined. The 
Council will support and safeguard the action of the Govern- 
ment, and perform in the party and in the nation the work 
of general political orientation which must serve as a base 
for the work of the Government itself. (The Council of 
Ministers approves the declarations of the Prime Minister.) 



234 THE FASCISTA 



THE GOVERNMENT OF SPEED 

Speech delivered at Rome, 19th January 1923, at the headquarters of 
the Motor Transport Company. 

Hon. Mussolini. I warmly thank Commendatore De Cupis 
and all the workmen — I was going to say my colleagues — 
for the warm welcome I have received. If my minutes 
were not numbered, I should like, here in the presence 
of the "controllers of the steering wheel," to sing 
the praises of speed, in this the epoch of speed. The 
times in which we live no longer allow of a sedentary 
egoistical life; everything must be on the go, every- 
body must raise the standard of his activity, both in 
the offices and in the factories where the work is done — 
(Applause.) — and the Government, which I have the honour 
to represent, is the Government of speed, that is to say, 
we get rid of all that is stagnant in our national life. 

Formerly the bureaucracy dozed over deferred decisions, 
to-day it must proceed with the maximum of rapidity. 
(Applause.) If we all go ahead with this energy, good- will 
and cheerfulness we shall surmount the crisis, which for 
that matter is already partly overcome. 

I am pleased to see that Rome also is waking up and can 
offer us sights such as these works. I maintain that Rome 
can become an industrial centre. The Romans must be the 
first to disdain to live solely upon their memories. The 
Coliseum and the Forum are glories of the past, but we 
must build up the glories of to-day and of to-morrow. 
We belong to the generation of builders who, by work and 
discipline, with hands and brains, desire to reach the ulti- 
mate and longed-for goal, the greatness of the future nation, 
which will be a nation of producers and not of parasites. 



PRIME MINISTER 235 



THE MARCH OF EVENTS ON THE RUHR 
THE POSITION OF ITALY 

Speech delivered at Rome, 23rd January 1923, before the Cabinet. 

The Prime Minister. Honourable Colleagues, — Since 
the last meeting of the Cabinet, the situation on the Ruhr 
has become more complicated, and this also from the social 
point of view, as the result of the closing down of the 
factories and the outbreak of strikes in the mines and 
public services of the occupied zones. 

In order to understand the attitudes of the different 
Powers and the fact that these attitudes have not under- 
gone any changes worthy of note, it is necessary to sum- 
marise briefly the events of these last few days of high 
tension, political and economic. 

The period of time granted for the Moratorium having 
elapsed on 15th January, France and Belgium have caused 
a Mission of Control to be sent to the mines in the Ruhr 
district, escorted by protecting troops, and have extended 
the area of territory occupied in the Ruhr district as far as 
Dortmund. On 16th January the French Government gave 
notice that the industrial magnates on the Ruhr had de- 
clared that they had received orders from the German 
Government not to hand over any more coal. The German 
Minister for Foreign Affairs himself communicated these 

Ktructions to our Ambassador at Berlin. 
France and Belgium were not, therefore, receiving any 
more coal, even when payment was made in advance. In 
face of the German resistance, the French and Belgian 



" 



236 THE FASCISTAf 

troops have proceeded to requisition the coal deposits at J 
the pitheads, the factories and the railway stations, and havej 
also taken other serious steps of a political and military! 
order. Italian experts, sent only to take part in economic' 
operations of control, received orders to limit their co- 
operation to that which concerned coercive measures ofj 
a political nature. 

Such an attitude was clearly faced and decided in Paris. 
On the strength of the decision made on 26th December] 
by the Commission of Reparations, which reported the 
failure of Germany, as regards Italy also, to supply wood, | 
France and Belgium decided to proceed to the exploitation] 
of the Crown and Communal forests in the Rhine territory, i 
Germany had, besides, made it known that coal supplies I 
f] and cattle would be refused to France and Belgium, by way 
both of reparation and restitution. 

The Commission of Reparations in its decision of 16th 
January verified this intentional failure on the part of 
Germany from the 12th January, and notified it to the 
Government. As a result of this, France and Belgium 
decided to take possession of the west customs frontier of 
Germany in the occupied zone. The Italian Government 
took over control of the customs and also of the forests, 
this being included among the measures which the Italian 
Memorandum had reserved as a security in the case of the 
concession of the Moratorium; but it asked the French 
Government what was going to be the extent to which the 
action was to be carried. The French Government replied 
that the occupation of the Ruhr was not of a military 
character, but was for the protection of French technical 
bodies, which were very numerous in the occupied area. 
The Italian Delegate, who was already on the High Com- 
mission of the Rhine, which directs the exploitation and 
also the control of the mines, has received orders to 



PRIME MINISTER 237 

take part in those deliberations which have an economic 
and financial character, and to abstain from attending 
1 those which are political. 

As I said before, the attitudes of the Great Powers have 
1 not altered to any great extent. England seems officially 
, uninterested in what happens on the Ruhr, but this has 
fnot prevented the English Representative on the Rhine 
i High Commission from declaring in the name of his Govern- 
i ment that he will be present at the deliberations, abstaining 
from recording his vote when he thinks it best; but he 
adds, also, that his Government will not oppose the carry- 
ing out of the provisions in the zone occupied by the English 
troops which still remain on the Rhine. As you see, it is 
not England's intention to accentuate the difference between 
her policy and that which is, at present, adopted by France. 
Mediation on the part of Italy was spoken of, which 
might have led later to a direct Anglo-Italian intervention, 
both at Berlin and Paris. An offer of real mediation does 
not exist, and could not be made without the certainty 
that it would be accepted with a certain favour. It would 
be a grave mistake to expose Italian policy to a failure of 
this sort. It is a fact that the Italian Government did warn 
the Germans of the danger of the blind-alley situation in 
which she has voluntarily placed herself, and in which she 
seems determined to stay. She also called the attention of 
France, in a friendly manner, to the complications, not 
only economic but also political and social, which might 

t' e from the occupation of the Ruhr. 
*he Work of the Italian Government. Matters standing thus, 
Italian Government cannot at present change its 
attitude, because no step it took now would alter the general 
situation or exercise a preponderating influence in the de- 
isions of the Governments most involved. The opinion 



238 THE FASCISTAI 

of the Italian Government is that the situation on the 
Ruhr has not yet reached the stage at which a solution j 
must necessarily be found, and only when that moment 
arrives will it be able, perhaps, to have an influence on the 
situation itself. 

As for the Moratorium which President Poincare has 
decided to propose to the Germans, in view of the fastj 
approaching date of payment, 31st January, it is worthy j 
of note that it will include some of the points made in the! 
Italian Memorandum of London, namely the two years' 
Moratorium and the German internal loan. 

As far as America is concerned, having once withdrawn 
her troops from the Rhine, she has not altered her policy 
of neutral inactivity. 

One understands that the events in the Ruhr district I 
have caused a general uneasiness over the whole of Europe, 
especially in the countries which form the Little Entente. 
Rumours which spoke of mobilisation and the concentration 
of troops upon some of the frontiers have proved un-j 
founded and exaggerated. As regards Russia, beyond 
reports of certain political activities on the part of the! 
Third International, carried on with a view to taking advan- 
tage socially of the events on the Ruhr, there is no definite 
news of serious preparations for military intervention on j 
a large scale. At Lausanne, the reaction of the situation 
on the Ruhr is being felt, and is arousing an increased 
_ intransigence on the part of Turkey. 

To sum up : The policy of Italy must be inspired first of i 
//all by the defence of her own interests, though, at the same j 
time, due note must be taken of considerations and needs i 
of a general order. It is a question whether, by a more i 
exact valuation of the conditions put forward in the Italian 
Memorandum of London, the grave complications which 1 
exist to-day would not have been avoided. At any rate 



RIME MINISTER 



239 



the Italian Government will take careful and speedy 
measures to avoid any further difficulties and re-establish 
as soon as possible a release of tension throughout Europe, 
■rich might make it possible to face the problem of repar- 
ations and debts under other conditions. — 
(The Cabinet at the end express entire approval of the line 
Df foreign policy adopted by the Prime Minister.) 



24 o THE FASCISTA 



THE RUHR, THE CONFERENCE OF LAUSANNE 
AND THE PORT OF MEMEL 

Speech delivered at Rome, ist February 1923, before the Cabinet. 

The Prime Minister. With reference to foreign affairs, the 
situation, as far as Italy is concerned, cannot be said to 
have altered much in the interval which has elapsed between 
the last Cabinet meeting and to-day. 

The German resistance on economic grounds has provoked 
aggravation of the measures — both military and political — | 
which are being taken by France and Belgium, but from 
which Italy, following her previous line of conduct, has 
kept apart. 

The complications which were — or could have been — 
feared, so far have not occurred. Fresh factors have not 
entered into the close duel which is being fought on the 
Ruhr. Russia has not altered her attitude as a State, 
although the dominating party continues to give clamor- 
ous verbal demonstrations of solidarity with the German 
proletariat. 

The serious disquietude which had been manifested by 
the Powers of the Little Entente is diminishing. There 
had been rumours — more or less without foundation and 
spread, perhaps, with the object of producing complica- 
tions — of plans for repeating in Hungary what France had 
done on the Ruhr, which were attributed to one State or 
another. These have given Italy the opportunity of con- 
firming and clearly establishing her attitude of opposition 
to any movement which could extend the conflict to other 
zones or give the opportunity of attacking the validity of 
the treaties of peace already concluded. 



PRIME MINISTER 241 

The Italian Government has been and is following atten- 
tively the coal situation on the Ruhr, above all as regards 
its reaction on other events. I can say that all internal 
measures, reduction of the train services, including those 
from abroad, and contracts for fresh supplies, have been 
quickly and diligently carried through, because, whatever 
may happen, no paralysis of our industrial activity or of 
our communications must result. In connection with the 
supplies of raw materials, I have the pleasure to announce 
to the Cabinet that the Italian Government has succeeded 
in concluding a favourable agreement with the Polish 
vernment for oil. 
s I said last time, the events on the Ruhr have had the 
t serious consequences in the developments at the 
ference of Lausanne, which has now arrived at its 
stage. The Italian Delegation has carried out successful 
k there with the object of obtaining peace in the East, 
he Italian Government has not been among the last 
recognise the legitimate rights of Turkey, and thinks 
to-day that it would not be in her interests to entrench 
herself in a position of absolute intransigence. It may be 
that Turkey has not realised the extensive programme 
that was laid down by the Grand National Assembly of 
Angora, but it cannot be denied that a great part of that 
programme has been put into execution, since the Turks 
from Angora have returned not only to Smyrna but to Con- 
stantinople and Adrianople, and have got their way, it can 
be said, in questions of the highest importance, such as that 

I the domination of the Straits and that of Capitulations. 
Taken as a whole, although the general situation continues 
be very critical, there seems to be a small ray of light 
upon the horizon. The action of the Italian Government is 
directed decidedly towards a policy of general peace. 
As regards the question of Memel, the Italian Government 
Q 






242 THE FASCISTAI 

has pursued a temperate policy, inspired by principles of | 
equity and justice. It is not possible to do less than! 
recognise the rights of Lithuania over that port, but the 
Lithuanian Government cannot be allowed to substitute 
itself for the Allied Powers in deciding its fate. 

We, then, have remained in an attitude of solidarity with j 
the Allies in the measures taken for facing the situation 
there. But we have, on the other hand, tried effectively 
to reduce those measures to the necessary minimum, avoiding 
those of such a nature as to provoke further complications. 



PRIME MINISTER 243 



RATIFICATION OF THE WASHINGTON TREATY OF 
NAVAL DISARMAMENT 

Chamber of Deputies. Sitting of 6th February 1923. 

The Prime Minister. Honourable Members, — I do not 
think that it is worth while losing time in a general 
discussion upon the qualities of men, good and bad, and 
upon the question as to whether the war of 1914 will be the 
last or the one before the last. That would be perfectly 
idle and would only lead to academic discussions. Let us, 
instead, turn our attention more practically to the Project 
of Law which I have presented. 

The Convention of Washington was closed a year ago. 
Now the delay in the ratification of the treaty on the part 
of Italy has already had ambiguous and, I should almost 
say, unfavourable consequences in the international world. 
It will be a good thing, then, to proceed at once to com- 
plete this act. 

The Conference at Washington shared the fate of all the 
conferences. It opened with great hopes, flashing before 
our eyes the possibility of eternal peace. Then the concrete 
results frustrated these hopes. I confess that I do not 
believe in perpetual and universal peace. In the life of 
the peoples, notwithstanding ideals — noble and worthy of 
respect — there exist the permanent factors of race, and 
the greatness and decadence of nations, which lead to 
differences often only settled by a recourse to arms. Now 
it is not a case of weighing these conventions with a view 
to peace ; they represent a breath, a pause, and it is useless 
enquire if they have been laid down for idealistic or for 






244 THE FASCISTA 

business reasons. In any case I declare that Italy did well 
to adhere to this Convention. If she had not done so, we 
should have appeared in the eyes of the world as Imperialists 
and jingoists, which is far from what we have in our hearts 
and minds. The fact that the Government asks the 
Chamber for this ratification gives an idea of the general 
trend of the Fascista foreign policy. (Applause.) 

(The ratification of the Treaty is approved of without 
discussion, only the Communists being against it.) 





MESSAGE FROM THE HON. MUSSOLINI TO THE 
ITALIANS IN AMERICA UPON THE OCCASION 
OF THE SIGNING OF THE CONVENTION FOR 
THE LAYING OF CABLES BETWEEN ITALY 
AND THE AMERICAN CONTINENT 

e National Government, which has worked indefatig- 
ly for three months to set the country going upon the 
th to better fortunes, has in these days signed the 

vention for the laying of cables which are to put 
country into communication with you, who represent 

in the numerous, rich and patriotic colonies beyond 
e Atlantic. 
The enthusiasm for this work, so necessary to our life 

a great nation, seemed at one time to have died down, 
t to-day with the rise of youth upon the scenes of Italian 
litics, that which it seemed would be relegated to some 

I remote future has been transformed into a concrete and 
almost immediate reality. It is not you, who suffer almost 
more than any the pangs of homesickness for our adored 
country, who need to be shown the usefulness and necessity 
of this undertaking, which will be carried through in the 
shortest space of time possible. It will render frequent, 
daily and, above all, free the communications between the 
forty million Italians who live in our beautiful peninsula 
and the six millions who live beyond the ocean. All the 
Italians who can give financial and moral support must 
co-operate so that the undertaking may succeed. The 

— 



246 THE FASCISTA 

citizens, because it knows that distance makes the love of 
their country stronger and more intense. 

The cables, which in two or three years will bind together 
Italy and the Americas across the boundless ocean, are like 
a gigantic arm which the country stretches out to her 
distant sons to draw them to her and to make them share 
more intimately her griefs and her joys, her work, her 
greatness and her glory. 

Mussolini. 

Rome, 6th February 1923. 



PRIME MINISTER 247 



1 



FOR THE CARRYING OUT OF THE TREATY OF 
RAPALLO 

Prefatory remarks to the Deputies, 8th February 1923, accompanying 
the Project of Law presented by the Hon. Mussolini, Minister for 
Foreign Affairs and Prime Minister. 

'he Prime Minister. Honourable Members, — Last 
ovember I began my statement to Parliament of the 
■ogramme of the National Government as regards foreign 
licy with the following words: 

"The fundamental principle upon which our foreign 
licy is based is that treaties of peace, once signed and 
tified, must be carried out whether they are good or bad. 
self-respecting nation cannot follow another course. 
Treaties are not eternal or irreparable; they are chapters 
and not epilogues in history; to put them into practice 
means to try them. If in the course of execution they are 
proved to be absurd, this in itself may constitute the new 
element which may open the possibility of a further examina- 

Ion of the respective positions." 
The preceding Government had undertaken to present 
) Parliament the Agreements concluded at Santa Mar- 
gherita, and signed at Rome on the 23rd October last. This 
undertaking I now fulfil. 

These Agreements, contrary to what has been stated by 
someone, do not contain any new political pledges on the 
part of Italy, but regulate the relations between the Com- 
mune of Zara and the surrounding territory of Dalmatia, 
make clear some recognised rights on the part of citizens 
ho are Italian by option, and endeavour, by means of 



248 THE FASCISTA 

friendly agreements, to find a possibility of giving and 
assuring a peaceful and industrious life to the troubled 
city of Fiume. 

Owing to the way in which it is drawn up — whether on 
account of its diffuseness in those clauses which touch 
upon territorial questions, and its brevity in others, or 
whether on account of the seeming precedence given to 
the task of the commissions which ought, according to the 
letter of the treaty itself, to proceed exclusively to the 
settlement of territorial questions, while for the commis- 
sions to which were entrusted the settlement of other 
questions, limits were established, a priori, of a certain 
amplitude (Art. VI.) — the Treaty of Rapallo has given 
Yugoslavia the opportunity of maintaining that it was 
necessary first to effect the evacuation of the territories 
over which the sovereignty of the Serbo-Croat-Slovak 
Kingdom had been recognised, and then of proceeding to 
the stipulations of the agreements for the regulation of the 
new relations between the two countries. 

They tried to justify this with arguments of a political 
nature. That is to say, they saw, in the first place, that the 
opposition met with in various Italian political spheres to 
the transactions concluded at Rapallo had stirred up the 
discontent and opposition of the Yugoslavs to the treaty; 
secondly, that the suspended execution of the Territorial 
Clauses, evidently attributed to some Italian parties, had 
given the impression to the Yugoslavs that Italy did not 
want to proceed to the carrying out of the treaty; thirdly, 
that, in consequence, the parliamentary opposition to a 
policy of friendliness towards Italy had become very marked, 
and rendered extremely difficult the adoption of direct 
provisions for the favourable regulation of these relations; 
and lastly, that if, instead, the prearranged course had been 
followed — that of proceeding, say, first to the evacuation 



PRIME MINISTER 249 

of the territories — a radical change of position would have 
been realised, which would have allowed of the conclusion 
of more favourable agreements. 

In Italy, on the other hand, the discontent was increased 
by an idea, entertained by many, that the new State, 
which had also arisen as the result of Italy's victorious war, 
ought to give to the citizens, and in Italian interests, privileges 
no less great than those granted by the Austro-Hungarian 
Monarchy, not taking into account that a national State, 
newly formed, may have particular exigencies and sus- 
ceptibilities. The contrast of such opposite tendencies ended 
by creating in the relations between the two countries an 
atmosphere of uneasiness, which has at times reached an 
acute stage. And in Italy, the intransigence of some circles 
found justification, above all, in the weakness of the Govern- 
ments, inasmuch as they had ground for fearing that all 
our rights would be trodden underfoot the moment we no 
longer had tangible securities in our hands. By the Agree- 
ments which are now handed to us, the Government of 
Belgrade has recognised the necessity of determining the 
regime which will have to regulate the reciprocal relations 
of the new boundaries before passing to the definite execution 
of the Territorial Clauses. 

B\s for the substance of the Agreements, it is my convic- 
n that their greater or less efficacy will depend upon the 
spirit in which they are carried out, because never, perhaps, 
has it been so true, as in this case, that the most perfect 
pacts become empty formulas if a doubtful or hostile spirit 
is brought to their execution. 

■I observe, in conclusion, that the uncertainty which has 
en manifested in the foreign policy of Italy as regards 
the Treaty of Rapallo has created a situation unfavourable 
to her, often preventing her from taking a decided attitude, 
ich would have been in her interest, in most essential 



250 THE FASCISTA 

questions of a general nature, and making her appear in a 
light contradictory to her position as a Great Power. 

My intense, though brief, experience of Government 
has shown me that it is not possible to carry out a strong 
foreign policy without having decisive and clearly defined 
attitudes as regards the other States. 

Italy must get away from this weak situation, must re- 
gain her full liberty and efficiency of action also in this 
sphere. We shall, therefore, carry out the treaty resolutely 
and loyally, exacting its scrupulous observance. We shall 
watch over this as is our right and duty. And we wait for 
time to pass definite judgment upon the soundness and the 
fate of to-day's Conventions. 

With this understanding, I ask you, Honourable Members, 
to approve of the following Project of Law: 

" Full and entire execution is given to the Agreements and 
Conventions signed at Rome on 23rd October 1921, between 
the Kingdom of Italy and the Kingdom of the Serbs, the 
Croats and the Slovenes for the execution of the Treaty of 
Rapallo of 12th November 1920." 



RIME MINISTER 251 



THE AGREEMENTS OF SANTA MARGHERITA 
ITALY AND YUGOSLAVIA 

Chamber of Deputies. Sitting of ioth February 1923. 

The Prime Minister. Honourable Members, — With the 
approval of the Agreements of Santa Margherita, there 
came to an end what might be called "the Foreign 
Policy week" of the Italian Government; a week that 
might also be called pacific, since it began with the ratifica- 
tion of the Convention of Washington, which represents 
a pause in the great naval armament, and ends with the 
approval of the Agreements of Santa Margherita, which are 
the consequence of the Treaty of Rapallo already ratified 

Ind partly carried out. 
In closing this week of the life of Parliament, I realise that 
he Chamber has done good work, and that it has during 
his session undoubtedly raised, in some ways, its prestige 
in the country. (Comments.) The questions with which the 
Chamber has dealt are large; they are not concerned with 
:aties and bills of minor importance, as some have said. 
I refuse to embark, as was attempted on the Left, upon 
ie usual discussions of a general character which do not 
include anything. While I am on this bench, the Chamber 
ill not be changed into an electoral meeting. 

No Discussion. There is nothing to discuss as regards 
lome policy; that which happens, happens because it is 
my direct and clear desire and in accordance with my pre- 
cise orders, and for which I naturally assume full personal 
jponsibility. (Comments.) 



252 THE FASCISTA 

It is useless, therefore, to go to the police officials, because 
the orders are mine. It does not affect me to know of the 
existence of a plot, in the sense usually attributed to that 
word; this will be settled by competent authorities. But 
there are those who thought that they would fight with 
impunity against the State and Fascismo. By now they 
must be disillusioned ; and they will be more so in the future. 
The difference between the Liberal and Fascista States 
consists precisely in this: that the Fascista State does not 
defend itself only, but attacks, and those who intend to 
slander it abroad and to undermine its authority at home 
must be warned that their manoeuvres bring with them un- 
foreseen consequences. The enemies of the Fascisti must 
not be surprised if I treat them severely as enemies. 

As regards the speech of Filippo Turati, my old fighting 
scent did not deceive me when a few days ago I refused 
the advances which came to me from that quarter 
through Gregorio Nofri, who, having been in Russia, 
felt the overpowering necessity of becoming anti-Bol- 
shevist. Strayed sheep do not enter my fold. I am still 
faithful to my old tactics. I do not seek anybody. I do not 
refuse anybody. I put faith above all in my own forces. 
This is why, lately — after the meeting of the Great Fas- 
cista Council — I desired that there should be a closer union 
with those parties with which, fighting on national ground, 
friendly relations can be established for common work. 
But all this, let it r^e said at once, has not been done for 
parliamentary purposes, but for the sake of cohesion, unity 
and the pacification of the country. 

I agree wholly with that which the Hon. Cavazzoni said 
yesterday with regard to the eight-hour day. I declared, 
before a meeting of eight hundred printers, that the eight- 
hour day represents an inviolable conquest on the part of 
the working classes. To-day there are those who dream of 



PRIME MINISTER 253 

setting on foot a long discussion because opposing ideas are 
attributed to this and that member of the Cabinet. I give 
definite notice that the Government, in one of its forth- 
coming meetings, will decide once and for all the question 
of the eight-hour day. This having been said, and I hope 
that everybody will understand also the sense of all I have 
not said, I pass on to the subject of foreign policy. 

A Circumspect Policy of Activity. In the meantime, I 
cannot accept the statement of the Hon. Lucci, who makes 
out that I am original. In the first place, he must give me 
time. In the second, there is no originality in foreign affairs, 
and I refuse to be original, if this originality would result 
in the slightest damage to my country. (Applause.) And I 
cannot accept, either, his too idealistic point of view. I 
see the world as it really is, that is to say, a world of un- 
bounded egoism. If the world was Arcadia, it would be 
pleasant to amuse oneself with nymphs and shepherds; 
but I do not see anything of all this, and even when the more 
or less respectable standards of great principles are dis- 
played, I see behind them interests which seek for a foot- 
ing in the world. If all foreign policy were brought into the 
region of pure idealism, it would certainly not be Italy who 
would refuse to join in. But it is not so; hence all that the 
Hon. Lucci says belongs to the music of the most distant 
spheres. (Laughter.) 

»When I first took up my position on this bench, there was 
moment of trepidation in certain sections of international 
politics. It was thought that the advent to power of Fas- 
cismo would mean, at the very least, war with Yugoslavia. 
After a few months, international opinion is fully reassured. 
The foreign policy of Fascismo cannot be, especially in 
these historic times, other than extremely circumspect,]} 
ough at the same time very active. ' 



tho 

I 



254 THE FASCISTA 

The nation, having issued from the splendid and blood- 
stained travail of the war, is now fully intent on the work 
of building up its political, economic, financial and moral 
life. To compel it to make an effort which was not abso- 
lutely necessary, would be to follow an anti-national 
and suicidal policy. At London, as at Lausanne, Italian 
foreign policy has pursued this direction; at Lausanne, 
above all, the work of the Italian Delegation has been highly 
appreciated. If peace was not concluded there, it was not 
the fault, in any way, of Italy. 

On the other hand, it is not good to speak too pessi- 
mistically of the development of affairs in the Eastern 
Mediterranean. It must not be thought that a certain 
harmless showing of teeth, sometimes the result of reciprocal 
restlessness, means the beginning of a war. I think that if 
Greece is prudent and the Entente remains firmly united — « 
as in the case of their ships in the port of Smyrna — that 
Turkey too, since she has realised a large part of the pro- 
gramme laid down at Angora, will become reasonable. 
There is no reason, therefore, to fear military complica- 
tions in Europe. Still Italy will keep a careful look-out that 
the disturbances resulting upon the events in the Ruhr 
district shall not have serious consequences among the 
countries of the Danube basin. 

The situation on the Ruhr is stationary. I declare once 
again that Italy could not have followed a different line of 
policy. The time for fine gestures is past, as they are useless. 
The attitude which was advocated by certain elements on 
the Left would have been equally useless. We could not have 
prevented the French from marching on the Ruhr, and we 
might have encouraged the German resistance. Also the 
other plan of our mediation could not have been carried 
out, because no mediation of any kind is possible if it is 
not asked for and welcomed. (Applause.) Besides, England 



PRIME MINISTER 255 

I has limited herself to non-technical participation in the 
t operations on the Ruhr, but has not pushed her difference 
of opinion with France to the point of withdrawing her troops 
from the Rhine. It is opportune to add that France has 
not asked us, up to now, for formal and concrete assistance. 
Should this happen, it is evident that Italy should reserve 
to herself the right of exposing all the complex system of 
I the relations between the two countries. (Loud applause.) 

The Last Phase of the Adriatic Drama. As to the Agree- 
ments of Santa Margherita, of which the Chamber is asked to 
approve, they represent the last phase of our sad and lament- 
able Adriatic drama. I could here reply in detail, I could 
show the Hon. Chiesa, for example, how only yesterday, 
9th February, I received a telegram from Belgrade to this 
effect: "The Ministry of Yugoslavia communicates that 
orders have been sent to the authorities of Spalato that 
the premises of the school shall be evacuated and put at the 
disposal of the school itself, and that the house which adjoins 
the Church of Santo Spirito shall be emptied and handed 
over." I could correct other inaccuracies, but it is not my 
business, it is not worth while to descend to the discussion 

t detail. I am always of the opinion that this Convention 
ust be carried out in order to test it. At the same time, I 
do not feel like defending, at too great a length, a treaty of 
which I did not approve when it was concluded, and which 
I still hold to be, as regards a great many of its clauses, 
absurd and harmful to Italian interests. But matters, 
to-day, stand thus : either the treaty must be definitely en- 
forced or denounced. Since, in present conditions, it cannot 
be denounced, for that would mean the reopening of all diffi- 
culties, there remains nothing but its loyal and scrupulous 
application on our part, as loyal and scrupulous as the appli- 
cation on the part of Belgrade will have to be. (Applause.) 




256 THE FASCIST 

To wait indefinitely for events which may occur is the 
worst of systems at this moment. It is necessary to put 
an end to a situation which has become unbearable and 
which gave us all the disadvantages without assuring us 
of what might be the advantages of clearly defined relations. 
Moreover it is difficult to understand why the Treaty of 
Rapallo, of all the treaties which have been made from the 
beginning of history, should be the only one irreparable and 
perpetual. No treaty has ever withstood new conditions 
of affairs developed by the progress of time. The essential 
thing, to my mind, is to place ourselves in such a position 
that an eventual revision will enable us to vindicate our 
eternal rights with dignity and power. (Applause.) 

The Government in favour of Fiume and Zara. By the 
application of the Agreements of Santa Margherita the 
Fascista Government gives a solemn proof of its probity, 
its spirit of decision and of absolute loyalty. Belgrade 
must do the same. Yugoslavia must take into account 
the intrinsic value of this act, and follow, where the Italians 
who remain in Dalmatia are concerned, a policy of freedom 
and judicious action; as a policy which would tend to sup- 
press the Italian element in Dalmatia would not be tolerated 
by the Fascista Government. (Applause.) By the ratification 
of these Agreements the Government offers Yugoslavia the 
opportunity of furthering the economic relations between 
the two countries. 

The Government, which has already done all it can, 
within the limits of its possibilities, for Fiume and Zara, 
will continue to work with the utmost energy and diligence 
for these two cities. The evacuation of Susak having been 
carried out — and of Susak only, because the Delta and 
Porto Baros will still be occupied by our troops until Fiume 
has become juridically a perfect State — Italy will continue 



PRIME MINISTER 257 

to interest herself in the fate of Fiume, so that she may be 
restored in a short time to her ancient splendour. 

As for Zara, her destiny is serious and difficult, and I, 
for one, understand the tragedy of that city and the suffering 
of all the Italians scattered in Dalmatia up as far as Cattaro. 
But Zara, the sentinel of Dalmatia, is ready to bear, with 
the spirit of absolute national discipline, the completion 
of the last act of the Adriatic drama. 

The Government will meet its needs immediately, because 
Zara must live, because Zara beyond the Adriatic repre- 
sents one of the most vital portions of the Italian people. 
And the people of Zara and Dalmatia may be sure that the 
Government will watch over their fate with the most loving 
care. These are not merely words spoken to help them 
through this difficult time; deeds will follow them. 

As for public, national opinion, it is unanimous in 
feeling that these Agreements had to be applied in 
order that Italy might be free in the ever closer 
international competition, free to carry out a policy of 
defence of her interests and free to influence with increasing 
activity the course of events. I think that the best part 
oi the Italian people agree in this line of home and foreign 
policy. (Applause.) 



258 THE FASCISTA 



QUESTIONS OF FOREIGN POLICY BEFORE THE 
SENATE. THE RUHR; FIUME; ZARA AND; 
DALMATIA 

Sitting of the Senate, 16th February 1923. 

The Prime Minister. Honourable Senators,— After hav- 1 
ing written the prefaces and the introductions to the Bills, | 
and after the speech made in the other branch of Parlia- ; 
ment, I do not think that there remains much to say. 

The very rapidity of the discussion itself bears witness! 
to the fact that all these treaties and agreements are 
already, in a certain sense, superseded. By this I do notj 
wish to deny their importance, but it is a question of treaties j 
and conventions of some time back, and life to-day moves | 
at a very great rate. I do not disguise the fact that in J 
continuing the eternal theory of conferences, people havej 
reason to show a certain scepticism about the likelihood; 
of results. (Laughter.) 

Why Italy intervenes. Senator Crespi tried to carry the! 
discussion on to general ground — the burning ground of) 
debts and reparations. He demands new pacts; but there i 
are none. Perhaps there cannot be any. With reference I 
to a recent appeal for Italy's intervention in this matter, if < 
responsible members of Governments, and especially those I 
engaged or interested in the conflict, turned to Italy, the j 
only nation in the world which, at this moment, is follow- 
ing a policy of peace — (Applause.) — I should not hesitate 1 
one moment in answering the appeal. 

There is a new factor, Senator Crespi, which it would }f 
a good thing to take into consideration, though it is one 
which tends to stifle rather than arouse enthusiasm. It is 
that England and the United States have come to an agree- 



PRIME MINISTER 259 

it. England has undertaken to pay her debts to America. 

is no good, therefore, for us to enterfain too many illu- 
sions about the likelihood of a cancellation of our debts. 
It would be perfectly just, I think, from the strictly moral 
point of view; but the criteria and principles of abso- 
lute morality do not as yet guide the relations of the 
peoples. (Approval.) 

It was said in a foreign Parliament that Italy had 
attempted to mediate between France and Germany. No 
such attempt was ever made. My duty was to make investi- 
gations in the European capitals, and I have done so. But 
having gathered that there was no possibility of proceeding 
in that direction, I drew back, as to continue would have 
been a great mistake. I think, however, that the crisis has 
reached its culminating point. It is a question now of 
knowing whether the Entente still exists and still will 
exist. (Comments.) 

I do not think that I shall be revealing secrets if I say here 
what meets the eye of anyone who reads the daily news 
in the papers. Not a single event has occurred, not a single 
question arisen, without the problem of the unity of action 
of the Entente having been brought forward. Of necessity 
in this political situation there can be no improvised action 
and still less originality. All foreign policies, not excluding 
that of Russia, which is simply terrifying in form and 
method, are of a cautious and circumspect nature at this 
moment. There is no reason why Italy should follow a 
different course. When it is a question of the interests of 
our nation and of forty million inhabitants who have the 
right to live, it is necessary to be careful about improvisa- 
tions, and it is necessary to take into account that, besides 
our wishes, there are also the wishes of others. 

I If we had coalfields; if we had in some way solved the 
oblem of raw materials; if we could dispose of large 



2 6o THE FASCIST, 

reserves of gold in order to keep up the value of our money, 
we could follow a given policy, even one of generosity 
towards Germany. But we cannot afford the luxury of 
prodigality and generosity when we have to toil to carry 
on life, when we have to summon all our energies to avoid 
falling into the abyss. 

And so you will agree with me, Honourable Members, 
that Italy could not keep aloof from that which is taking 
place on the Ruhr, could not deprive herself of participation 
in an economical and technical capacity. It is always 
better, in my opinion, to be present, because sometimes 
complicated problems find unexpected solutions. It was 
not possible to run the risk capriciously of not being pre- 
sent, in the event — not at all improbable — of an economic 
agreement, as regards iron and coal, between Germany 
and France. (Applause.) 

Zara and Dalmatia. Coming to the Agreements of Santa 
Margherita, I understand perfectly the grief and anguish 
expressed in the words of Senators Tamassia and Tivaroni. 
Undoubtedly sentiment is a great spiritual force, both in 
the lives of individuals and of peoples, but it cannot be 
the one dominating influence of foreign policy. 

It is necessary to have the courage to say that Italy 
cannot remain for ever penned up in one sea, even if it is 
the Adriatic. Beyond the Adriatic there is the Mediter- 
ranean and other seas which can interest us. The Treaty 
of Rapallo was, in my opinion, a lamentable transaction, 
which was the result of a difficult internal situation and of 
a foreign policy which was not marked by its excessive 
autonomy. And here allow me to repeat that a strong and 
dignified foreign policy cannot be carried out if the nation 
does not present a daily example of iron discipline. 
(Approval.) I do not think that these Agreements of 



IME MINISTER 261 

anta Margherita sign the death warrant of Zara and 

almatia. With the last concessions we have saved the 
of the Italian language for our brothers there. Now 

think it was Gioberti who said that where the language 

spoken there is the nation. For this reason, if these 

thers of ours can speak, write and learn in their mother 

ongue, I think that already one of the foundations of 

eir Italian nationality is saved. 

For a decade the Italians of Zara and Dalmatia have re- 
sisted the furious attempts at denationalisation made by 

e Hapsburg Monarchy. In those days Italy could not give 
ve assistance to those brothers; now you see that she 

as another realisation of herself. Those brothers of ours, 
who might have felt themselves forgotten if the Agreements 
of Santa Margherita were applied by another nation, 
cannot feel the same when the definite and necessary appli- 
cation of the Treaty of Rapallo is carried out by the Govern- 
ment over which I have the honour of presiding and of 
which the members are those who won the victory. 
(Applause.) We firmly believe that the strict and scrupulous 
application of the Agreements of Santa Margherita on our 
part, as well as on the part of Yugoslavia, will save the 
Italian character of Zara and Dalmatia. There is no need 
for me to repeat that treaties are transactions, and are 
like the steps of an equilibrist. No treaty is eternal and 
perpetual; all that is happening to-day under our eyes 
gives us clear warning. 



2 

I tl 

ton* 

SIS 



Agrc 
that 



The Question of Fiume. We shall then carry out these 

eements immediately and loyally. It must not be thought 

tat the Third Zone is a kind of vast continent, and that 

Iit we have immense forces. It is a question of the territory 
and Zara and a group of islands; all told, we have only 
policemen, 18 custom-house guards, and 20 soldiers. 



262 THE FASCISTA 

At Susak we have a battalion of infantry. It will be a case 
of turning them back to the line of Eneo, because until it 
is known what is to become of Fiume, Porto Baros and the 
Delta, they will remain under the control of Italian troops. 
(Applause.) What is this Arbitration Commission ? It repre- 
sents an attempt to bring about the existence of that more 
or less vital creature, first conceived at Rapallo, known as 
the Independent State of Fiume. (Laughter.) One thing is 
certain, at any rate, and that is that there are three Italians 
on the Commission. And another thing is certain, and 
that is that it is not absolutely necessary for Fiume to 
become a new province of the realm. That there should 
actually be a prefect at Fiume is to me a secondary 
matter; the important thing is that Fiume shall keep her 
spirit sound and intact, that she shall remain Italian, and 
that such means shall be found that shall make her a city 
which lives in itself and for itself and not only through the 
largess of the Italian State. (Loud applause.) 

The Government, which sometimes makes deeds precede 
words, has already taken steps for the provision of 
Zara, economically, politically and spiritually. The same 
has been done for Dalmatia. It is necessary to admit 
frankly that since the coming of the Fascista Government 
the Yugoslavs have been less intransigent with regard to 
us. There is no doubt that the definite carrying out of the 
Treaty of Rapallo is the cause of great grief to the citizens of 
Fiume and Zara, of Dalmatia and many in the old kingdom. 

(Cries of "It is true.") 

Mussolini. At other times there might perhaps have been 
difficulties. But the Government over which I have the 
honour of presiding does not hesitate; it faces difficulties, 
I was almost going to say seeks them. I intend to regulate 
as soon as possible all that more or less successful heritage 
of foreign policy left me by my predecessors. It is no good 



RIME MINISTER 263 



being alarmed by what happens. I have what I dare to 
call a Roman conception of history and life. Things must 
never be thought to be irreparable. Rome did not believe 
in the irreparable, even after the battle of Cannae, when 
she lost the flower of her generation. On the contrary, you 
will remember that the Senate went out to meet Terentius 
Varro, who, having wished to undertake the battle against 
the advice of Paulus ££milius, was certainly one of those 
ponsible for the defeat. Rome fell, and rose up again; 
e marched slowly, but she marched; she had a goal to 
eh, and she intended to reach it. Italy, our Italy, the 
aly which we carry in our hearts, and which is our pride, 
ust be like this; the Italy which accepts her destiny 
hen it is imposed, by hard necessity, but only while she 
epares her spirit and her forces to overcome it some day. 
ud and prolonged applause, many Senators advance to 
ngratulate the Prime Minister. Silence being once more 
tablished, Mussolini continues.) 

I propose that the Senate, having concluded the discus- 
on suspended yesterday evening, should be adjourned. I do 
t know for how long. The Government must be left free to 
ork and to prepare work for the Chamber and the Senate. 
Meanwhile, I feel the necessity of thanking the President, 
ho has directed the proceedings with that tact and high 
dom for which he is known. I am glad that the Senate, 
approving of these political and commercial treaties — 
hich are two aspects of the same policy — has thus brought 
o a conclusion a part of our foreign policy. I beg the Presi- 
dent to accept the expression of my profound admiration. 

Tittoni, President of the Senate, replies, reciprocat- 
ing the words of the Prime Minister and praising his spirit 
and his patriotic faith. He pays tribute to the way in 
which the Hon. Mussolini has assumed, with a firm hand, 
the direction of public interests. 



264 THE FASCISTA 



A REVIEW OF EUROPEAN POLITICS IN THEIR 
RELATION WITH ITALY 

Speech delivered before the Cabinet, 2nd March 1923. 

The Prime Minister. Honourable Colleagues, — The situ- 
ation on the Ruhr has remained stationary during these 
last weeks. While the two disputants seem to settle 
themselves more rigidly in their respective positions of 
passive resistance on the part of Germany and active pres- 
sure on the part of Belgium and France, England has not 
changed her attitude of benign disapproval and Italy has 
neither increased nor reduced the number of technical 
experts representing her on the Ruhr. So far there has not 
arisen the new factor which would lead, in one sense or the 
other, to the solution of the crisis. This new factor could 
consist either in a direct proposal made by one disputant 
to the other, or in a request for mediation, or in the modifi- 
cation, on a political basis, of the aims which France says 
she has in view — aims of an economic nature, which so far 
have not gone beyond the limit of the payment of repara- 
tions — or else in an increase of the opposition of England 
which would lead to the withdrawal of her troops from 
the Rhine. 

It seems, however, clear — notwithstanding the solicita- 
tions of an element of the advanced democracy — that 
England maintains her attitude of circumspect waiting, 
without impatience or precipitation. The war, which at 
the present moment has for its theatre the basin of the 
Ruhr, is one of attrition, and it may yet last for some time, 
in spite of the general expectation all over Europe of a 



RIME MINISTER 265 

rapid conclusion. As I have already said both in the Senate 
and the Chamber, Italy will not refuse her assistance in any 
attempt that may be made to render normal the situation 
in Central Europe as soon as possible, and of this she has 
given tangible proof in the help afforded, before any other 
country, to Austria. The solidarity which Italy was bound to 
show towards France upon the common ground of repara- 
tions, has given rise to projects of greater importance, which 
might have been interpreted in certain circles as having 
ien directed against other Powers or to the exclusion of 
ime one of them. An official declaration on the part of the 
>vernment has established the truth of the matter. The 
ipaign in certain papers has not been approved of and 
less authorised. That it is very opportune that friendly 
id cordial relations should exist between Italy and France 
the sincere conviction of my Government. It is very 
mch to be desired that the economic relations between 
lese two neighbouring countries shall be intensified and 
rengthened, and the Government has worked in this 
rection in concluding the recent commercial agreement, 
►ut this has nothing to do with a real treaty of alliance, 
has been suggested in certain sections of public opinion, 
le Fascista Government intends on the whole to follow 
line of foreign policy as far as possible autonomous, 
id it could never adhere to alliances which did not protect 
le interests of Italy in the highest degree and which did 
lot constitute a solid guarantee of peace and prosperity for 
[taly in particular and Europe in general. 
Fascista Italy cannot and will not adhere to a system of 
liances which does not take into account these funda- 
lental premises. For her to pledge herself in any way 
Lefinitely while the Entente is still in a state of crisis, and 
lere are still many obscure points in the general situation 
the world, would be unpardonable. 



266 THE FASCISTA 

Turkey and Peace. No reliable news has hitherto reached 
us as to the intentions of the Government at Angora con- 
cerning the acceptance or non-acceptance of the projected 
treaty presented by the Allies to the Turkish Delegation at 
Lausanne. Information is contradictory, because, whereas 
on the one hand it is said that, in spite of the moderating 
influence of Mustapha Kemal and Ismet Pasha, the Assembly 
of Angora has shown itself adverse to some of the conditions 
already accepted by the Turkish Delegation at Lausanne and 
intends to re-discuss the projects of the treaty, article by 
article; on the other hand, especially from British quarters, 
it is continually said that the Turks seem favourably 
disposed towards the rapid conclusion of peace. 

Whatever may be the decision of the Government at 
Angora, it must be remembered that, once the deliberations 
of the Assembly are at an end, the Turks will, by means of 
the Secretary-General of the Conference, who remains for 
the present at Lausanne, give a definite reply to the Allies 
concerning eventual requests and proposals. 

Between the Governments at Rome, London and Paris 
there is in consequence an active diplomatic correspondence 
in progress with the object of establishing the common line 
of action to be adopted by the Allies in certain important 
questions, such as that of Capitulations and those con- 
cerning the Economic Clauses, as well as the course to be 
adopted in the eventual resumption of the work of the 
Conference, if the Turkish proposals are such as to furnish 
a serious basis for discussion. The British Government is 
showing itself to be very rigid in this respect and seems not to 
wish to allow discussion upon other than these three points : 

(a) The formula of the Turko-Grecian reparations. 

(b) The formula of the judicial guarantees for foreigners. 

(c) Economic Clauses. 

As regards the first, it is a question of putting in the hands 



PRIME MINISTER 267 

of an Arbitration Commission the reciprocal claims of the 
two countries, since the Turks do not even admit that the 
Greeks have any claims to present. For the second, it is 
a question of finding a formula which will provide more 
efficient guarantees for foreigners where the searching of 
private houses and arrests are concerned; and as regards 
the third, of resuming the discussion and negotiations upon 
all economic questions and of handing them over to 
other commission to be dealt with apart from the 
eaty of peace. 

The Italian Government is fully convinced of the necessity 
bringing about the conclusion of this peace in order that 
ve dangers, derived from the actual situation in the East, 
ay be avoided, and in order that normal conditions, favour- 
le to the free exercise of trade and industry, may be 
established. Although we are resolute in demanding 
om Turkey the acceptance of the really moderate con- 
itions proposed by the Allies, we do not think, however, 
at every and any request, not connected with the three 
ints mentioned above, made by Turkey, should be excluded 
priori, but rather that the possibility of examination with- 
t preconception should always be considered where some 
ell-defined and limited proposal is concerned. 
As to procedure, the British Government would be 
clined towards the renewal of the discussion at Constanti- 
ople, while the Italian Government, realising the dangers 
hich would menace the success of the negotiations in the 
rroundings of the Turkish capital, would prefer that 
it should take place at Lausanne with a limited gathering 
of technical delegates. 

iln any case it will not be possible to make a definite 
ecision about this before knowing the answer of the 
urkish Government, which is to be decided by the vote 



268 . THE FASCISTA 

Memel and the Polish Frontier. The question of Memel 
has been solved in theory, and it is not probable that in 
practice overpowering obstacles will be met with, since in 
the solution the rights of both the Lithuanians and the 
Poles have been taken into account. 

This incident has afforded an opportunity of examining 
generally the still uncertain position of Poland with regard 
to her boundaries. It seemed to the Italian Government 
that such uncertainty was pregnant with dangers, and that 
it was of the utmost importance to arrive, as soon as possible, 
at the recognition of the frontier, the delimitation of which 
is reserved for the Allied Powers by the Treaty of Versailles. 
Consequently, at the Conference of Ambassadors at Paris, 
the Government proposed that such a delimitation should 
be proceeded with at once, a proposal which, not having 
appeared at first to meet with the approval of the other 
representatives, has recently been presented again by the 
French Government, and to which we, for the sake of 
consistency, have adhered. 

As far as the boundaries between Lithuania and Poland 
are concerned, we should have preferred the League of 
Nations to have been called upon to pass an opinion, so 
that the largest number of States possible should be interested 
in guaranteeing the decision. Our Allies, however, having 
drawn attention to the fact that the procedure of the League 
of Nations is of a length and tediousness which, at the pre- 
sent moment, it is better to avoid, we have also adhered 
on this point to the French proposal to hand the question 
over to the Conference of Ambassadors. 

We truly hope that Poland and Lithuania will accept 
the decisions which the Conference of Ambassadors thinks 
it just to make. And this is one of those typical cases in 
which Poland and Lithuania must take into account the 
inevitable necessity of sentiment yielding to reason. 



IME MINISTER 269 



L 

The Problems of the Adriatic. Fiume ; Abbazia ; Zara. 
The Italian Delegation and part of that of Yugoslavia have 
already arrived at Abbazia. At present work has not begun, 
but will begin as soon as possible. At our request the Govern- 
ment at Belgrade has replaced Admiral Priza by Signor 
Rybar as her representative. The accusations against 
Admiral Priza, as a participator in the legal proceedings 
which led to the condemnation and death of Nazario Sauro, 
are well known. The Government at Belgrade showed itself 
to be appreciative of the eminently moral reasons for our 
objection and consented to the substitution — even at the 
st of facing the criticism of the Italophobe opposition 
with a good-will which seems an excellent omen for 
e future. 

Our Delegation, too, to the Commission for the Evacua- 
n of the Third Zone is already at Zara, and since the Yugo- 
v Delegation has also arrived, work can begin at once. 
An incident which occurred the night before last, when 
use of Zara and Italy was shouted from a passing 
ugoslav steamer within sight of that port, has already 
evoked spontaneous and immediate apologies from the 
Yugoslav consul to our prefect. But I have urged Belgrade 
to prevent such deplorable, although unimportant, incidents 
from occurring again. 

I must say that, hitherto, the Yugoslav Government has 
shown itself to be animated on the whole by excellent feel- 
ing, and loyally co-operates in seeking to smooth the way in 
this period of important and delicate negotiations which 
has just begun. 

As for the attitude of the national elements at Zara and 
Fiume, they remain inspired by a high sense of discipline 
and recognition of the necessity of subordinating private 

iterests to the general welfare of the nation. 
The Conference of the Siidbahn. The work of the Conference 



270 THE FASCISTA 

of the Siidbahn for the purpose of technical and adminis- 
trative reorganisation has made sufficient progress. Both 
the States interested and the company have presented their 
proposals for amendments, in which they try, without 
interfering with the basis of the projects under discussion, 
to lessen the financial burden. 

The project of the agreement concerning through traffic, 
which contains regulations guaranteeing the regularity of the 
organisation of the railways, facilities for the customs and 
sanitary services, and the setting in order of the international 
stations, as well as regulations regarding the railway 
rates of the through trains, has already been discussed. 
The States have shown themselves to be of one opinion 
with regard to the intentions of the project, which tend to 
unite in a special convention all the different regulations 
which have issued from the treaties of peace and the projects 
of the Convention concluded at Barcelona and Portorose. 

The project, moreover, is directed particularly towards 
reviving the powers of the Convention of Berne in respect 
of international traffic. The scheme of agreement for the 
technical and administrative reorganisation of the Siid- 
bahn admits the possibility of direct control on the part of 
the State as well as on the part of the company. It aims also 
at the maintenance of that unity of commercial direction 
which, without offending the sovereignty of the States with 
regard to tariffs, will allow of international traffic and the 
direct despatching of goods, and will take into account the 
special exigencies of trade which require particular measures 
and which, not being prejudicial to the States, will be advan- 
tageous as regards the economic relations between them. 

The work of the Conference will probably last another 
week on account of the complicated and difficult charac- 
ter of the various financial, technical and administrative 
problems to be solved. 



PRIME MINISTER 271 






THE ITALO-YUGOSLAV CONFERENCE FOR 
THE COMMERCIAL TREATY 



Opening address delivered in Rome at the Palazzo Chigi, on 6th March 
1923, before the members of the Conference. 



Gentlemen, — I am particularly glad to open this meeting 
and welcome cordially the delegates of the Kingdom of 
the Serbs, the Croats and the Slovenes. I attach great 
importance to this meeting and to its results, which I am 
confident will be excellent. 

You know that at Abbazia the Adriatic question is being 
settled, so that at the present time the field may be cleared 
of those special problems which up to to-day have not 

Irmitted an understanding with Yugoslavia. 
Along with that of Abbazia, this meeting, convened with 
e object of linking together more closely commercial 
relations between the two countries, attains a great im- 
portance. Italian public opinion and the Fascista Govern- 
ment consider that, together with political relations, there 
must be close and profitable economic ties. 

I am certain that the Italian delegates will make every 
brt to arrive at this agreement and I do not doubt that the 
Yugoslav Delegation will do the same. This will be in the 
mmon interest of the two countries. (Applause.) 



272 THE FASCISTA 



" HISTORY TELLS US THAT STRICT FINANCE 
HAS BROUGHT NATIONS TO SECURITY " 

Speech delivered at the Ministry of Finance on 7th March 1923, where 
Mussolini officially handed over to the Minister, Hon. de Stefani, the 
Budgets of Home and Foreign Affairs, to be revised in accordance with a 
decision of the Council of Ministers. 

Honourable Ministers, Colleagues, Gentlemen, — It 
might be asked, Why such fuss, why so many soldiers for 
a ceremony which could be described as purely adminis- 
trative, such as the consignment of my two Budgets to 
the Finance Minister? We must answer this question thus: 
For various motives, some more plausible than others. The 
solemnity which accompanies this ceremony serves to 
demonstrate the immense importance the Government 
attaches to a rapid restoration of financial normality. We 
have formally promised to make a start towards balancing 
the State Budget, and with this promise we wish to keep 
faith at whatever cost. We must be convinced that if the 
whole falls, the part falls too; and that if the economic 
life of the nation falls in ruin, all that is in the nation — 
institutions, men, classes — is destined to suffer the same fate. 
And why these soldiers? To show that the Government 
has strength. I declare that, if possible, I want to govern 
with the consent of the majority of the people, but whilst 
waiting for this consent to be formed, to be nourished, to 
be strengthened, I collect the maximum available force. 
Because it may happen, by chance, that force may aid in 
rediscovering consent, and, at any rate, should consent be 
lacking, force still remains. In all the measures — even the 
most drastic — the Government takes, we shall put before 



PRIME MINISTER 273 

the people this dilemma: either accept them from a high 
spirit of patriotism or submit to them. This is how I 
conceive the State, and how I understand the art of 
governing the nation. 

I am glad to find myself before you — (continued the 
President, turning to the officials of the Ministry of Finance 
1 present at the ceremony) — because the Minister has spoken 
very favourably to me of the high officials of the Ministry 
of Finance. He told me that some of you often work up to 
sixteen hours a day. Well done! Those are long hours, 
but it is a splendid example. But if they were not suffi- 
cient, it would be necessary to work even twenty hours. 
Only thus, gentlemen, shall we rise up out of the sea of 

I our present difficulties and reach the shore. 
We must inculcate in our spirit a sense of absolute 
discipline. We must consider that the money of the Treasury 
is sacred above everything else. It does not rain down from 
Heaven, nor can it even be made with a turn of the printing- 
press, which, if I could, I would like to smash to pieces. It 
is made out of the sweat, it might be said of the blood, of 
the Italian people, who work to-day, but who will work 
more to-morrow. Every lira, every soldo, every centesimo 
of this money must be considered sacred and should not be 
spent unless reasons of strict and proved necessity demand 
it. The history of peoples tells us that strict finance has 
brought nations to security. I feel that each one of you 
eves in this truth, which is fully proved by history, 
ith this conviction I bid you farewell. (Applause.) 



274 THE FASCISTA 

"IT IS NOT THE ECONOMIC SYSTEM OF EUROPE' 
ALONE THAT WE HAVE TO RESTORE TO ITS 
FULL EFFICIENCY " 

Speech delivered at the Palazzo dell' Esposizione in Rome, on 18th 
March 1923, before the International Congress of the Chambers ofj 
Commerce. 

Gentlemen, — The Government over which I have the; 
honour to preside and which I represent is glad to welcome 
you to Rome and offers you a deferential and cordial greet- 1 
ing, which I extend also to the foreign representatives, who 
have wished to honour us by their presence. The fact that j 
your important Congress is held in the capital of Italy, only ' 
five months after the events which gave the control of public! 
affairs to the youthful forces of war and of victory is the| 
best declaration to the world that the Italian nation is 
rapidly returning to the full normality of her political and, 
economical lif e. In a meeting like this I shall not linger on i 
the former, but shall briefly dwell on the latter subject. 

The economic policy of the new Italian Government is 
simple. I consider that the State should renounce its in- 1 
dustrial functions, especially of a monopolistic nature, forj 
which it is inadequate. I consider that a Government which 
means to relieve rapidly peoples from after- war crises should 
allow free play to private enterprise, should renounce any 
meddling or restrictive legislation, which may please the 
Socialist demagogues, but proves, in the end, as experience 
shows, absolutely ruinous. 

It is, therefore, time to remove from the shoulders of the 
producing forces of every nation the last remains of that 
machinery which was called the trappings of war and to 
examine economic problems, no longer with a state of mind 
veiled by the influence of particular interests, as they had to 






PRIME MINISTER 275 

be examined during the war. I do not believe that the 
aggregate of forces, which in industry, in agriculture, in 
commerce, in banking, in transportation may be called by 
the world-name of capitalism, is near its downfall, as cer- 
tain doctrinarians belonging to the Social-Extremists have 
claimed. One of the great historical experiences of which 
we have been witnesses proves that all the systems of 
associated economics which do away with private initiative 
and individual effort fail more or less pitifully in a short time. 
But free initiative does not exclude an agreement between 
groups, which will be realised all the easier when there is a 
loyal protection of each separate interest. Your Chamber 
of Commerce follows exactly this programme of enquiry, 
and of stabilisation, of co-ordinating and conciliating the 
various interests. You are here in Rome to discuss the best 
means to revive the great currents of trade which, before 
the war, had increased general wealth and brought all 
people to a high standard of living. These are weighty and 
delicate problems which often cause discussions of a political 
and moral nature. To solve them we must be guided by the 
conviction that it is not the economic system of Europe 
alone that we have to restore to its full efficiency, but that 
there are also countries and continents which may offer a 
field for a larger economic activity in the near future. It 
is not without significance that the powerful Republic of 
the United States has sent such a large number of her 
representatives to Rome. It means that, if official political 
America still keeps an attitude of reserve, economic America 
feels that she cannot remain indifferent to what may or 
may not be done in Europe. 

There is no doubt that Governments — beginning with 
mine — will examine with the utmost care and give due 
weight to the decisions which are arrived at by this Congress. 
;Loud cheers.) 



276 THE FASCIST/; 



"ONLY THOSE WHO PROFITED BY THE WAlg 
GRUMBLED AND STILL GRUMBLE, CURSEli 
AND STILL CURSE AT THE WAR " 

Speech delivered on 29th March 1923, in Milan, at Villa Mirabello, 
before blind ex-soldiers. 

My dear Comrades! — When a little time ago one of yotul 
officers told me that you never grumbled at the war, eveii 
when Italy seemed overwhelmed, I was not surprised! 
because only those who profited by the war grumbled ancl 
still grumble, cursed and still curse at the war. Those 
who have performed their duty do not grumble, do noil 
curse, but accept their sacrifice with Roman simplicity! 
and austerity. 

When I am amongst the maimed I live again the greatest 
days of our war. And I declare to you that a Government 
which did not bear you in mind would be unworthy, anc 
would only be worthy of being overthrown by the fury 
of the people. 

But the Government which I represent is entirely formed 
of men who have fought from the Stelvio to the sea of Trieste, 
and such men cannot ignore the sacrifices accomplished. 

I express to you here this morning all my brotherly 
sympathy and admiration as an ex-soldier, as a man, as an 
Italian, and I embrace you all. And by this act I intend to 
honour and exalt all those who contributed to the greatness 
of the mother country by the deeds accomplished and by 
the shedding of their blood. (Applause.) 



PRIME MINISTER 277 



" PATRIOTISM IS NOT FORMED BY 
MERE WORDS " 

Speech delivered at Arosio, near Milan, on 30th March 1923, before 
ex-soldiers suffering from shell-shock. 

Fellow-Soldiers, — I did well to accept your courteous 
imitation, in the first place, as it always gives me great 
pleasure to offer to my comrades of the trenches the proof 
of my fraternal sympathy as a soldier, as a man, as an 
Italian, and as the head of the Government. 

As I said yesterday to the blind ex-soldiers at Villa 
Mirabello, so I say to you. The Government intends to 
protect you, intends to satisfy your requests, to defend 
your material and moral rights. 

Your invitation has given me the opportunity to see 
this splendid work, which represents the results and the 
harmonious synthesis of faith in your undertakings and of 

I noble love for our country. 
Everything that is done for the maimed and for ex- 
soldiers is a small thing in face of the sacrifice of so many 
Italians who gave their life on the battlefields or who 
shed their blood. 

What is done here is not only a manifestation of piety, 
it is an expression of national solidarity and of conscientious 
patriotism. Because patriotism is not formed by mere 
words, it is formed by deeds, by example, by showing one- 
self worthy before one's own conscience of the quality 
of being Italian. 

The Government intends to exalt all the forces of the 
country, all the moral forces arising from our victory; 
it means daily and disinterestedly to defend all those 
who by their deeds and their blood have contributed to 



278 THE FASCISTAi 



QUESTIONS OF FOREIGN POLICY BEFORE THE 

CABINET 

Speech delivered before the Cabinet on 7th April 1923. 

The Abbazia Conference. Colleagues, — The Commission; 
appointed according to the Agreements of Santa Margherita, 
which met, as is known, on 1st March, started its work; 
by the arrangement for the evacuation of Susak, which 
took place on the following day. It is opportune here to 
note that the Italian Delegation wished to express to thej 
world and to the Italian troops its gratitude for the courteous 
and chivalrous behaviour during the whole occupation! 
of Susak. 

The Commission decided, at that time, a provisional 
settlement for communication and traffic between Fiume: 
and Susak, which was made effective for two months, in: 
view of the eventuality of the prorogation of the sittings of 
the Commission. The frontier traffic between Castua and 
the adjacent territories was also organised. 

With reference to the military operations, the Serbo-| 
Croatian-Slovak Delegation has at once recorded an ob- 1 
jection, on the grounds that with the evacuation of Susak, j 
it did not consider that that stipulated by the Agreements ! 
of Santa Margherita had been carried out, seeing that the! 
Delta and Porto Sauro remained occupied by Italian troops. 
Against this assertion the Italian Delegation replied that! 
Italy had carried out to the letter the provisions of the' 
Agreements of Santa Margherita, which refer purely and. 
simply to the evacuation of Susak. 

Apart from this objection, the Commission has continued 
its work and the Italian Delegation has put forward a project \ 



PRIME MINISTER 279 

a Consortium in the port of Fiume between the three 
erested States. Such a project, in a general way, attri- 
tes to Fiume the character of an international port, 
ving the possibility of the enjoyment of special privileges 
d guarantees to each of the contracting States for a freer 
evelopment of the traffic which affects them. With regard 
to such a project, the Serbo-Croatian-Slovak Delegation 
has put forward its objections, presenting on its own account 
a draft of a project, according to which the Sauro Basin 
and the Delta would be excluded from the port of Fiume 
and assigned exclusively to Yugoslavia. 

The Italian Delegation has formally declared that it 
could not accede to any pact whatsoever which, destroying 
the unity of the port of Fiume, would irremediably damage 
the future of the new State, and, in answer to the objections 
raised by the Serbo - Croatian - Slovak Delegation to the 
Italian project, our Delegation has presented another plan, 
in which full consideration was given to the said excep- 
tions. But, in the course of the following discussion, the 
points of view of the two Delegations could not be 
reconciled. The sittings were suspended on 24th March, to 

(resumed shortly. 
The new Lausanne Conference. Following the counter- 
oposals put forward by the Government of Angora, the 
British Government has convened in London an Inter-Allied 
meeting in order to examine what modifications to the 
drafting and the substance of the Peace Treaty presented 
to the Turks on the 30th of last January may be possible. 
The Allied Representatives at this meeting have decided 
to invite the Turks to resume as soon as possible at Lausanne 
the discussion with the Allied experts and have at the same 
time come to an agreement as to the line of conduct to 
low in such a discussion. 



280 THE FASCISTA 

In the text of the reply sent to the Government of Angora, 
which has been published, the Allies have deemed it oppor- 
tune to insert some remarks and objections on certain points 
of special importance, as for example that regarding the 
removal of the Economic Clauses asked by the Turks, to 
which the Allies cannot accede; that concerning some part 
of the judiciary declarations and the Turkish demands 
relative to substantial modifications of the Territorial 
Clauses already agreed upon, such as that of Castelrosso, 
whose restoration to Turkey could not be countenanced. 

It is to be hoped that the goodwill that both parties have 
the intention of displaying in the imminent negotiations of 
Lausanne may bring about speedily the conclusion of peace 
in the East, which corresponds with the warmest wish and 
interest of the Italian Government. m 

Italo-Polish Relations. Mr. Skrzynski came to Milan to 
express to me the gratitude of Poland for the friendly 
attitude of Italy in the determination of the Polish frontier, 
which took place recently. Expressing a personal view, I 
mentioned to him the advisability of a larger extension of 
autonomy to the population of Eastern Galicia. I profited 
by the occasion to examine with the Minister for Foreign 
Affairs some concrete points, which, with regard to oil and 
coal, concern more closely our commerce. I recognised with 
satisfaction the friendly disposition which animates the 
Polish Government and I was struck with the impression 
that whenever important Italian enterprises should wish 
to develop their activity in Poland, they would find 
there the best of welcomes. The representatives of some 
Italian firms of standing, moreover, are now already in 
negotiation at Warsaw, and the results, I hope, will in 
a short time confirm the favourable attitude of the 
Polish Foreign Minister. 



PRIME MINISTER 281 

The Visit of the Austrian Chancellor Seipel. In the con- 
versations I had at Milan with the Austrian Chancellor, 
both parties expressed the reciprocal desire and interest to 
improve further relations between the two countries. The 
Chancellor has warmly thanked the Italian Government 
for the helpful action on behalf of Austria and has asked 
our support for the satisfactory solution of all problems 
which might contribute to the economic reconstruction of 

te Republic. I gave favourable assurances and, conse- 

lently, have accordingly hastened the negotiations already 
tn for a commercial agreement and I have had examined 

imerous questions which had been dragging on unsolved 
>r some time. 

It is to be hoped that, the last difficulties having been 

loved, the Commercial Treaty may be signed within a 

days. The Clauses of the Portorose Conventions, signed 

id not ratified by the contracting parties, will be included 

it. The Chancellor has asked that the small Austrian 
roperties in Italy and the historical Austrian Institute in 
Rome should be restored to Austria, as was done for Germany. 
While I declared myself favourable to his requests, I have, 
for my part, reminded him of the situation of Italian pro- 
perty in Austria and have obtained from the Chancellor 
satisfactory assurances concerning this and other subjects. 
With reference to the Conventions signed at the Conference 
of Rome, some of which have notable importance for Italy, 
the Chancellor has promised to proceed to their ratification 
without further delay. 

The Commercial Relations with Austria. The negotiations 
with Austria are being conducted with a spirit of the greatest 
goodwill on both sides, in order to arrive in a short space 
of time at an agreement which should establish regular and 
profitable relations between the two countries and also 



282 THE FASCISTA 

after the first period, during which the economic relations 
between the two States are regulated by the Treaty of St.] 
Germain. If some difficulty still remains, this is due in the 
first place to the fact that it is not the case of negotiating 
pacts which, with regard to their application and their 
consequences, could remain restricted to the exchanges 
between the two neighbouring States, but are destined to 
have a repercussion also on our relations with the other 
States which, for their imports into Italy, enjoy the "most 
favoured nation" clause. 

This fact, independently of the specially favourable 
conditions by which certain important industries, com- 
peting with ours, are working in Austria, compels us to be 
very cautious in adhering to the many Austrian requests, and 
all the more that, for financial and other reasons, Austria is 
herself not in a position to meet our demands to the extent 
which is essential to us. The two Delegations have, however, 
already arrived at an agreement on most of the questions 
which have been the subject of reciprocal demands, and now 
certain controversies remain to be solved which, although 
they offer the greatest interests for both sides, it is to be 
hoped may be solved with satisfaction to all. 

Special attention has been paid by the two Delegations 
to the study of the questions relative to the traffic through 
the port of Trieste and the regulation of the frontier traffic 
for the protection of the interests of the populations of the 
zone near the frontier of the two States. On this subject 
agreement may be said to be complete. 

The Commercial Treaty with Yugoslavia. The negotiations 
with Yugoslavia, which should lead to the regulation of all 
the economic and financial questions still pending between 
the two States, have been conducted so far on the Treaty 
of Commerce, which, except for the part concerning the 



PRIME MINISTER 



283 



Italian proposals on the tariffs, may be said to be already 
agreed upon by the two Delegations. With reference to the 
other subjects under examination, of which only a small 
part has been possible to discuss at the same time as the 
negotiations for the Commercial Treaty, the Yugoslav 
Delegation is now awaiting further instructions from Bel- / 
grade. Besides the commercial negotiations I have men-/ 
tioned, there are others proceeding for a Commercial Treaty 
ith Spain. Negotiations will shortly be opened for com-/ 
lercial agreements with Siam, Finland, Esthonia, Lithuania, 
ittonia and Albania. 

(After a short discussion, in which several Ministers 
•ticipated, the Cabinet approved the declarations of 
ie Prime Minister.) 



284 THE FASCISTA 



-MINE IS NOT A GOVERNMENT WHICH DECEIVES 
THE PEOPLE " 

Speech delivered at the Palazzo Municipale on 2nd June 1923, to the 
contadini of Rovigo. 

Fascisti, — How shall I find adequate words to thank you 
for this magnificent welcome? A few moments ago your 
mayor gave voice to the greeting of the city and the province. 
To-day I have passed through your fertile lands, furrowed 
by rivers, exploited by your tenacious work. All Italy must 
be grateful to this industrious people, who, too, having 
realised the beautiful and supreme interests of the nation, 
has now all the more the right to be treated with greater 
friendship and consideration. 

I know that I am speaking to an assembly where workers 
are certainly in enormous majority. Well, I say to them 
with calm words and with a still calmer conscience that the 
Government which I have the honour to represent is not, 
cannot, and will never be against the working classes. 
(Loud applause.) Six months of Government are still too 
few for a programme to be carried through, but, to my mind, 
they are sufficient to give an idea of its directives which 
to-day are precise and sound. Mine is not a Government 
which deceives the people. (Applause.) We cannot, we 
shall not, make promises if we are not mathematically sure 
of being able to fulfil them. The people have been too long 
deceived and mystified for the men of our generation to 
continue this low trade. 

We have traced a furrow, very clear-cut and deep, between 
that which was the Italy of yesterday and that which is the 



PRIME MINISTER 



285 



Italy of to-day. In the latter, all classes must have a sphere 
of action for their fruitful co-operation. The struggle be- 
tween classes may be an episode in the life of a people, it 
cannot be the daily system, as it would mean the destruction 
of wealth, and, therefore, universal poverty. The co-opera- 
tion, citizens, between him who labours and him who employs 
labour, between him who works with his hands and him who 
works with his brains, all these elements of production have 
their inevitable and necessary grades and constitutions, 
"hrough this programme you will attain a state of well- 
>eing and the nation prosperity and greatness. If I were 
lot sure of my words I would not utter them before you 
>n such a solemn and memorable occasion. (Applause.) 

(At this point of the speech an aeroplane piloted by 
Ferrarin was executing some daring evolutions just above 
the Palazzo Municipale, from where Mussolini was 
speaking. The Prime Minister stopped for a few seconds 
Following Ferrarin's evolutions, then went on:) 

Fascisti! The other day I was passing in one of those 
aeroplanes over your town. That flight was profoundly 
significant, as it was meant to show that six months of 
tenure of office have not yet nailed me down into my Presi- 
dential easy chair and that I, as you, as all of you, am still 
ready to dare, to fight, if necessary, to die, so that the 
fruits of the great Fascista revolution may not be lost ! 

Long live Fascismo! Long live Italy! (Loud applause.) 



286 THE FASCISTA 



"IN TIME PAST AS IN TIME PRESENT, WOMAN HAD 
ALWAYS A PREPONDERANT INFLUENCE IN 
SHAPING THE DESTINIES OF HUMANITY" 

Speech delivered at Padua at the first Women's Fascista Congress, on 

2nd June 1923. 

Ladies, — If I am not mistaken, this, which is inaugurated 
here to-day, is the first Women's Fascista Congress of 
the "three Venices." The title and the field covered by this 
first Congress of yours are full of profound significance. 
Fifty years ago one could not speak of the "three Venices" ! 
Venice herself, after the magnificent years of heroism of 
1848 and 1849, was still held by the shackles of foreign 
slavery. In 1866 we liberated Venice, one of the Venices. 
Fifty years afterwards we liberated the other two — that 
which has as its boundary the devoted and impregnable 
Brenner, and the other which has as its boundary the not 
less devoted nor less impregnable Nevoso. 

Fascisti do not belong to the multitude of fops and 
sceptics who mean to belittle the social and political im- 
portance of woman. What does the vote matter? You 
will have it! But even when women did not vote and did 
not wish to vote, in time past as in time present, woman had 
always a preponderant influence in shaping the destinies of 
humanity. Thus the women of Fascismo, who bravely 
wear the glorious "black shirt/' and gather round our 
standards, are destined to write a splendid page of history, 
to help, with self-sacrifice and deeds, Italian Fascismo. 

Do not trust the little stuffed owls, the yelling monkeys 
or, indeed, any representative of the lower zoological orders, 
who believe they practise politics, but could be called by a 



'RIME MINISTER 



287 



>re infamous name. Do not believe those who talk of 
ises within the ranks of Fascismo; — these are details, 
lere episodes in the great event, and they, after all, concern 
len, not masses. When Fascisti have not to strike the 
iemy, they can well afford themselves the luxury of in- 
;rnal quarrels. But if the enemy should begin to raise his 
head again and intensify the character of his more or less 
stupid opposition, then Fascisti will again become solidly 
tited. Then "Woe to the vanquished!" (Applause.) 
id since the opportunity is propitious, I would like to 
you, women of Fascismo, and the Fascisti of all Italy, 
lat the attempt to sever Mussolini from Fascismo or 
r ascismo from Mussolini is the most useless and grotesque 
ittempt that could be conceived. (Applause.) I am not 
proud as to say that I who speak and Fascismo are 
le; but four years of history have now clearly shown 
lat Mussolini and Fascismo are two aspects of the same 
ting, are two bodies and one soul or two souls in a single 
)dy. I cannot forsake Fascismo, because I have created 
:, I have reared it, I have strengthened and I have chastened 
it, and I still hold it in my fist, always! It is, therefore, 
[uite useless for the old screech-owls of Italian policy to 
ly me their foolish court. I am too shrewd to fall into this 
lbush of the commercial mediocrities of village fairs. I 
assure you, my dear friends, that all these little vipers, 
these cheap politicians will be bitterly disillusioned. 
To think that I could become brutalised in Parliamentary 
>ureaucracy is to believe an absurdity. Although I come 
:om the working class, I have a spirit too aristocratic not 
:o feel disgust for low Parliamentary manoeuvres. We shall 
continue our march vigorously (added the Hon. Mussolini, 
•aising his voice), because this has been imposed on us by 
lestiny. We shall not turn back, nor shall we even mark 
ime. I have already said that we did not want to push 



288 THE FASCISTA 

matters to extremes only to see ourselves driven back by 
the swing of the pendulum. I prefer, as I wrote in an article, 
which aroused some interest — I prefer to march on con- 
tinually, day by day, in the Roman way, in the way of 
Rome who is never reconciled to defeat; of Rome who 
welcomed Terentius Varro coming from Cannae, although 
she knew that he had given battle against the opinion of 
Consul Paulus ^Emilius and was, in a certain degree, respon- 
sible for the defeat; of Rome who after Cannae forbade 
matrons to sally forth, so that their grief-stricken bearing 
should not shake the strength of the citizens; of this Rome 
who re-wrote continually the chapters of her history, who 
found in every ill-success the incentives to endurance, to 
steadfastness, to strengthen her spirits, to harden her nerves, 
to light the flame of passion! This is the Rome of whom 
we dream ; the Rome in whom all hierarchies are respected, 
those of strength, beauty, intelligence, and human kindness; 
the Rome who struck hard at her enemies, but then raised 
them up again and made them share her great destiny; the 
Rome who left the utmost liberty to the beliefs of her 
subject-peoples, provided only that they obeyed her! 

Giuseppe Mazzini used to say that power is but the unity 
and perseverance of all efforts put together. Well, Italian 
power, Fascista power, the power of all the new generations 
which expand in this superb spring of our life and history, 
will be the result of the unity of our efforts, of the tenacity 
of our work. After all, what do Fascisti ask for? They are 
not ambitious or factious. They have the sense of limitation 
and of their responsibility. And I am sure of interpreting 
your thought, the deep craving of your soul, if I say that 
Fascisti, from the first to the last, from the leaders to the led, 
ask only one thing : To serve with humility, with devotion, 
with steadfastness, our beloved Mother Country, Italy! 
(The speech was greeted with enthusiastic applause.) 



PRIME MINISTER 289 






SO LONG AS THESE STUDENTS AND THESE 
UNIVERSITIES EXIST, THE NATION CANNOT 
PERISH AND BECOME A SLAVE, BECAUSE 
UNIVERSITIES SMASH FETTERS WITHOUT 
ALLOWING THE FORGING OF NEW ONES" 



Speech delivered at the University of Padua on 3rd June 1923. 



. Chancellor, Professors, My Young Friends, — It is 
not I who honour your University, it is your University which 
honours me, and I must confess that, although on account 
of my laborious dealings with men I am a little refractory 
to emotions, to-day, being among you, I feel deeply touched. 

We have known each other for some time, from 1915, 
from the days of that May always radiant. I remember 
that the students of Padua hung up at the doors of this 
University a big paper puppet representing a politician 
about whom I do not wish to express any opinion now. But 
that act meant that the youth of the University of Padua 
did not want to hear about ignoble diplomatic bargains — 
(Applause.)— did not want to sell its splendid spiritual birth- 
right for a more or less wretched mess of pottage. The 
University of Padua, the students, who were not degenerate 
descendants of those Tuscan students who went out to die 
at Curtatone and Montanara, wished then to be the van- 
guard, to take up their post in the fighting line, carrying 
with them the reluctant ones, chastening the pusillanimous, 
overthrowing the Government and going out to fight, to 
sacrifice and death, but also to honour and glory. 

From that time I know that among you there are faithful 
followers and that this University among all the others is 

T 






2Q0 THE FASCISTA; 

truly an active centre of faith and of intense patriotism. 
If I look back for a moment to the rolling by of centuries, 
I recognise in this University a great fountain at which > 
thousands of men of all countries, of all generations, of all ] 
races, have quenched their thirst. 

The Government which I have the honour to represent 
repudiates, at any rate in the person of its chief, the doctrine 
of materialism and the doctrines which claim to explain 
the very complex history of humanity only from the material 
point of view, to explain an episode, not the whole of history, 
an incident, not a doctrine. Well, this Government prizes 
individual, spiritual and voluntary qualities, holds in high 
esteem the Universities, because they represent so many 
glorious strong points in the life of the people. In fact I do 
not hesitate to state that if Germany has been able to resist 
the powerful influence of Bolshevism, it is due, above all, 
to the strong University traditions of that people. 

A people with an ardent spirit and with genius like ours 
is necessarily a well-balanced and harmonious one. The 
Government understands the enormous historic importance 
of Universities, has a respect for their noble traditions and 
wishes to raise them to the heights of modern exigencies. 
All this cannot be done at once, as everything cannot be 
accomplished in six months. All that we are doing at present 
is to clear the ground from all the debris which the rotten 
political caste has left us as a said inheritance. (Applause.) 
How could a Government composed of former soldiers ever 
disparage Universities? It would not only be absurd but 
criminal! From the Universities have come out by the 
thousands volunteers and by tens of thousands those magni- 
ficent warriors who used to assault the enemy's trenches 
with a superb contempt of death. They are our comrades 
whose memory we bear engraved in our hearts. You will 
write their names on your gates of bronze, but their memory 



IME MINISTER 291 

be more imperishably engraved in our spirit. We cannot 
;et them, as we cannot forget that out of the Universities 
te by thousands the "black shirts," those "black shirts" 
who, at a given moment, put an end to the inglorious vicis- 
situdes of Italian politics, who took by the throat with strong 
is all the old profiteers who appeared, to the exuberant 
impatience of the new Italian generations, always the more 
inadequate for their paralysing decrepitude. (Applause.) 
Well, so long as there are Universities in Italy — and there 
certainly will be for a long time — and so long as there are 
young men to attend these Universities and to become 
acquainted with the history of yesterday, thus preparing 
the history of to-morrow, so long as there are such young 
men, the doors of the past are definitely shut. I guarantee 
it formally! But I add further that so long as these young 
and these Universities exist, the Nation cannot perish 
and it cannot become a slave, because Universities smash 
fetters without forging new ones. (Applause.) If to-morrow 
it were again necessary, either for causes arising within or 
without the frontiers, to sound again the trumpet of war, 
I am sure that the Universities would again empty them- 
selves to re-populate the trenches. (Loud applause.) 

I And now that you have rejuvenated me by twenty years, 
would like to sing with you the " Gaudeamus Igitur." After 
U, Lorenzino dei Medici was right when he sang: "How 
eautiful is youth!" Well, my young friends, there can 
ever be for us as individuals the certainty of the morrow, 
but there is the supreme and magnificent certainty of the 

Itorrow for us as a nation and as a people. 
And with the students' hymn, let us utter in Latin 
simpler word, Laboremus. To work with dignity, with 
robity and with cheerfulness, to assault life with earnest- 
ess and to meet it as a mission, trying to fulfil the cate- 
gorical injunction left us by our dead. They command us 



292 THE FASCISTA I 

to obey and to serve, they command us discipline, sacrifice I 
and obedience. 

We should really be the last of men if we failed to do our 
clear duty. But we shall not fail. I who hold the pulse of 
the nation and who carefully count its beats, I who some- 
times shudder in the face of the heavy responsibilities which 
I have assumed, feel in me a hope, nay a vibration, of a 
supreme certainty which is this: that, by the will of the 
leaders, by the determination of the people, and by the I 
sacrifice of past, present and future generations, Imperial j 
Italy, the Italy of our dreams, will be for us the reality 
of to-morrow. (Loud applause.) 



PRIME MINISTER 293 



ITALY'S FOREIGN POLICY REGARDING GERMAN 
REPARATIONS, HUNGARY, BULGARIA, 
AUSTRIA, YUGOSLAVIA, TURKEY, RUSSIA, 
POLAND AND OTHER COUNTRIES 



Speech delivered at the Senate on 8th June 1923. 



Honourable Senators, — The speech that I have the 
honour of delivering before your illustrious Assembly may 
appear analytical, because in it I propose to touch on 
several questions and to speak decisively upon several 
problems, especially with regard to internal policy. 1 By 
this I do not delude myself to be able to convince those 
who are my opponents in mala fide, nor to disperse com- 
pletely the small opposition which nourishes itself on detail, 
and is the effect of personal temperament. 

You will not be surprised if I begin with foreign policy, 
even if it happens that this is the field in which serious and 
founded opposition does not exist, and it may be legitimately 
said that our policy is endorsed unanimously by the nation. 

As I have already said on other occasions, the foreign 
policy of the present Government is inspired by the neces- 
sity for a progressive revaluation of our diplomatic and 
political position in Europe and in the world. It is a fact 
that, except for territorial acquisitions bounded by the 
Brenner and the Nevoso, frontiers wrested by long and 
bloody wars, Italy was excluded in the Peace of Versailles 
and other successive treaties from all other benefits of an 
economic and colonial nature. Solemn pacts signed during 

I The speech on Internal Policy here referred to will follow this one 
page 306. 



294 THE FASCISTA 

the war have lapsed and have not been replaced. The posi- 
tion of inferiority assigned to Italy has weighed and still 
weighs heavily on the economic life of our people. It is 
useless to dwell upon recriminations of the past. We must 
rather seek to regain the ground and time lost. There is 
no doubt that from October to to-day the situation has 
notably improved. 

The other Powers, whether allied or not, know that 
Italy intends to follow an energetic and assiduous policy 
for the protection of her natural and vital interests, intends 
to be present wherever, directly or indirectly, they are at 
stake, because this is her right and her definite duty; but 
at the same time she is in favour of that line of conduct in 
general policy which tends to bring back as quickly as 
possible to a normal state the economic situation of our 
continent. Italy, who too is marching rapidly towards her 
readjustment, sees this rebirth continually disturbed by 
general outside factors. There is, therefore, a definite 
Italian interest in hastening the pacific solution of the 
European crisis. 

The Position of Italy and Reparations. All such crises, 
since the Treaty of Versailles onwards, have been dominated 
by the one problem: Reparations. In the face of this 
problem the fundamental position of Italy is as follows: 

i. Germany can and must pay a sum which now seems 
universally fixed and which is very far from the many 
hundreds of milliards talked of on the morrow of the 
Armistice; 

2. Italy could not tolerate territorial changes which 
would lead to a political, economic or military hegemony 
in Europe; 

3. Italy is prepared to bear her quota of sacrifice, if it is 
necessary to obtain what is called European reconstruction; 






PRIME MINISTER 295 

4. The Italian Government maintains to-day more than 
ever, above all after the last German Note, that the problem 
of reparations and that of Inter-Allied debts are intimately 
connected and are in a certain sense interdependent. 

There is no doubt that the occupation of the Ruhr has 
contributed to render the crisis of the Ruhr extremely acute, 
and therefore to a certain extent hastened a solution. 

It will not be inopportune to recall, considering the 
rapidity of events, that the French and Belgians went to 
the Ruhr on account of the declarations of a series of 
failures of the supplies in kind by Germany, admitted 
also by England, at any rate as regards that of wood, and 
the failure of the Conference of Paris. 

It is certainly worth while to fix exactly in their essential 
lines the main features of the Italian, English and German 
projects, in order to have a picture of the situation as 
regards its agreements and divergencies, and to see what 
conjectures we can form as to a possible settlement. This 
will also serve to explain why Italy was not able to accept 
the Bonar Law scheme at Paris, and why she had to reject 
the recent Cuno-Rosenberg Memorandum. 

The Italian project reduced the German debt to 
fifty milliards of gold marks, proposed a moratorium of 
two years, during which Germany would continue the 
supply of reparations in kind, accepted the distribution of 
German payments according to the quotas fixed at Spa, 
by which the Italian quota was put at five milliards of gold 
marks, fixed the payment of one part of the "C" bonds 
by means of the security given by the other ex-enemy 
States, used the remainder of the "C" bonds to settle the 
debt to America, agreed to the taking of economic pledges 
as a guarantee of the German payments, and finally, 
as regards the payments of the reparations owed by 
Austria, Bulgaria and Hungary, asked for a pledge for 



296 THE FASCISTA 

the acceptance of the proposals which England had 
deferred putting forward — proposals, that is, of annulling 
those debts. 

The Italian quota of reparations, which the Italian 
project fixed at five milliards of gold marks, was thus 
reduced in the English project to less than half; whilst 
cancelling the bonds, it partly abolishes to our detriment 
German solidary responsibility for minor ex-enemy debts 
and rendered impossible the execution of the agreement of 
March 1921, which ensures important advantages to Italy 
upon the basis of the "C" bonds. The larger percentage 
reserved on the seventeen milliards, representing the 
interest of the moratorium capitalised to 1923, could not 
be used for the payment of American debts, in consideration 
of the aleatory nature of these seventeen milliards. 

I do not recall all this to reopen discussions, but only to 
make clear the main outlines of that which was and remains 
a noteworthy attempt to find a solution for this grave 
problem; an attempt which contains worthy elements 
which can be usefully taken up again in case of a definite 
settlement. 

The conclusion of an agreement between England and 
America on the problem of debts — the work of the then 
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Baldwin, to-day Prime 
Minister, followed shortly after the presentation of the 
English project. 

Any idea of this debt being itself cancelled, or even of a 
simple compensation through the payment of reparations, 
is excluded from this agreement. The obligation to pay, 
although facilities may be accorded concerning both the 
number of years in which it must take place and the interests 
due, is solemnly affirmed and put into execution. In Eng- 
land the Speech from the Throne strongly emphasised this 
agreement. Even taking into account the diversity of 



PRIME MINISTER 297 

(onomic strength and the totality of sacrifices borne, it 
uld not remain without effect upon the importance of the 
lole question for the other European Powers. 
Analysts of the German Project. If we compare the English 
d Italian projects with the German, the inacceptability 
of the latter appears evident. As is known, one of the 
fundamental points of the last German project concerns 
the consolidation of the actual debt of Germany, especially 
in kind, at the figure of twenty milliard gold marks, with 
an additional ten milliards, the payment of which depends 
upon the decision of an International Commission. De- 
ducting the interest, these twenty milliards are reduced to 
fifteen, and the sums necessary must be found by inter- 
national loans; and in the very probable eventuality that 
by 1927 the twenty milliards have not been subscribed, an 
annuity will be paid which represents five per cent, interest 
plus one per cent, for the redemption of the loan. Finally, 
in the German project any provision or regulation for the 
guarantees demanded is lacking. The total German debt, 
which in the English and the Italian projects is fixed at 
the figure of fifty milliards, in the German project is reduced 
to less than a third, and it is difficult, if not impossible, 
to determine in it the Italian quota and the sacrifice 
demanded from Italy. 

In view of the representations, especially of England and 
Italy, Germany has recognised her proposals as insufficient, 
and yesterday the German Ambassador, Neurath, pre- 

tited to me the new German Note, on the contents and 
ture of which I cannot pronounce an opinion for evident 
reasons, as in consequence of this Note diplomatic action 

«th all the Allies must be taken up. I will only say that 
e German Note no longer demands the preliminary 
evacuation of the Ruhr as a condition for negotiation. 



298 THE FASCISTA 

This might make us believe in a renunciation on the part 
of Germany of that passive resistance, the utility of which 
— even for German aims — appears ever more doubtful, and 
whose cessation would help towards a more rapid attainment 
of a solution. 

Italy and Hungary. But the problem of reparations is 
not only Franco-German, it is also Hungarian, Bulgarian 
and Austrian. 

It is useful to define the stage which has been reached 
with regard to these ex-enemy countries. The total of the 
Hungarian reparations, which is fixed by the Treaty of 
Trianon, has not yet been determined by the Reparations 
Commission, and Hungary up to to-day has only furnished 
limited supplies in kind. The Hungarian Government, 
alleging the disturbed economic and financial conditions 
of the country caused by the serious depression of the krone, 
has recently put forward the necessity to contract a foreign 
loan, which, if it is to succeed, should be guaranteed by the 
custom duties, by the tobacco monopoly, and, if needs be, 
by other resources. Hence arises the necessity for such 
resources to be freed for an adequate period from the claims 
of reparations. A Memorandum precisely to this effect 
has been recently presented by the Hungarian Minister in 
Paris to the Reparations Commission. 

The Italian Government, having examined the question 
from a technical point of view, has deemed it indispensable 
to concede to Hungary the temporary relinquishment of 
certain resources, so that she may proceed to her own 
economic restoration by means of loans to be contracted 
abroad. Italy has, therefore, shown herself favourable to 
the above Hungarian request, with the addition of certain 
conditions necessary to guarantee her own rights, on which 
point she is in agreement with the British Government. 



I RIME MINISTER 299 

Agreement with Bulgaria for Payment. With reference 
> Bulgarian reparations, Italy, Great Britain and 
ranee came to an agreement on 21st March with the 
Bulgarian Government to facilitate the payment of her 
debt of 2250 million gold francs fixed by the Treaty of 
Neuilly, by dividing it in two parts; one of 550 millions 
to be paid by instalments beginning in October of this 
year, and the other 1700 millions not to be claimed before 
thirty years. 

Bulgaria has pledged herself by this agreement to reserve 
>r the regulation of her debt the revenues of her customs 
id has already passed a law to this effect. The agreement 
also been approved by the Reparations Commission, 
ith the reservation of our rights for the reimbursement of 
le expenses of the army of occupation. In fact, negotia- 
ions are proceeding with the Bulgarian Government for 
te regulation of this credit, which enjoys the privilege of 
>riority over other reparations. 
Our Government, animated by favourable dispositions 
regards all that concerns the settlement of obligations 
irising from the war, has had no difficulty in accepting 
such an agreement. 

The Loan to Austria. Fulfilling the pledge taken by its 
redecessors in the Protocol of Geneva of 4th October 
922, the Italian Government has co-operated with the 
overnments which are signatories of the Protocol, in order 
at the loan in favour of Austria should have a large and 
dy success. For this purpose the Government has con- 
nted to postpone for twenty years, which is the duration 
f the War Loan, her credits against Austria for the re- 
very of damages and for bonds of food supply, has given 
er own guarantee for twenty-five per cent, of a maximum 
oan of 585 million gold kronen, and has authorised Italian 






300 THE FASCISTA 

banks to contribute directly to the loan up to the maximum 
of 200 million lire, including the sixty-eight which Italy 
had previously lent to Austria, and which, by the terms of 
the Protocol of Geneva, should have been repaid in cash. 

Putting off for a further period the exaction of Austrian 
reparation, and giving a guarantee and a direct and sub- 
stantial contribution to the loan in favour of Austria, the 
Italian Government has wished to offer her co-operation 
towards the political independence and territorial integrity 
of the Austrian Republic to which the Protocol of Geneva 
refers, and to which the United States of America also wish 
to contribute, confidently subscribing for the first time to 
a European loan. 

Relations between Italy and Yugoslavia. Italy's political 
line of conduct towards the States of the Little Entente 
and in general towards the States recently created is sub- 
stantially inspired by the necessity of exacting the respect 
and the scrupulous fulfilment of the treaties, because, given 
the present contingencies, only such a policy can produce 
quick and pleasing results with regard to an economic 
settlement of the Danubian States which would contribute 
to the larger one of Central Europe. On several occasions 
the friendly and moderate policy of Italy has followed such 
a course with satisfactory results. 

With reference to such a policy the relations between 
Italy and Yugoslavia have a special importance. The clear 
attitude taken by the Government with regard to Yugo- 
slavia by proceeding to the definite enforcement of the 
Treaty of Rapallo has strengthened our legal position, and 
we are able to rest any further development of our policy 
on a solid basis. The enforcement of the Agreements of 
Santa Margherita, which has been necessarily laborious 
owing to the large extent of the field covered, can be said, 



ERIME MINISTER 301 

wever, to proceed on the whole satisfactorily. In spite 
the initial difficulties encountered in any exceptional 
_jime, the economic system of the so-called "special zone 
of Zara" is already in force for the evacuation of the remain- 
ing Dalmatian territories, and the various organisations for 
the regulation of all the intricate questions arising out of 
the Agreements have been constituted. 

Fiume. But naturally the most important question to 
>lve is that of Fiume. As is known, it offers the gravest 
iifficulties, since, in order to ensure the future of the com- 
lercial life of the town, there must be solved many Com- 
dex problems of an economic nature which are often in 
>pposition to those of a political character. Undoubtedly 
te recent long Parliamentary crisis in Yugoslavia, which 
for a considerable time forced the Government of Belgrade 
to confine its attentions almost exclusively to internal 
>roblems, has heavily weighed against the rapidity of the 
)lution of such a question. 

That Government has repeatedly acquainted us with its 
ishes to solve the question in a satisfactory way as regards 
:he sentiments and the interests of Italy, and has also frankly 
iade known to us the real difficulties with which the 
rovernment is faced in asking the populations interested 
to accept a solution in agreement with the Italian point 
)f view. 

Italo-Yugoslav Commission. With a view to ensure an 
ttmosphere of greater quiet to the Italo-Yugoslav Com- 

ission, the Government of Belgrade has, in the meantime, 

Lgreed to transfer the seat of the Commission to Rome. 

"he Yugoslav Delegation has arrived, and between it and 

the Italian Delegation, which is fulfilling its duty with a 

high sense of patriotism and political probity, preliminary 

lee tings are taking place with the object of fixing certain 



/ 



302 THE FASCISTA 

fundamental points before resuming official discussions, so 
that the latter may proceed with the necessary speed with- 
out lapsing into a deplorable stagnation, which would be 
otherwise inevitable in such an arduous task. 

The Conference of Lausanne and the definite Cession of 
Castelrosso to Italy. The Conference of Lausanne, which 
after the well-known suspension of last February resumed 
its proceedings on 23rd April, is slowly completing them 
through the no small difficulties of various kinds caused 
by the delicacy and complexity of the questions under 
examination. The course followed by the Italian Delegation 
under any circumstance has always been inspired by the 
most calm and impartial attitude, and its efficacy has been 
recognised and generally appreciated at its just worth. 

Italy cannot help considering as her vital interests the 
speedy restoration of a normal state of trade in the East, 
as well as the economic development and general progress 
' 'of all the peoples living on the shore of the Eastern 
Mediterranean. 

Although all the questions under discussion have not 
/ yet been solved at Lausanne, on some of them, however, 
which more directly affect our country, an agreement, 
satisfactory on the whole, has been reached. The Govern- 
ment of Angora has explicitly withdrawn the objection 
regarding the cession of the island of Castelrosso to Italy, 
the possession of which on our part could in no way justify 
an eventual suspicion of Italian aggressive aims with regard 
to Turkey. Our flag, which has already been saluted from 
the moment it appeared in the island as a symbol of peaceful 
well-being, will in the future continue to protect a popula- 
tion which by plebiscite has entrusted itself to us. 

The Juridical Protection of Foreigners in Turkey. The 
Italian Government has also obtained the cancellation of 



PRIME MINISTER 303 

those clauses, with regard to our colonies in North Africa, 
which the agreements concluded after the Libyan War had 
left in existence, and at the same time the interests of 
Libyan subjects residing in Turkey, whose rights have 
been equal to those of Italian citizens, were opportunely 
protected. 

From the opening of the Conference the question of the 
juridical protection of foreigners has been of the greatest 
importance. The Conference has agreed in fixing the 
limits of such protection, including it in a formula which 
establishes for a period of five years the appointment on 
the part of the Turkish Government of foreign judges, 
who are authorised to receive complaints of the sentences 
and of the proceedings of Turkish magistrates. 

At Lausanne there still remain under discussion certain 
important questions of general interest, such as those 
relative to the management of the Ottoman Public Debt 

id others of an economic nature, which I hope may be 
[uickly solved. 

Relations between Italy and Russia. The present relations 
ith Russia are regulated by the Italo-Russian and Italo- 
fkraine Agreements of 26th December 192 1. A few days 
ago the projects for the conversion into law of the Royal 
lecree of 31st January 1922 were presented to Parliament, 
by whom the said agreements had been approved, though 
some opposition had been offered to their practical applica- 
ion. This opposition gave the Russians a pretext for violating 
the agreement. We mean to remove these obstacles in 
order to render easier the economic relations between the 
two countries and pave the way for an understanding 
resting on a wider basis without excessive illusions, but 
also without dangerous prejudices. 

Relations between the two countries, which possess 



304 THE FASCISTA 

different economic systems, present enormous difficulties. 
They are, however, not unsurmountable if on both sides 
there is a good will to overcome them. Italian policy towards 
Russia is clear and cannot give rise to misunderstanding. 

The presentation before Parliament of these decrees 
represents another proof of our intentions and gives us 
the right to expect from the Government of Moscow the 
scrupulous fulfilment of the pacts, the execution of the 
pledge taken to abstain from any act hostile to our Govern- 
ment, and from whatsoever direct or indirect propaganda 
against the institutions of the kingdom. 

Relations between Italy and the United States. I do not 
think it is necessary, considering the brevity of this speech, 
to enter into further detail. I will only say that the relations 
between the United States and Italy are particularly cor- 
dial, and I am glad to add that both the Government and 
the American people have fully understood the new political 
situation in Italy. 

Relations with Poland and other Countries. The initiative 
of Italy for the definite determination of the Polish frontiers 
has cemented even more closely the bonds of cordial friend- 
ship which have united the two countries for centuries. 
Their collaboration continues to be strengthened on econo- 
mic as well as on political grounds. In these last days 
the Polish Government has placed important orders with 
Italian manufacturers. 

The conversations and the personal relations I have had 
with the Ministers of Austria, of Roumania, of Hungary, 
the recent journey of H.M. the King of England, the 
commercial treaties concluded and to be concluded, are 
other signs of that progressive revaluation of our diplomatic 
position which I referred to at the beginning of this speech. I 



PRIME MINISTER 305 

Improvement of the Diplomatic and Consular Services. The 
Fascista Government, always with the object of this revalua- 
tion, as soon as it came into power instructed its repre- 
sentatives abroad to direct their policy outside the confines 
of the country to the renewed life of Italy, and to face 
immediately the problem of the means and the men for 
that end. In fact, the administration of Foreign Affairs, 
in the face of so many difficulties from outside, already 
possessed a great difficulty in her own constitution, due to 
the scanty number of its elements. The tools of our work, 
which is so delicate abroad, had to be renewed, and rendered 
suitable, as regards the increase in number of officials and 
the new conditions of Italy, for the momentous task which 
they are required to perform. 

Instructions have, therefore, been given with effect from 
the first days of November for the reorganisation of the 
competition for the Diplomatic and Consular Services, and 
for Interpreters. 
In conclusion I wish to repeat that Italian foreign 
)licy, while it intends to safeguard national interests, 
its at the same time to constitute a factor of equilibrium 
id peace in Europe, and by such a policy I think I interpret 
le tendencies and the needs of the Italian people. (Applause.) 



306 THE FASCISTA 






"THE INTERNAL POLICY" 

Speech delivered at the Senate on 8th June 1923, after the one oh 
Foreign Policy {see p. 293). 

Honourable Senators, — The problems of public order are jj 
problems of the authority of the State. There is no real 
authority in the State if public order is not perfectly normal. 
Public order and authority of the State are, therefore, two 
aspects of the same problem. I ask you if conditions 
have improved or become worse since last October. ("Im- 
proved!") Some of you give an affirmative answer. I, 
too, say they have improved. Although, naturally, I am 
far from being pessimistic and, therefore, from being dis- 
contented, I feel that nothing ever goes well enough. 
But, Gentlemen, when one speaks of public order, one 
must make comparisons. Even if they are disagreeable, 
they are necessary. Unrest, uneasiness and sedition are 
phenomena to be found not only in Italy. If we glance 
beyond our frontiers we have reason to repeat that, if 
Messene weeps, Sparta does not laugh! Look at the van- 
quished peoples and note what happens in Austria and in 
Germany. Look at the victorious peoples and you will 
see that only yesterday there was a strike of public officials 
in Belgium, which has cost the Treasury hundreds of 
millions of francs. If, then, you glance at the neutral coun- 
tries, at Spain, you will find there, too, that life is not 
excessively bright and easy. All this I say for those who, 
at every small revolver shot fired in one of the twenty 
thousand villages of Italy, think they have been wounded 
by a 17-inch shell! 



PRIME MINISTER 



307 



A Significant Comparison. But, above all, it is worth while 
to look at Italy and consider, on one side, her conditions 
in the years 1918-20 and in the period following 1920-21. 
The dominating events of the former two years are the 
occupation of the factories, the permanent strike of the 
officials belonging to public organisations, carried out in 
rotation, and by a displacement of all the powers of 
State authority (Assent.); and, although the incident is 
extremely painful, one must recall to mind that in the rank 
and file of that same glorious army of ours occurred an 
episode at Ancona which proves how deeply sedition had 
worked its way into the body of the Italian State. 

The dominating event of the following two years is the 
punitive Fascista expedition. Fascisti, from sheer necessity, 
went out to the assault of the towns in large armed bodies. 
To-day all this is over. To-day the officials of public organi- 
sations do not and will not strike. (Assent.) When the 
Fascista employees of the Post and Telegraph Offices came 
to me to protest because my colleague, the Hon. Colonna 
di Cesaro, had punished them, I told them that if I had 
been Minister of Post and Telegraphs I should have punished 
them twice, and I added that, just because they were 

■ascisti, they would have to recognise the necessity for a 

strict discipline. (Assent.) 

The State renewed. The conditions of public order 
reached their zenith of disintegration during the latter part 
)f the year. In August there was the anti-Fascista strike, 
r hich completely paralysed the State. This had no effect; 
the Fascista forces, in its stead, obtained success. And, 
'om that time, I said that the two must be made one, and 
Lat since that State was destitute of all the attributes of 
irility, while there was a State in power which was rising 
rith great strength and capable of imposing discipline on 



308 THE FASCISTA 

the nation, it was indispensable for the rising State to 
substitute itself, by a revolutionary movement, for the 
other State which was declining. The August anti-Fascista 
strike was followed by the Fascista occupation of the towns 
of Bologna and Bolzano. The authority of the State was a 
complete ruin. There are no more reports of labour conflicts 
in the papers now. 

The Chamber and the Conflicts. I am sufficiently impartial 
to say that in these last days there has been a slight 
recrudescence of trouble. What is its cause? I tell you 
quite frankly: the re-opening of the Chamber. (Laughter.) 
The Chamber is the place of questions. By the spectacle 
it offers to the nation' it sows seeds of conflict and discord 
amongst the impulsive and excitable masses. 

Further, the attitude of a section of Italian Liberalism 
is a very welcome piece of good fortune for the subversive 
elements, because they constitute for them unhoped-for, 
unexpected allies, who blow enormous bubbles, which I 
promise myself to prick with the pin of logic and sincerity 
before closing my speech. (Assent.) Then perhaps there 
is this, that certain gentlemen, when they found out 
that they had not to fear the law of Fascismo or that of 
the Government, which is slower because it is bound to 
move in accordance with legal procedure, resumed their 
bold attitude. 

Elimination of the Subversive Elements. The measures 
adopted to restore public order are : First of all the elimina- 
tion of the so-called subversive elements. There was much 
clamour after the hauling in of the nets, but in reality it 
was only a very small affair. Of two thousand who were 
arrested, those who are still in gaol do not reach the figure 
of one hundred and fifty. They are in the hands of the 
judges. They were elements of disorder and subversion. 



PRIME MINISTER 309 

On the morrow of each conflict I gave the categorical order 
to confiscate the largest possible number of weapons of 
every sort and kind. This confiscation, which continues with 
the utmost energy, has given satisfactory results. (Assent.) 
I had to repress every illegal act. 

The High Grades of the National Militia. There was 
another problem with regard to the National Militia: 
namely the necessity of filling the superior posts, to 
which had to be appointed men coming from the army 
with a large personal military experience; this necessity 
had to be harmonised with the gratitude due to the small 
heads of Fascista "squadrismo," the body which, by leaving 
thousands of glorious dead, had crushed the subversive 
demagogic elements. 

We have solved this problem. All the ranks of superior 

officers above those of "Seniore" have been assigned to the 

officers coming from the regular army ; all the inferior grades 

and those of sub-officers have been given to military men, to 

squadristi" who had previously seen military life. 

Moreover, statistics are always worth more than speeches. 
Ninety-seven per cent, of the officers of the Militia having 
a rank superior to that of "Seniore" come from the officers 
of the regular army. Out of about two hundred and thirty 
officers superior to the rank of "Seniore/' six are decorated 
with the Military Order of Savoy, two with Gold Medals, 
one hundred and thirty with Silver Medals, eighty with 
Bronze Medals. 

As this is a day of explanations, even at the risk of abusing 

your patience, I must read the list of rewards bestowed 

>n the Chiefs of the National Militia. General Cesare De 

lono, Field Marshal of the regular army: three Silver 

Medals, special promotion for war services, "Croce di 

Guerra." General Gandolfo, Field Marshal of the regular 



310 THE FASCISTA 

army: two Silver Medals, special promotion for war 
services. Hon. Cesare Maria De Vecchi: four Silver Medals, 
two Bronze Medals, two "Croci di Guerra." Italo Balbo: 
one Silver Medal, one " Croce di Guerra." Gustavo Far a, the 
general well known through all Italy: one Gold Medal, 
two Silver Medals, special promotions for war services. 
Stringa, Major-General of the regular army: three Silver 
Medals, one Bronze Medal, disabled in the war. Ozol 
Clemente, Major-Genera! in the regular army: two Silver 
Medals, "Croce di Guerra." Ceccherini, Major-General in 
the regular army: three Silver Medals, two Bronze Medals. 
Zambon, Major-General of the regular army: Silver Medal 
and Bronze Medal. Guglielmotti, Major-General of the 
regular army: two Silver Medals. 

After these follow: 

Giuriati, with two Silver Medals; Acerbo, with three 
Silver Medals (voices: "Bravo! " ); Caradonna, with three 
Silver Medals; Finzi, with a Silver Medal and two 
"Croci di Guerra." 

Not to embarrass the modesty of my friends, I shall not 
continue to read the list of these officers of the National 
Militia, — (Laughter.) — but this is enough to prove to you 
that this is a serious institution. And I add that every 
day it becomes more so, because I mean that it shall be so, 
because all its chiefs mean it. 

It might be asked of us : " Why does the Militia remain ? " 
I shall tell it to you at once: for a very simple reason, to 
defend Fascismo at home and also abroad. The word 
"abroad" might alarm you. Well, I tell you that abroad 
there is a difficult atmosphere for Italian Fascismo. Difficult 
for the parties of the Right, which, being formed of national 
elements, cannot feel enthusiasm for a movement that 
exalts our national qualities; difficult for the parties of 
the Left, because those elements are our adversaries from 






PRIME MINISTER 311 

the social point of view, knowing that the Fascista move- 
ment is clearly anti-Socialist. It is well, therefore, that it 
should be known that there is in Italy a mighty army of 
volunteers to defend that special form of political organi- 
sation called Fascismo. 

The Militia, moreover, has the object of enabling the 
army to do its own work. The army must fight, must get 
ready for war. It must not do police work, especially of a 
political nature, except under absolutely exceptional cir- 
cumstances, of which now I do not wish to think, even 

typothetically. As an example I can tell you that last night, 
upon my personal instructions, a whole section of Leghorn 

'as blockaded. Well, one hundred carabineers and three 
hundred black shirts sufficed, whilst the army, the official 
troops, were sleeping peacefully in their barracks, as was 
their duty and their right. Moreover, believe me, so long 
as in Italy they know that, besides some tens of thousands 
of faithful carabineers, there is this enormous force, 
attempts at revolt or at sedition will never be dared. 

Modifications to the Statute Law. Finally, and this is a 

lanceuvre of the last few days, have burst forth in Italy 

the bold defenders of the Statute, of Liberty and of Parlia 

ment. (Laughter.) It seems, listening to these- gentlemen, 

rho had for a long time forgotten the existence of the 

Statute, even as a simple historical document, — (Laughter.) 

-that the Statute runs a serious risk and that one cannot 

iven discuss nor examine it. 

Well, I think that none of you can consider Camillo 
favour as a Bolshevist and a Fascista of 1848. Everybody 
knows that the Constitutional movement of Piedmont was 
the work of Cavour. Everybody knows how the political 
Constitution was granted. At Genoa a tumult arose 
against the Jesuits, believed supporters of Absolutism. A 



// 



312 THE FASCISTA 

Commission of Genoese went to Turin and asked for the 
expulsion of the Jesuits and the calling out of the Civic 
Guard. But Cavour answered: "This is too little, the times 
are ripe for something more!" Cavour wrote in his paper, 
II Risorgimento : "The Constitution must be demanded." 
And this was promulgated on the 4th of March. In its 
preamble it says: "The Statute is the fundamental, per- 
petual law of the Monarchy." Four days afterwards the 
first Constitutional Ministry of Coalition was formed with 
the Moderate Balbo and the Democratic Pareto. 

The phrase "The Statute is the fundamental, perpetual 
and irrevocable law of the Monarchy" had wounded the 
ears of the Democrats. Cavour hastened to interpret it 
in a relative sense. It is worth while to listen attentively 
to this paragraph of Cavour. "How is it possible," he said, 
"how can it be expected that the legislator would have 
wished to pledge himself and the nation not to make the 
slightest direct change, to bring the smallest improvement 
to a political law? But this would mean the removal from 
the community of the power of revising the Constitution; 
it would mean the deprival of the indispensable power of 
modifying its political form according to new social exigen- 
cies; this would be such an absurd idea that no one of those 
who co-operated in the making of this fundamental law 
could conceive it. A nation cannot renounce the power of 
changing by legal means its common law." 

After a short time history had to register a first violation 
of the Statute, which assumed or presumed that, in order 
to become a member of Parliament, it was necessary to 
be an Italian citizen. On the 16th of October there was a 
division between the Right, amongst which there were the 
Moderates and the Municipals, and the Left, to which 
belonged the Democrats, called the "burnt heads," and the 
Republicans. On the following day these two parties were 



PRIME MINISTER 313 

agreed in unanimously proclaiming above the Statute that 
all Italians could belong to the Subalpine Parliament. The 
first to benefit by this violation of the Statute was Alessandro 
Manzoni; but he declined the mandate by a letter which 
represents a fine example of correctness and political 
probity. (Approval.) 

Nobody, Gentlemen, wishes to overthrow or destroy the 
Statute, which rests solidly on firm foundations; but the 
inhabitants of this building from 1848 up to to-day have 
changed. There are other exigencies, other needs. There 
is no longer the Piedmontese Italy of 1848! And it is very 
strange to notice among the defenders of the Statute those 
who have violated it in its fundamental laws, those who 
have curtailed the prerogatives of the Crown, those who 
wanted the Crown to be entirely outside the politics of the 
nation, and to become a dead institution. (Loud applause.) 

The Abolition of Parliament ? They say that this Govern- 
ment does not like the Chamber of Deputies. (Comments.) 
They say that we want to abolish Parliament and deprive 
it of all its essential attributes. It is timely to say that 
the collapse of Parliament is not desired by me, nor by those 
who follow my ideas. Parliamentarism has been severely 
affected by two phenomena typical of our days : on one side 
Syndicalism, on the other Journalism. Syndicalism gathers 
by its various organisations all those who have special 
interests to protect, who wish to withdraw them from the 
manifest incompetence of the political Assembly. Journ- 
alism represents the daily Parliament, the daily platform 
where men coming from the Universities, from Science, 
Industry, from the experience of life itself, dissect prob- 
lems with a competence that is very seldom found on the 
Parliamentary benches. 

These two phenomena typical of the last period of 



314 THE FASCISTA 

capitalist civilisation are those which have reduced the enor- 
mous importance which was attributed to Parliament. To 
sum up, Parliament can no longer contain all the life of the 
nations, because modern life is exceptionally complicated 
and difficult. 

But this does not mean that we wish to abolish Parliament. 
We wish rather to improve it, to make it more perfect, make 
it a serious, if possible a solemn institution. In fact, if I 
had wished to abolish Parliament, I would not have intro- 
duced an Electoral Reform Bill. This Bill logically pre- 
supposes the elections, and through these elections there 
will be deputies — (Laughter.) — who will form Parliament. 
In 1924, therefore, there will be a Parliament. 

But must the Government be towed along by Parliament ? 
Must it be at the mercy of Parliament? Must it be 
// without a will, or a head before Parliament? I cannot 
J! admit that. 

The Great Fascista Council. They say that Fascismo has 
created duplicate institutions. These duplicates do not 
exist. The Great Fascista Council is not a duplicate of the 
Council of Ministers or above it. It met four times and never 
dealt with problems which concerned the Council of Ministers. 
With what, then, did the Great Fascista Council deal? 
In the February meeting it devoted itself to the National 
Militia and Freemasonry; it paid a tribute to the Dalmatians 
and to the people of Fiume, and dealt with Fascismo abroad. 
In the March meeting it arranged the ceremony for the 
anniversary of the foundation of Rome and dealt with 
Syndicalism. In its fourth meeting it devoted itself to the 
Congress of Turin and again to Syndicalism. 

All the great problems dealing with State administration, 
with the re-organisation of armed forces, with the reform 
of our judiciary circuits, with the reform of the schools, 



PRIME MINISTER 315 

all the measures of a financial nature have been adopted 
directly by the responsible body, the Council of Ministers. 
And then what is the Great Fascista Council? It is the 
organ of co-ordination between the responsible forces of 
the Government and those of Fascismo. Among all the 
organisations created after the October revolution, the 
Great Fascista Council is the most characteristic, the most 
useful, the most efficient. I have abolished the High Com- 
missioners, because they duplicated the Prefects and also 
embarrassed the authority of the latter, who alone have 
the right to wield authority. But I could never think of 
abolishing the Great Fascista Council, not even if to- 
morrow by chance the Council of Ministers were composed 
entirely of Fascisti. 

Our Magnanimity must not be taken adwantage off This 
Government, which is depicted as hostile to liberty, has been 
>erhaps too generous. The October revolution has not been 
>loodless for us; we have left dozens and dozens of dead, 
.nd who would have prevented us from doing in those days 
that which all revolutions have done, from freeing ourselves 
once for all from those who, taking advantage of our mag- 
nanimity, now render our task difficult ? Only the Socialists 
of the newspaper La Giustizia, of Milan, have had the courage 
to recognise that if they still exist they owe it to us, who 
did not wish that, in the first moments of "The March on 
'ome," the "black shirts" should be stained with Italian 
>lood. But our generosity must not be taken advantage of! 

Nobody must hope for a Crisis in Fascismo. The Membership 
of Fascismo. But nobody must hope for a crisis in Fascismo, 
which is and will remain simply a formidable party. If you 
happen to notice that in one of its innumerable sections in 
Italy there is dissension, do not thus draw the conclusion 
that Fascismo is in a state of crisis. When a party holds 



316 THE FASCISTA 

the Government in its hands it holds it, if it wishes to hold 
it, because it possesses formidable forces to use to con- 
solidate its power with increasing strength. Fascismo is a 
Syndicalist movement which includes one million and a half 
of workmen and contadini, who, I must say in their praise, 
are those who give me no trouble. There is, moreover, a 
political body which has 550,000 members, and I have asked 
to be relieved of at least 150,000 of these gentlemen. 
(Laughter.) There is, still, a military section of 300,000 
"black shirts," who are only waiting to be called. These 
bodies are all united by a kind of moral cement, which 
might be called mystic and holy, and through which, by 
touching certain keys, we would hear to-morrow the sounds 
of certain trumpets ! 

The Associations which are included in Fascismo. They 
ask us: "Will you then camp out in Italy as an army of 
enemies which oppress the remainder of the population?" 
Here we have the philosophy of force by consent. In the 
meanwhile I have the pleasure to announce that imposing 
masses of men who deserve all the respect of the nation 
have joined Fascismo, such as the Association of the 
Maimed and the Disabled, the National Association of Ex- 
soldiers. In the wake of Fascismo, moreover, are also in- 
cluded the families of the fallen in war. There are a great 
many members coming from the people in these three 
Associations, whilst there is a great solidarity amongst 
these disabled ex-soldiers and families of the fallen in war. 
They represent millions of people, and, in the face of this 
collaboration, must I go and simply seek all the fragments, 
all the relics of the old traditional parties? Must I sell my 
spiritual birthright for a mess of pottage which might be 
offered to me by those who have followed no one in the 
country? (Loud assent.) No! I shall never do this. 



PRIME MINISTER 317 

The Collaboration I welcome. If there is anybody who 
wishes to collaborate with me, I welcome him to my house. 
But if this collaborator has the air of a controlling inquisitor, 
or of the expectant heir, or of the man who lies in ambush, 
with the object of being able at a given moment to record 
my mistakes, then I declare that I do not want to have 
anything to do with this collaboration. (Bravo! ) 

Besides, there is a moral force in all this. What was the 
cause after all which affected Italian life in past years? 
Italy was passing through a transformation. There were 
never definite limits. Nobody had the courage to be what 
he should have been. 

There was the bourgeois who had Socialistic airs, there 
was the Socialist who had become a bourgeois up to his 
finger tips. The whole atmosphere was made up of half 
tones of uncertainty. Well, Fascismo seizes individuals by 
their necks and tells them: "You must be what you are. 
If you are a bourgeois you must remain such. You must 
>e proud of your class, because it has given a type to the 
ictivity of the world in the nineteenth century. (Approval.) 
if you are a Socialist you must remain such, although 
facing the inevitable risk you run in that profession." 
(Laughter.) 

Taxation and the Discipline of the Italian Population. 
The sight which to-day the nation offers is satisfactory, 
because the Government exercises a stern and, if you like 
to say so, a cruel policy. It is compelled to dismiss by 
thousands its officials, judges, officers, railwaymen, dock- 
workers; and each dismissal represents a cause of trouble, 
of distress, of unrest to thousands of families. The Govern- 
ment has been compelled to levy taxes which unavoidably 
tit large sections of the population. The Italian people 
•e disciplined, silent and calm, they work and know that 



318 THE FASCISTA 

there is a Government which governs, and know, above all, 
\ that if this Government hits cruelly certain sections of the 
I Italian people, it does not do so out of caprice, but from 
' the supreme necessity of national order. 

The Government is One. Above this mass of people there 
are the restless groups of practising politicians. We must 
speak plainly. In Italy there were several Governments 
which, before the present one, always trembled before the 
journalist, the banker, the grand master of Freemasonry, 
before the head of the Popular Party, who remains more 
or less in the background, — (Applause.) — and it was enough 
for one of these ministers in partibus to knock at the door 
of the Government, for the Government to be struck by 
sudden paralysis, j Well, all this is over! Many men gave 
themselves airs with the old Governments; those I have 
not received, but have reduced them to tears. (Assent.) 
For the Government is one. It knows no other Govern- 
ment outside its own and watches attentively, because one 
must not sleep when one governs, one must not neglect 
facts, one must keep before one's eyes all the panorama, 
notice all the composition and decomposition, the changes 
of parties and of men. Sometimes it is necessary, as a 
tactical measure, to be circumspect; but political strategy, 
at least mine, is intransigent and absolute. 

My only Ambition is to make the Italian People Strong, 
Prosperous, Great' and Free. I should have finished; in fact 
I have finished, but I must still add something that concerns 
me a little personally. I do not deny to citizens what one 
might call the "Jus murmurandi'' — the right of grumbling. 
(Laughter.) But one must not exaggerate, nor raise 
bogies, nor have one's ears always open to dangers 
which do not exist. And, believe me, I do not get drunk 
with greatness. I would like, if it were possible, to get 



PRIME MINISTER 



319 



drunk with humility. (Approval.) I am content simply 
to be a Minister, nor have I ambitions which surpass the 
clearly defined sphere of my duties and of my responsi- 
bilities. And yet I, too, have an ambition. The more I 
know the Italian people, the more I bow before it. (Assent.) 
The more I come into deeper touch with the masses of the 
Italian people, the more I feel that they are really worthy 
of the respect of all the representatives of the nation* 
(Assent.) My ambition, Honourable Senators, is only one. 
r or this it does not matter if I work fourteen or sixteen 
mrs a day. And it would not matter if I lost my life, and 
should not consider it a greater sacrifice than is due. My 
ibition is this: I wish to make the Italian people strong, 
>rosperous, great and free ! (The end of the speech is hailed 
>y a frantic and delirious ovation. All the Senators rise, and 
ie Tribune applauds loudly, whilst the great majority of 
ie Senators go to congratulate the Hon. Mussolini.) 
(The sitting is adjourned.) 



320 THE FASCISTA 



"AS SARDINIA HAS BEEN GREAT IN WAR, SO 
LIKEWISE WILL SHE BE GREAT IN PEACE" 

Speech delivered from the Palazzo della Prefettura at Sassari (Sardinia) 
on ioth June 1923. 

Citizens of Sassari ! Proud people of Sardinia ! The journey 
which I have made to-day is not, and should not be inter- 
preted as, a Ministerial tour. I intended to make a pilgrimage 
of devotion and love to your magnificent land. 

I have been told that, since 1870 to to-day, this is the 
first time that the head of the Government addresses the 
people of Sassari assembled in this vast square. I deplore 
the fact that up to this day no Prime Minister, no Minister, 
has felt the elementary duty of coming here to get to know 
you, your needs, to come and express to you how much 
Italy owes you! (Applause.) 

For months, for years, during the long years of our bloody 
sacrifice and of our sacred glory, the name of Sassari, con- 
secrated to history by the bulletins of war, has echoed in 
the soul of all Italy. Those who followed the magnificent 
effort of our race, those who steeped themselves in the filth 
of the trenches, young men of my generation — proud and 
disdainful of death — all those who bear in their heart the 
faith of their country, all those, O men of the Sassari 
Brigade, O citizens of Sassari, pay you tribute of a sign, 
of a testimony of infinite love. (Applause.) 

What does it matter if some lazy bureaucrat has not yet 
taken into account your needs ? Sassari has already passed 
gloriously into history. I was grieved to-day when I was 
told that this town has no water. It is very sad that a city 






PRIME MINISTER 321 

of heroes has to endure thirst. Well! I promise you that 
you will have water; you have the right to have it. 
(Applause.) If the National Government grants to you, as 
it will grant, the three or four millions necessary for this 
purpose, it will only have accomplished its duty, because 
while elsewhere young men with broad shoulders worked 
at the lathe, the people of Sardinia fought and died in 
the trenches. 

We intend to raise up again the towns and all the land, 

scause he who has contributed to the war is more entitled 

receive in peace. 

A few days ago, on the anniversary of the war, I went 
>y aeroplane to the cemeteries of the Carso. There are 

lany of your brothers who sleep in those cemeteries the 
leep which knows no awakening. I have known them, I 

tve lived with them, I have suffered with them. They 
r ere magnificent, long-suffering, they did not complain, 

iey endured, and when the tragic hour came for them to 

ivance from the trenches they were the first and never 

>ked why. (Loud applause.) 

The National Government which I have the honour to 
lirect is a Government which counts upon you, and you 
can count upon it. It is a Government sprung forth from 
a double victory of the people. It cannot, therefore, be 
against the working classes. It comes to you so that you 
may tell it frankly and loyally what are your needs. You 
have been forgotten and neglected for too long! In Rome 
they hardly knew of the existence of Sardinia! But since 
the war has revealed you to Italy, all Italians must 
remember Sardinia, not only in words, but in deeds. 
(Loud applause.) 

I am delighted, I am deeply moved by the reception 
which you have given me. I have looked you well in the 
face, I have recognised that you are superb shoots of this 



322 THE FASCISTA 

Italian race which was great when other people were not 
born, of this Italian race which three times gave our civilisa- 
tion to the barbarian world, of this Italian race which we 
wish to mould by all the struggles necessary for discipline, 
for work, for faith. (Applause.) 

/ am sure that, as Sardinia has been great in war, so likewise 
will she be great in peace. I salute you, O magnificent sons 
of this rugged, ferruginous, and so far forgotten island. I 
embrace all of you in spirit. It is not the head of the 
Government who speaks to you, it is the brother, the fellow- 
soldier of the trenches. Shout then with me : Long live the 
King! Long live Italy! Long live Sardinia! 

(An enthusiastic ovation greeted the last words of 
Mussolini.) 



I'RIME MINISTER 323 

"MEN PASS AWAY, MAYBE GOVERNMENTS TOO, 
BUT ITALY LIVES AND WILL NEVER DIE" 

Speech delivered at Cagliari (Sardinia) on 12th June 1923, from the 
Palazzo della Prefettura. 

Citizens! Black shirts! Chivalrous people of Cagliari! Of 

late I have visited several towns, including those which 

ilong to the place where I was born. Well! I wish to tell 

rou, and this is the truth, that no town accorded me the 

welcome you gave me to-day. I knew that the town of 

'agliari was peopled by men of strong passions, I knew that 

ardent spirit of regeneration throbbed in your hearts. 

Tie cheers with which you welcomed me, the crowd crammed 

ito the Roman amphitheatre, all this tells me that here 

r ascismo has deep roots. I thank you, therefore, Citizens, 

:om the depth of my heart. 

I have come to Sardinia not only to know your land, as 

forty-eight hours would not be enough for that purpose, 

id still less would they be enough to examine closely 

rour needs. I know them; statesmen have known them 

for the last fifty years. Those needs are already before 

te nation, and if up to to-day they have not yet been 

>lved, this is due to the fact that Rome was lacking that 

•on will for regeneration which is the pivot, the essence 

>f the Fascista Government's faith in the future of our 

>untry. (Applause.) 

Passing through your land, I have found here a living, 

irobbing limb of the mother country. Truly this island 

>f yours is the western bulwark of the nation; is like 

heart of Rome set in the midst of our sea. Amongst 

11 the impressions I have received in coming here, one 



324 THE FASCISTA 

has struck my heart. I was told that Sardinia, for special 
local reasons, was refractory to Fascismo. Here, too, 
there was another misunderstanding. But from to-day 
the cohorts and the legions, the thousands of strong "black 
shirts," the syndicates, the fasci, the whole youth of this 
island is there to show that Fascismo, representing an 
irresistible movement for the regeneration of the race, was 
bound to carry with it this island where the Italian race is 
manifested so superbly. (Applause.) 

I salute you, Black shirts ! We saw each other in Rome 
and the groups coming from Sardinia were cheered in 
the capital. You bear in your hearts the faith which at 
a given moment drove thousands and thousands of Fas- 
cisti from all the cities, from all the villages of Italy, 
to Rome. (Applause.) 

Nobody can ever dream of wrenching from us the fruit of 
victory that we have paid for by so much blood generously 
shed by youths who offered their lives in order to crush 
Italian Bolshevism. Thousands and thousands of those 
who suffered martyrdom in the trenches, who have resumed 
the struggle after the war was over, who have won — all 
those have ploughed a furrow between the Italy of yester- 
day, of to-day and of to-morrow. 

Citizens of Cagliari! You must certainly play a part in 
this great drama. You, undoubtedly, wish to live the life 
of our great national community, of this our beloved 
Italy, of this adorable mother who is our dream, our hope, 
our faith, our conviction, because men pass away, maybe 
Governments, too, but Italy lives and will never die! 
(Loud applause.) 

To-day I have visited the marvellous works of the arti- 
ficial Lake Tirso. They are not only a glory to Sardinia, 
they represent a masterpiece of which the whole nation 
may be proud. 



PRIME MINISTER 



325 



I feel, almost by intuition, that Sardinia also, too long 
forgotten, perhaps too patient, Sardinia to-day marches 
hand in hand with the rest of Italy. Let us then salute 
each other, O Citizens! 

After this speech of mine, which was meant to be an act 
of devotion, a bond of union between us, let us salute each 
other by shouting: Long live the King! (Cheers.) Long 
live Italy! (Cheers.) Long live Fascismo! (Loud cheers.) 



326 THE FASCISTA 



"FASCISMO WILL BRING A COMPLETE 
REGENERATION TO YOUR LAND" 

Speech delivered at Iglesias (Sardinia), at the Palazzo Municipale, on 
13th June 1923. 

Citizens of Iglesias ! Black shirts ! Fascisti ! Your welcome, 
so cordial and so enthusiastic, surpasses any expectation. 
Iglesias has really been the cradle of Sardinian Fascismo. 
From here sprang the first groups of black shirts; it was, 
therefore, my definite duty to come and get into touch 
with you. 

You deserve that the Government should remember you, 
as in this island there is a large reserve of faith and ardent 
patriotism: I go back to Rome with my heart overcome 
with emotion. 

Since Italy has been united this is the first time that the 
head of the Government is in direct touch with the people 
of Sardinia. 

One thing only I regret, and that is that the shortness of 
my visit has not given me an opportunity of seeing more of 
your beautiful land. But I formally pledge myself to come 
again and visit your towns and your villages. As the head 
of the Government I am glad to have found myself 
amongst industrious, quiet and truly patient people, who 
have been too long forgotten, indeed almost considered as 
a far-away colony. 

It is well it should be known that Sardinia is one of the 
first regions of Italy, and it should be known, too, that she 
gave the largest contribution of lives to our glorious victory. 

As the head of the Government I am glad to find myself 






PRIME MINISTER 



327 



among the heroic black shirts and to have seen the splen- 
did flourishing conditions of Fascismo, which will bring a 
complete regeneration to your land. 

Here (said the Hon. Mussolini, putting his hand on the 
standard of Iglesias, which was hoisted near him) — here is 
the standard, the symbol of pure faith. I kiss it with 
fervour, and with the same fervour I embrace you, O 
magnificent people of Sardinia. (Loud applause.) 



328 THE FASCISTA 



"AS WE HAVE REGAINED THE MASTERY OF 
THE AIR, WE DO NOT WANT THE SEA TO 
IMPRISON US" 

Speech delivered at Florence from the balcony of the Palazzo Vecchio, 
on 19th June 1923. 

Black shirts of Florence and Tuscany ! Fascisti ! People ! 
Where shall I find the necessary words to express the 
fullness of my feelings at this moment ? My words cannot 
but be inadequate for the purpose. Your solemn, enthu- 
siastic welcome stirs me to the depths of my heart. But it 
is certain that it is not only to me that you pay this extra- 
ordinary honour, but also, I think, to the idea of which I 
have been the inflexible protagonist. 

Florence reminds me of the days when we were few. 
(Deafening applause.) Here we held the first glorious 
meeting of the Italian "Fasci di Combattimento." You 
remember, we had often to interrupt our meeting to go 
out and drive away the base rabble. ("Bravo!" Frantic 
applause.) We were few then! Well, in spite of this huge 
crowd here assembled, I say that we are still few, not with 
regard to the enemies who have been put to flight for ever, 
but with regard to the enormous tasks that lie before our 
Italy. (Applause.) I said that our enemies have been put 
to flight, as we shall no more do the honour of considering 
as enemies certain corpses of the Italian political world- — 
("Bravo!") — who delude themselves that they still exist 
simply because they abuse our generosity. Tell me, then, 
Black shirts of Tuscany and of Florence, were it necessary 
to begin again, should we begin again ? (Deafening applause 
and cries of "Yes! Yes!") This loud cry of yours, more 
than a promise, is an oath which seals for ever the Italy of 
the past, the Italy of the swindlers, of the deceivers, of the 



RIME MINISTER 329 



pusillanimous, and opens the way to "our" Italy, the 
Italy whom we bear proudly in our hearts, who belongs to 
us who represent the new generation who adore strength, 
who is inspired by beauty, who is ready for anything when 
it is necessary to sacrifice herself to struggle and to die for 
the ideal. 

I tell you that Italy is going ahead. Two years ago, when 
the bestiality of the red demagogy raged, only twenty 
aeroplanes entered for the Baracca Cup. Last year they 
were thirty-five; this year, up to now, ninety. And as we 
have regained the mastery of the air, so we do not want 
the sea to imprison us. It must be, instead, the way for 
our necessary expansion in the world. (Great applause.) 

These, O Fascisti, Citizens, are the stupendous tasks 
which lie before us. And we shall not fail in our aim if 
each of you will engrave in his own heart the words by 
which is summed up the commandment of this ineffable 
hour of our history as a people: "Work," which little by 
little must redeem us from foreign dependence ; " Harmony/' 
which must make of the Italians one family; "Discipline," 
by which at a given moment all Italians become one and 
march hand in hand towards the same goal. 

Black shirts! You feel that all the manoeuvres of our 
adversaries tending to sever me from you are ridiculous 
and grotesque. And I hope it will not seem to you too 
proud a statement if I say that Fascismo, which I have 
guided on the consular roads of Rome, is solidly in our 
hand — ("Bravo!") — and that if anybody should delude 
himself in this respect I should only need to make a sign, 
to give an order: "A noil" (Deafening applause.) 

Raise up your standards! They have been consecrated 
by the sacred blood of our dead. When faith has thus 
been consecrated it cannot fail, cannot die, will not die! 
(Prolonged applause.) 



330 THE FASCISTA 



"I PROMISE YOU— AND GOD IS MY WITNESS- 
THAT I SHALL CONTINUE NOW AND ALWAYS 
TO BE A HUMBLE SERVANT OF OUR ADORED 
ITALY" 

Speech delivered on 19th June 1923, at Florence, in the historical 
Salone dei Cinquecento, where the Municipal Council solemnly bestowed 
on Mussolini the freedom of the city of Florence. 

Mr. Mayor, Councillors, People of Florence, the capital 
for many centuries of Italian art, — You will notice that 
— on account of the honour which you pay me — I 
feel moved. To be made a citizen of Florence, of this city 
which has left such indelible traces on the history of 
humanity, represents a memorable and dominating event 
in my life. I do not know if I am really worthy of so 
much honour. (Cries of "Yes." "May God preserve you 
for the future of our Italy." Applause.) 

What I have done up to now is not much; but oh! 
Citizens of Florence, my determination is unshakable. 
("Bravo!") Human nature, which is always weak, may 
fail, but not my spirit, which is dominated by a moral and 
material faith — the faith of the country. 

From the moment in which Italian Fascismo raised its 
standards, lit its torches, cauterised the sores which infected 
the body of our divine country, we Italians, who felt proud 
to be Italians — ("Bravo! Bravo!" Applause.) — are in 
spiritual communion through this new faith. 

Citizens of Florence ! I make you a promise, and be sure 
I shall keep it ! I promise you — and God is my witness in 
this moment of the purity of my faith — I promise you that 
I shall continue now and always to be a humble servant of 
our adored Italy! (Prolonged applause.) 






"THE VICTORY OF THE PIAVE WAS THE DECIDING 
FACTOR OF THE WAR" 

Speech delivered in Rome on 25th June 1923, from Palazzo Venezia, in 
commemoration of the anniversary of the Battle of the Piave. 

Fellow-Soldiers! — After your ranks, so well disciplined 
and of such fine bearing, have marched past His Majesty 
the King, the intangible symbol of the country, after the 
austere ceremony in its silent solemnity before the tomb 
of the Unknown Warrior, after this formidable display of 
sacred strength, words from me are absolutely superfluous, 
and I do not intend to make a speech. The march of 
to-day is a manifestation full of significance and warning. 
A whole people in arms has met to-day in spirit in the 
Eternal City. It is a whole people who, above unavoidable 
party differences, finds itself strongly united when the safety 
of the common Motherland is at stake. 

On the occasion of the Etna eruption, national solidarity 
was wonderfully manifested; from every town, every village, 
one might say from every hamlet, a fraternal heart-throb 
went out to the land stricken by calamity. 

To-day tens of thousands of soldiers, thousands of stan- 
dards, with men coming to Rome from all parts of Italy 
and from the far-away Colonies, from abroad, bear witness 
that the unity of the Italian nation is an accomplished 
and irrevocable fact. 

After seven months of Government, to talk to you, my 
comrades of the trenches, is the highest honour which could 
fall to my lot. And I do not say this in order to flatter you, 
nor to pay you a tribute which might seem formal on an 
occasion like this. I have the right to interpret the thoughts 
of this meeting, which gathers to listen to my words as 



332 THE FASCISTA 

an expression of solidarity with the national Government. 
(Cries of assent.) Let us not utter useless and fantastical 
words. Nobody attacks the sacred liberty of the Italian 
people. But I ask you: Should there be liberty to maim 
victory? (Cries of "No! no! ") Should there be liberty to 
strike at the nation ? Should there be liberty for those who 
have as their programme the overthrow of our national 
institutions ? (Cries of " No ! no ! " ) I repeat what I explicitly 
said before. I do not feel myself infallible, I feel myself 
a man like you. 

I do not repulse, I cannot, I shall not repulse any loyal 
and sincere collaboration. 

Fellow-soldiers ! The task which weighs on my shoulders, 
but also on yours, is simply immense, and to it we shall be 
pledged for many years. It is, therefore, necessary not to 
waste, but to treasure and utilise all the energies which 
could be turned to the good of our country. Five years have 
passed since the battle of the Piave, from that victory on 
which it is impossible to sophisticate either within or beyond 
the frontier. It is necessary to proclaim, for you who listen 
to me, and also for those who read what I say, that the 
victory of the Piave was the deciding factor of the war. . . . 
On the Piave the Austro-Hungarian Empire went to pieces, 
from the Piave started its flight on white wings the victory 
of the people in arms. The Government means to exalt the 
spiritual strength which rises out of the victory of a people 
in arms. It does not mean to disperse them, because it 
represents the sacred seed of the future. The more distant 
we get from those days, from that memorable victory, the 
more they seem to us wonderful, the more the victory appears 
enveloped in a halo of legend. In such a victory everybody 
would wish to have taken part! 

We must win the Peace ! Too late somebody perceived 



RIME MINISTER 



333 



tat when the country is in danger the duty of all citizens, 
rom the highest to the lowest, is only one: to fight, to 

iffer and, if needs be, to die ! 

We have won the war, we have demolished an Empire 
rhich threatened our frontiers, stifled us and held us for 

r er under the extortion of armed menace. History has no 

id. Comrades! The history of peoples is not measured 
>y years, but by tens of years, by centuries. This manifes- 
tation of yours is an infallible sign of the vitality of the 
[talian people. 

The phrase " we must win the peace " is not an empty one. 
't contains a profound truth. Peace is won by harmony, 
>y work and by discipline. This is the new gospel which 
tas been opened before the eyes of the new generations who 
tave come out of the trenches ; a gospel simple and straight- 
forward, which takes into account all the elements, which 
itilises all the energies, which does not lend itself to tyrannies 
)f grotesque exclusivism, because it has one sole aim, a 
common aim : the greatness and the salvation of the nation ! 

Fellow-soldiers! You have come to Rome, and it is 

tatural, I dare to say, fated! Because Rome is always, as 

it will be to-morrow and in the centuries to come, the living 

heart of our race! It is the imperishable symbol of our 

vitality as a people. Who holds Rome, holds the nation ! 



The "Black Shirts" buried the Past. I assure you, my 
fellow-soldiers, that my Government, in spite of the manifest 
or hidden difficulties, will keep its pledges. It is the Govern- 
ment of Vittorio Veneto. You feel it and you know it. And 
if you did not believe it, you would not be here assembled 
in this square. Carry back to your towns, to your lands, to 
your houses, distant but near to my heart, the vigorous 
impression of this meeting. 

Keep the flame burning, because that which has not 



334 THE FASCISTA 

been, may be, because if victory was maimed once, it does 
not follow that it can be maimed a second time! (Loud 
cheers, repeated cries of "We swear it!") 

I keep in mind your oath. I count upon you as I count 
upon all good Italians, but I count, above all, upon you, 
because you are of my generation, because you have come 
out from the bloody filth of the trenches, because you have 
lived and struggled and suffered in the face of death, because 
you have fulfilled your duty and have the right to vindicate 
that to which you are entitled, not only from the material 
but from the moral point of view. I tell you, I swear to you, 
that the time is passed for ever when fighters returning 
from the trenches had to be ashamed of themselves, the 
time when, owing to the threatening attitudes of Commun- 
ists, the officers received the cowardly advice to dress in 
plain clothes. (Applause.) All that is buried. You must 
not forget, and nobody forgets, that seven months ago 
fifty-two thousand armed "black shirts" came to Rome 
to bury the past! (Loud cheers.) 

Soldiers! Fellow-Soldiers! Let us raise before our great 
unknown comrade the cry, which sums up our faith : Long 
live the King! Long live Italy, victorious, impregnable, 
immortal ! (Loud cheers, whilst all the flags are raised and 
waved amidst the enthusiasm of the immense crowd in 
the square.) 



RIME MINISTER 



335 



THE RELATIONS BETWEEN ITALY AND THE 
UNITED STATES 

Speech by the American Ambassador to Rome. 

On the 28th June 1923 the Italo-American Association held 
in Rome a banquet in honour of Mr. Richard Washburn Child, 
American Ambassador to Italy, and of the Hon. Mussolini, President 
of the Italian Council. The two distinguished guests delivered the 
following speeches, 1 which have a special importance, both with 
regard to Fascismo and to Italo-American relations. 

The object of this meeting was clearly explained by the Hon. 
Baron Sardi, Italian Under-Secretary of State for Public Works, 
in an appropriate address to the illustrious guests (published in 
full by the Bulletin of the Library for American Studies in Italy, 
No. 5), in which, after having thanked them in the name of Senator 
Rumni, President of the Association, still detained on account of 
important duties in Geneva, and also in the name of the other 
members, for the honour they conferred on the Society by their 
presence, went on to lay stress on the purpose for which the Associa- 
tion exists, namely, to promote a better reciprocal understanding 
between the American and Italian peoples through the manifold 
activities of their respective countries. 

The Hon. Sardi announced that during the summer months of this 
year courses of preparation will be inaugurated again for American 
students who wish to come and visit our country and study our 
language, literature and history, while for next October, under 
the patronage of the American Ambassador and the Italian Premier, 
with the co-operation of American and Italian professors, special 
industrial and commercial courses are in preparation. The American 
students will be able to benefit by the use of the valuable library 
of the Association, which is daily enriched by the competent work 
of Commendatore Harry Nelson Gay and his collaborators. 

The Hon. Sardi, after referring to the fraternity of arms, which 
during the Great War brought together the soldiers of Italy and 
America, said that, having returned now to the peaceful spheres 
of industry and culture, these forms of effort contribute strongly 

x The two speeches have been courteously given at his request to Baron 
Quaranta di San Severino for publication by the American Ambassador, 
Richard Washburn Child. 



336 THE FASCISTA 

to cement between the two countries that spiritual fraternity 
which arises out of a better mutual acquaintance with the 
respective virtues and qualities and a clearer realisation of 
our aspirations. 

The orator concluded by expressing the wish that the Italo- 
American Association, by the indissoluble union of cultured minds, 
might be able to intensify the bonds already uniting the United 
States of America and Italy. 

Mr. President and Gentlemen, — It is my privilege to 
propose a toast to the King and to the spirit of an Italy now 
stronger and more united than ever before. 

I wish to express the earnest hope that my country and 
yours will continue to stand together in upholding ideals 
which make men strong instead of tolerating those which 
make men weak. 

During the last eight months Italy has made an extra- 
ordinary contribution to the whole world by raising ideals 
of human courage, discipline, and responsibility. I would 
be unfaithful to my beliefs and to those of hosts of Americans 
if I failed to acknowledge the part played by your President 
of Council, Mussolini, with the people of Italy, in giving to 
all mankind an example of courageous national organisa- 
tion founded upon the disciplined responsibility of the in- 
dividual to the State, upon the abandonment of false hopes 
in feeble doctrines, and upon appeal to the full vigorous 
strength of the human spirit. 

We have heard a great deal in the last few years 
about the menace which war brings before the face of the 
world. I am confident that my people and your people 
are willing to act together to contribute anything possible 
to reduce the dangers of war, but I hold the belief, and 
I think your Premier holds the belief, that worse menaces 
than war now oppose the progress of mankind. Folly and 
weakness and decay are worse. 

These menaces of weakness are often fostered by men of 



PRIME MINISTER 337 

good intentions, who talk about the need to rescue mankind 
and about the necessity to establish the rights of mankind. 

I want to see leaders of men who, instead of teaching 
humanity to look outside themselves for help, will teach 
humanity that it has power within itself to relieve its own 
distress. I want to see leaders who, instead of telling men 
of their rights, will lead them to take a full share of their 
responsibilities. 

I do not doubt that the spirit of benevolence is a precious 
>ossession of mankind, but a more precious possession is 

Le spirit which raises the strength of humanity so that 
benevolence itself becomes less of a necessity. He who makes 
timself strong and calls upon others to be strong is even 
more kind and loving of the world than he who encourages 
men to seek dependence on forces outside themselves or 
upon impracticable plans for new social structures. I do 
lot doubt the good faith of many of those who put forth 
theories of new arrangements of social, economic and 
iternational structure, but they may all be sure that more 

iportant than any of these theories is individual respon- 
ibility and the growth and spread of self-reliance in the 
home and in the nation. 

I do not doubt that we, Italians and Americans, have a 
full appreciation of the pity which we ought to confer upon 
weak or wailing groups or nations or races which clamour 
for help or favour; but I trust that, even in the competition 
of peace or war, I shall be the last ever to believe that weak 
groups or nations or races are superior or are more worthy 
of my affection than those who mind their own business 
with industry, strength and courage, and stand upon their 
own strong legs. 

I do not question the motives of many of those who, 
feeling affectionate regard for the welfare of their fellow- 
men, hope for a structure of society in which international 



338 THE FASCISTA 

bodies shall hand down benefactions to communities, and 
communities shall hand down benefactions to individuals. 
I merely point out that some nations, such as yours and 
mine, are beginning to believe that these ideas come out 
of thoughts which, though easily adopted, are the offspring 
of a marriage of benevolence with ignorance. In any 
structure of society which can command our respect and 
our faith the current of responsibility runs the other way. 
The doctrine that the world's strength arises from the 
responsibility of the individual is a sterner doctrine. The 
leaders of men who insist upon it are those who will be 
owed an eternal debt by mankind. 

The strength of society must come from the bottom 
upward. The world needs now more than anything else the 
doctrine that the first place to develop strength is at home, 
the first duty is the nearest duty. A strong co-operation 
of nations can only be made of nations which are strong 
nations, a strong nation can only be made of good and 
strong individuals. 

When one makes the fasces, the first requirement is to 
find the individual rods, straight, strong and wiry, such as 
you have found, Mr. President, and so skilfully bound 
together in the strength of unity. But if they had been 
rotten sticks you could not have made the fasces. Unity 
in action would have been impossible. The rotten sticks 
would have fallen to pieces in your fingers. 

Mr. President, what the world needs is not better theories 
and dreams, but better men to carry them out. The world 
needs a spirit which thinks first of responsibilities before 
it thinks of rights. It was this spirit which you have done 
so much to awaken into new life in Italy. 

Not long ago I heard a speech made by a foreigner in 
Italy who is used to dealing with economic statistics. He 
was trying to account for the new life in Italy on the basis 



PRIME MINISTER 



339 



of. comparative statistics. I told him he could not do it 
until he could produce statistics of the human spirit. I 
told him he could not account for everything in Italy until 
he could reduce to statistics that wonderful record of the 
human spirit which in scarcely more than half a century 
has created the new Italy. I told him he would have to 
account for the number of Italians who in 1848 and 1859, 
in the Great War and 1923, had a cause for which they 
were willing to die. I told him that I was always a nationalist 
before I was an internationalist, and I would go on being a 
nationalist, believing in the spirit of strong and upright and 
generous nationalism, and believing not in theorising nations 
or whining peoples, but in nations and peoples who develop 
a national spirit so finely tempered that they offer to the 
world an example of organisation, discipline and fair play, 
because they themselves are upright and strong men and 
can contribute valuably to international co-operation. I 
said to him that when he could produce statistics on human 
virtues and human spirit he would be nearer to understand- 

ig what made progress in the world. I asked him if he had 
figures to show the difference between nations which breed 

ten who are ready to die for their beliefs and nations 
which produce no such men. I asked him to put his figures 
back in his pocket and go out and talk to the youth of Italy. 
Mr. President, the youth of Italy, as in any other country, 
are the trustees of the spirit of to-morrow. It is a fact 
which goes almost unnoticed, that the training of masses 
of youth in the spirit of discipline and fair competition and 
of loyalty to a cause is largely to be found in athletic games. 
It is a fact which almost always is forgotten, that nations 
of history or those of to-day which have engaged in athletic 
games are the strong nations, and those which have had 
[no athletics are the weak nations. It is a fact almost 
neglected that nations which can express their spirit of 



340 



THE FASCISTA 



competition in athletics are the nations which have 
the least destructive restlessness within and are the most 
fair and, indeed, are the most restrained in their dealings 
with other nations. 

Athletic games teach the lesson that every man who 
competes must win by reason of his own virtue. No help can 
come from without. There is no special privilege for anyone. 
He who wins does so by merit alone. Athletic games, 
whenever they are carried on by teams, teach the lesson 
that the individual must put aside his own interests for 
the good of his group. There must be a voluntary submis- 
sion to discipline and absolute loyalty to a captain in order 
to avoid the humiliation of disorganisation and defeat. 

Athletic games are not for the weak and complaining, 
but for the strong and for the lovers of fair play. 

Finally, they furnish oft-repeated lessons of the truth 
that when flesh and muscles and material agencies seem 
about to fail, human will and human spirit can work 
miracles of victory. 

Because I believe in these ideals for my own country and 
for yours, I offer through you, for the purposes which the 
Olympic Committee of Italy will set forth, a small but 
friendly token of my deep interest in the youth of Italy. 
(Loud applause.) rjj^' r Ju+ fawrz*** 1^ *?#~< 

The Italian Prime Minister's Reply 

Mr. Ambassador, — The discourse which your Excellency 
has pronounced at this reunion strengthens the bonds of 
sympathy and fraternity between Italy and America, and 
has profoundly interested me in my capacity as an Italian 
and as a Fascista. As an Italian, because you have spoken 
frank words of cordial approval of the Government which 
I have the honour to direct. I have no need to add that 



PRIME MINISTER 341 



■ 

this cordiality is reciprocated by me and by all Italians. 
There is no doubt that the elements for a practical collabo- 
ration between the two countries exist. It is only a question 
of organising this collaboration. Some things have been 
done, but more remain to be done. 

I will not surprise your Excellency if I point out, without 
going into particulars, a problem which concerns us directly. 
I speak of the problem of emigration. I limit myself only to 
saying that Italy would greet with satisfaction an opening 
in the somewhat rigid meshes of the Immigration Bill, so / 
that there could be an increase in Italian emigration to 
North America, and would greet with similar satisfaction > 
the employment of American capital in Italian enterprises. 
As a Fascista, the words of your Excellency have interested 
me because they reveal an exact understanding of the 
phenomenon and of our movement, and constitute a sym- 
pathetic and powerful vindication of it. This fact is the 
more remarkable because the Fascismo movement is so 
complex that the mind of a stranger is not always the best 
adapted to understand it. You, Mr. Ambassador, con- 
stitute the most brilliant exception to this rule. Your 
discourse, I say, contains all the philosophy of Fascismo 
and of the Fascismo endeavour, interwoven with an exalta- 
tion of strength, of beauty, of discipline, of authority, and 
of the sense of responsibility. You have been able to show, 
Mr. Ambassador, that in spite of the numerous difficulties 
of the general situation, Fascismo has kept faith to its 
promises given before the "March on Rome." The time 
intervening since those promises were made has been 
short, so that only a stupid person would pretend that the 
work is already completed. I limit myself to saying that I 
find corroboration by your Excellency that it is well begun. 

I am certain, Mr. Ambassador, that all Italians will read 
with emotion the words which you have pronounced on 



342 THE FASCISTA 

this memorable occasion. I ask you especially to believe 
this. I have heard, just now, not a discourse in the manner 
and strain of an ordinary conventional speech, but a clear 
and inspiring exposition of the conception of life and 
history which animates Italian Fascismo. I do not believe 
that I exaggerate when I say that this conception finds 
strong and numerous partisans even on the other side of 
the ocean, among the citizens of a people who have not 
the thousands of years of history behind them which we 
have, but who march to-day in the vanguard of human 
progress. In this affinity of conceptions I find the solid 
basis for the fraternal understanding between Italy and 
America. The announcement that you, Mr. Ambassador, 
are giving a wreath of gold to the Italian youth who will 
be victor in the next Olympic competition games will 
win the hearts of all Italian athletes, and of these there 
are, as you know, innumerable legions. 

I thank your Excellency in the name of Italian youth, 
almost all of whom have put on the "black shirt," especially 
the young athletes, and, at the same time that I encourage 
the Italo-American Society to persevere in the execution 
of its splendid programme, I declare that my Government 
will do whatever is necessary to develop and strengthen the 
economic and political relations between the United States 
and Italy. 

I raise my glass to the health of President Harding and 
the fortunes of the great American people. (Loud applause.) 



RIME MINISTER 



343 



"THE GREATNESS OF THE COUNTRY WILL BE 
ACHIEVED BY THE NEW GENERATIONS " 

Speech delivered 2nd July 1923 in Rome, at the Palazzo Venezia, 
ifore the schoolboys of Trieste, Nicastro, Castelgandolfo, Vetralla 
and Perugia and their masters, who were accompanied by repre- 
sentatives of the Roman "balillas," and had come to Rome to pay 
homage at the tomb of the " Unknown Warrior," before which they 
laid a wreath of beaten iron and kneeling repeated the oath of love 
and loyalty to the King and the Country. The Hon. Mussolini with 
the Minister of War, General Diaz; the Under-Secretary of State 
for the Presidency, Hon. Acerbo; General De Bono, the Director 
General of Police; Signor Lombardo Radice, the Director General 
of Primary Schools, and other officials, greeted them. The Hon. 
Mussolini thus addressed the meeting: 

On this radiant morning you have offered the capital 
a magnificent spectacle. Romans, having lived through 
many millenniums of history, are rather slow in being 
impressed by events and are not easily to be carried away 
by excessive enthusiasm. They have certainly however been 
filled to-day with admiration at this scene of promising 
youth which has been offered them by the schoolboys 
here gathered from all parts of Italy and especially from 
the "Venezia Giulia," particularly dear to the heart of all 
Italians. It was well said that in the dark pre-war days 
the schools of the National League and in general the schools 
entrusted to Italian masters represented the centre around 
which were nursed the hopes and the faith of the Italian 
race. I am glad to express to you the feelings of my brotherly 
sympathy. I am pleased to add that the National Govern- 
ment, the Fascista Government, holds in high esteem the 
scholarly characteristics and has deep respect for the 
teachers of all grades, of all schools. 



344 THE FASCISTA 

The Fascista Government feels and knows that the great- 
ness of the country, to which all of us must consecrate the best 
of our energies, will be achieved by the new generations. 

You (continued the Hon. Mussolini, turning especially 
to the masters), you must be the artificers — as you show 
you are — of this great Italian restoration. 

The task falls on you of blending together in increasing 
intimacy the intellectual life of the Italians who were 
slaves to Austria with that of the Italians who rose and 
sacrificed themselves by hundreds of thousands to break 
their fetters. 

You passed before the Unknown Warrior, and you 
certainly gathered his spirit; take it to Trieste near the 
other great spirit of him who was the forerunner of your 
liberation and of ours : Guglielmo Oberdan ! (Loud applause.) 






i 



PRIME MINISTER 345 



THE SITUATION ON THE RUHR AND OTHER 
QUESTIONS OF FOREIGN POLICY 

Speech delivered 3rd July 1923, at the Council of Ministers. 

Honourable Ministers and Colleagues, — From my 
last detailed declarations of Foreign Policy made at the 
Senate up to to-day the salient events of international 
politics are the following: 

The Bulgarian Coup d'etat. The first is the Bulgarian 
coup d'&at, following which the opponents of the Fascist a 
Government fell into certain paradoxical misunderstandings. 
The end of Stambuliski and the advent of Zankoff aroused 
a certain ferment in some of the countries of the Little 
Entente. Italy at once took a moderating action in the 
right quarters and the complications feared were averted. 

The Treaty of Lausanne. The signing of the Peace Treaty 
of Lausanne seems imminent. 

The Situation in the Ruhr. In the last few days the situa- 
tion in the Ruhr has become aggravated. On one side the 
passive resistance continues; on the other, the occupation 
is extended and intensified by measures of a nature in- 
creasingly political and military. A general repercussion 
of this crisis, which seems to have reached its acute stage, 
is felt by the European exchanges, which are all falling, not 
excluding the English sovereign, as compared with the dollar. 

The attempt made by the Pope, so noble in its humani- 
tarian and European aims, has not modified the situation. 
On the day after the letter to Cardinal Gasparri there was, 
on the part of the French, Poincar6's speech, which had the 



346 THE FASCISTA 

unanimous approval of the Senate, and, on the same day, 
the fearful act of "sabotage " which cost the lives of 
many Belgian soldiers. All this does not represent a detente 
but an aggravation of the situation. 

In the meanwhile, following the solution of the Belgian 
crisis, it has been possible to resume diplomatic action. 
Italy participates directly in it, and as soon as she sees the 
problem on its way to complete solution, will signify her 
consent to those propositions of the Memorandum of London, 
from which none of the projects presented afterwards 
has departed, that is to say: connection of the problem of 
Reparations with that of Inter- Allied debts; sufficient 
moratorium to Germany; the fixing of a definite amount; 
rational scheme for payment; solid guarantees of an 
economic nature and, hence, renunciation on the part of 
France of the territorial occupation of the Ruhr. 

As for passive resistance, the Italian Government thinks 
that it is not in Germany's interest to prolong it, because 
she cannot hope to weaken France nor can she delude her- 
self that she may obtain outside help. 

It is certainly necessary urgently to hasten the possi- 
bility of an agreement, as the occupation of the Ruhr 
has weighed heavily on the economic life of Europe, 
delaying its recovery. 

Fiume. As to the question of Fiume, representations 
have been made to Belgrade so that negotiations might be 
conducted more equably, in view of the situation of the 
town and of the necessity of putting on a normal footing 
the relations between the two countries. (The Council 
approves the declarations of the Hon. Mussolini.) 






RIME MINISTER 



347 



THE ELECTORAL REFORM BILL 
Speech delivered at the Chamber of Deputies on 16th July 1923. 

Honourable Gentlemen, — I should have preferred to 
speak to this Assembly on that question of Foreign Policy 
which at this moment interests Italy and fills the world 
with excitement: I mean the Ruhr. I should have 
proved that the action of Italy is autonomous, and is 
inspired by the protection of our interests and also by 
the need generally felt to get out of a crisis which impover- 
ishes and humiliates our continent. (Assent.) I promise 
myself to do so shortly, if the Chamber does not have the 
whim to-day of dying before its time. (Laughter and pro- 
longed comments.) My speech will be calm and measured, 
although fundamentally forceful. It will be composed of 
two parts: one that I should like to call "negative," and 
another which I shall call "positive." 

After all, I am not sorry that the discussion has gone, 
little or far, beyond the limits in which it could have been 
confined. The discussion on the Electoral Bill has offered 
opportunity to the Opposition to reveal itself, to move, 
from all its sections, from all its benches, to an attack against 
the policy and the political system of my Government. It 
will not surprise you, therefore, if, although not entering into 
details of all the speeches, I pick out from what has been 
said by the principal speakers those arguments and those 
propositions which I must definitely refute. 

Warning to the Popular Party. As the speech by the Hon. 
Petrillo was favourable to the Government, it is not worth 
while to busy ourselves with it. (Laughter.) 

I shall give my attention to the speech delivered by the 



348 THE FASCISTA 

Hon. Gronchi, — a speech fine as regards its form, and perhaps 
still finer as regards its contents. The Hon. Gronchi has 
once again offered the Government a collaboration of 
convenience, as in those manages de convenance which do 
not last or which end in ceaseless yawns. (Comment.) 

Your collaboration, Gentlemen of the Popular Party, 
largely consists of details omitted. Your party, too, shows 
the same weakness. You should set to work and clear 
them up. 

I do not know for how long these elements who wish 
to collaborate legally with the National Government can 
still remain united with your party, together with those 
who would wish to do so but cannot, because their inmost 
feelings do not allow them this step and this collaboration. 
You certainly know me well enough to understand that, as 
far as political discussion goes, I am intransigent. The 
small fry of the two-fifths and of the three-quarters or some 
other fraction of this electoral arithmetic does not interest 
nor concern me. Politics cannot be compared to a retail 
business. (Assent and comment.) To be or not to be! I 
am such a poor electoralist that I could even let you have 
the thirty or forty deputies who satisfy you; but I do not 
give them to you, as this would be immoral, because it 
would represent a transaction which must be repugnant 
to your conscience, as it is to mine. (Assent and comment.) 
In fact, I cannot accept a kind of Malthusian collabora- 
tion! (Laughter and approval.) 

The Russian and the Italian Revolutions both tend to 
overcome all Ideologies. The speech delivered by the 
Hon. Labriola was certainly powerful. He said that 
Ministerial crises are a substitute for revolution. He 
should have said "Ersatz," because substitutes, since the 
war, are of German origin. That is too like the opinion of a 



PRIME MINISTER 349 

herbalist to be accepted. It may be that the want of Minis- 
terial crises leads to revolution, but here you have an example 
that shows how excessive Ministerial crises lead also to 
revolution. But, above all, it astounded me to hear the 
Hon. Labriola still employ the old vocabulary of second- 
class Socialist literature, speaking of bourgeoisie and pro- 
letariat — two entities clearly defined and perpetually in a 
state of antagonism. It is certainly true that there is not 
one bourgeoisie, but there are, perhaps, twenty-four or forty- 
eight bourgeoisies and under-bourgeoisies. The same can be 
said of the proletariat. What relation can there be between 
a workman of the "Fiat" factory — specialised, refined, 
with tendencies and tastes already bourgeois, who earns 
thirty to fifty lire a day — what relation can there be between 
this so-called proletarian and the poor peasant of Southern 
Italy, who despairingly scrapes his land burnt by the 
sun? (Assent and comments.) 

The Hon. Labriola has said that only the proletariat can 
give itself the luxury of a dictatorship. This is a mistake 
which is proved and can be proved. The only example 
of dictatorship is offered us by Russia. But the Hon. 
Labriola has written dozens of articles to prove that dic- 
tatorship does not exist in Russia and that dictatorship is 
not "of" but "upon" the proletariat. All those who govern 
the Russian States are professors, lawyers, economists, 
literary men, men of talent ; that is to say, men coming from 
the professional classes, from the bourgeoisie. 

The fault which the Hon. Labriola lays on us, finding an 
analogy between the methods and the evolution of the 
Russian and of the Italian revolution, does not exist. And 
here I make a simple statement of historical order. It is a 
fact that both revolutions tend to destroy all the ideologies 
and in a certain sense the Liberal and Democratic insti- 
tutions which were the outcome of the French Revolution. 



350 THE FASCISTA 

Italy pulled herself together after Caporetto, because the 
necessary Discipline of War was imposed on her. During the 
last few days use and abuse of a polemic method have been 
made, that of unearthing the writings and opinions of the 
past to employ them as a weapon in the present dispute. 
This is a very wretched system which I am going to use 
against those who have adopted it. 

In his speech the Hon. Alessio has stated that the defeat 
of the Central Empires was due to the deficiency of their 
representative organs. This is a totally one-sided explana- 
tion. There has been a war; millions of men have fought 
against the Central Empires and defeated them. Another 
mistake is to say that after Caporetto Italy pulled herself 
together because she had regained her liberty. Nothing 
of the kind ! The reason is that the necessary war discipline 
was imposed upon her. (Loud applause on the Right.) I 
am not one of those who think that Caporetto was due 
entirely to the disintegration of the country in rear of 
the fighting front. It was a military reverse in its 
causes and development; but there is no doubt that the 
atmosphere of the country, an atmosphere of leniency 
and of excessive tolerance, has produced disturbing moral 
phenomena which must have contributed to our reverse. 

The Dawn of Italian Risorgimento came from the Bourgeoisie 
of Naples. The other statement made by the Hon. Alessio, 
that the Italian Risorgimento represented the efforts of the 
Italian lower classes, is superficial. Alas ! it is not so. The 
Italian lower classes were absent and often hostile to it. 
The first dawn of the Italian Risorgimento came from 
Naples, from that bourgeoisie of intelligent and gallant 
professional men which in Southern Italy represents a 
class historically, politically and morally well defined. 
(Applause and assent.) Those who at Nola in 1821 hoisted 



PRIME MINISTER 351 

the standard of revolution against the Bourbons were two 
cavalry officers. All the noble martyrology of the Italian 
Risorgimento is formed out of elements of the bourgeoisie. 
Nothing is sadder than the useless sacrifice of the Bandiera 
brothers. And when you think of the tragedy of Carlo 
Pisacane you are thrilled! (Applause.) I should like to 
deny that Giuseppe Mazzini himself can be included in 
Democracy. His methods were certainly not democratic. 
He was very consistent in his aims, but how many times 
was he not incoherent and changeable in his means? 

The Expedition to the Crimea really prepared the way for 
the Unity of Italy. And what about Cavour? I think that 
the event which really prepared the way for the unity of the 
country was the expedition to the Crimea, — (Comment.) — 
which represents one of the most noteworthy in history. 
I recall it because it shows how in solemn hours the 
decision is left to one man, who must consult only his own 
conscience. (Applause and comment.) When General 
Dabormida refused to sign the Treaty of Alliance with 
France and with England, Cavour, on the same evening 
of the 1st of January 1885, signed it without consulting 
Parliament or the Council of Ministers, and signed it above 
all at his discretion without imposing any condition whatso- 
ever. It was a stroke of rashness that you might call sublime. 
Cavour himself recognised it, and when writing to Count 
Oldofredi, he said: "I have taken a tremendous responsi- 
bility on my shoulders. It does not matter. Let happen 
what may. My conscience tells me that I have fulfilled 

sacred duty!" 

When the soldiers of the small and valiant Piedmont 
rere on the point of leaving, the discussion in the Sub- 
Ipine Parliament took place, and Angelo Brofferio, a kind 
)f Cavallotti of the time, — (Comment.) — accused Cavour of 



352 THE FASCISTA 

not having a definite political line of conduct. It is really 
worth while to read part of this speech, because it closely 
recalls the speeches which during the present week have 
been made in this hall. 

"Our Ministers/ ' said Angelo Brofferio, "represent all 
ideas and all convictions. At one time they become Con- 
servatives and withhold the Jury from the Press; another 
time they ape the Democrats and raise cries against usurpa- 
tions of Rome; still another time they throw off the mask 
and become retrogrades in order to unite with Austria ! " 

Angelo Brofferio ends with these really singular words: 
"Where is in this system respect for convention and for 
constitutional morality?" and, referring to the Treaty, he 
added : " May God preserve us from that sinister eventuality ! 
But if you agree to this Treaty, the prostitution of Pied- 
mont and the ruin of Italy will be accomplished facts ! " 

It is curious, also, that another powerful ideologist, 
certainly sacred to the memory of all Italians, Giuseppe 
Mazzini, was very much against this Treaty, even to 
the extent of calling "deported" the Piedmont ese soldiers 
who were leaving for the Crimea and of inciting them to 
desert ! But Garibaldi, a far more practical leader, had an 
intuition of the fundamental importance of the Treaty of 
Alliance between Piedmont and Western Powers. " Italy," 
said Garibaldi, "should lose no opportunity of unfurling her 
flag on the battlefield which might recall to European 
nations her political existence." 

To-day you certainly all agree in recognising that his- 
tory has shown that Angelo Brofferio was in the wrong 
and Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour, was entirely in the 
right. (Assent.) 

The Moral Unity of the Italian People. The speech delivered 
by the Hon. Amendola is, after that of the Hon. Labriola, 






PRIME MINISTER 353 

more worthy of being analysed. He said: "The Italian 
people are affected by a moral and spiritual crisis, which 
is certainly connected with our intervention, with the 
war, and with the after- war period/' and he concluded by 
suggesting that it is necessary to give to this Italian people 
its moral unity. Well, we must be clear. What means 
"moral unity of the Italian people"? A minimum common 
denominator, a common field for action, in which all the 
National Parties meet and understand each other, a general 
levelling of all opinions, of all convictions, of all parties? 
For me it is sufficient that moral unity should exist in certain 
decisive hours of the life of the people. We cannot expect 
to have it on all days and on all questions. On the other 
hand I firmly believe that this moral, fundamental unity 
of the Italian people is already at work. We ourselves 
see it realised, perhaps not so much by our political work 
as by the war, which has made Italians know one another, 
and has thrown them together, making of this small penin- 
sula of ours a kind of family. 

Many local boundaries which separated provinces and 
regions have disappeared. Now we must complete the work. 
The Hon. Bentini, speaking of the freedom of the Press, 
to which subject we will return later, quoted the episode 
of Garibaldi and Dumas. I fully approve the answer given 
by Garibaldi. But I ask you — if the newspaper IndipenderUe 
had, by chance, published news concerning the movements 
of the Garibaldian troops or discrediting the military action, 
do you think that Garibaldi would not have suppressed 
that paper? (Assent and comment.) 

We have the Power — we shall hold it and defend it against 
all! But in the speech by the Hon. Bentini, what is parti- 
cularly singular is the confusion between tactics and political 
strategy. To-day it is possible to win many battles and the 






354 THE FASCISTA 

war can be lost or won. What happened ? You had brilliant 
tactical results, but afterwards you had not the courage 
of undertaking what was necessary to reach the final goal. 
You conquered a great many outlying communes, pro- 
vinces and institutions, and you did not understand 
that all this was perfectly useless if, at a given moment, 
you had not become masters of the brains, of the heart 
of the nation, — (Interruptions on the Extreme Left.) — if, 
that is to say, you had not the courage of making use of a 
political strategy. To-day your chance is over, and do not 
delude yourselves! 

History offers certain chances only once. (Assent on the 
Extreme Right.) But to understand this law it is necessary, 
Honourable Gentlemen, to keep before you two very simple 
considerations, and they are these: there has been a war 
which has shifted interests, which has modified ideas, 
which has exasperated feelings, and there has also been a 
revolution. To make a revolution it is not necessary to 
play the great drama of the arena. We have left many dead 
on the roads to Rome and naturally anybody who deludes 
himself is a fool. We have the power and we shall hold it. 
We shall defend it against anybody ! 

The revolution lies in this firm determination to hold 
power! (Assent and comment.) 

The Italian People under the Domination of a Liberticidal 
Government, groaning under the Fetters of Slavery ? And now 
I come to the practical side of the discussion. 

They speak of liberty. But what is this liberty? Does 
liberty exist? After all, it represents a philosophical and 
moral concept. There are various manifestations of liberty. 
Liberty never existed. The Socialists have always denied 
it. The liberty of work has never been admitted by you. 
You have beaten the blackleg when he presented himself 



PRIME MINISTER 355 

at the factories when the other workmen were on strike. 
(Applause: interruptions by the Extreme Left.) 

But then is it really true and proved that the Italian 
people are under the domination of a liberticidal Govern- 
ment, and groans in the fetters of slavery? Is mine a 
liberticidal Government? 

In the social field, No! I had the courage to transform 
the eight -hours day into a law of the State. (Com- 
ments on the Extreme Left.) Do not despise this victory; 
do not undervalue it. (Assent.) I have approved all the 
social and pacifist Conventions of Washington. What has 
this Government done in the political field? It is said that 
Democracy lies where suffrage is widened. Well, this Govern- 
ment has maintained universal suffrage. And, although 
Italian women, who are intelligent enough to exact it, had 
not done so, I have given it, be it only as regards the muni- 
cipal elections to from six to eight millions of women! 
No exceptional laws were passed, — (Comments on the Ex- 
treme Left.) — and the regulation of the Press is not an 
exceptional law. 

You forget a very simple thing, that the revolution has 
the right of defending itself. (Approval from the Right: 
comments.) Is there in Russia liberty of association for 
those who are not Bolshevists? No! Is there liberty of 
Press for them? No! Is there liberty of meeting, of vote? 
No! (Applause: comments on the Extreme Left.) You 
who are the defenders of the Russian regime have not the 
right to protest against a regime like mine, which cannot, 
even distantly, be compared with that of the Bolshevists. 
(Approval on the Right: comments on the Left.) 

I am not, Gentlemen, a despot who remains locked up 
in a castle protected by strong walls. I circulate freely 
amongst the people without any concern whatsoever, and 
I listen to them. (Loud assent.) Well, the Italian people, 



356 THE FASCISTA 

up to now, have not asked for liberty. (Assent on the Right : 
comments on the Extreme Left.) At Messina the population 
which surrounded my carriage said: "Take us out of these 
wooden huts." (Assent.) In Sardinia — (you will notice 
that I am speaking of a region where Fascismo has not 
tens of thousands of followers as in Lombardy) — in Sardinia, 
at Arbatax, men came to me with drawn faces; they sur- 
rounded me and, pointing out to me a track with a putrid 
river among the marshy reeds, said to me: "Malaria is 
killing us!" They did not speak to me of liberty, of the 
Statute, of the Constitution. It is the emigrants of the 
Fascista revolution who create this idol which the Italian 
people, and now, too, foreign public opinion, has largely 
dismantled. (Loud applause on the Right.) 

Every day I receive dozens of Committees, and hundreds 
of applications are flung on my desk, in which one might 
say that the urgent needs of each of the eight thousand 
communes of Italy are represented. 

Well, why should all those not come to me and say: 
" We suffer because you oppress us " ? But there is a reason, 
a fact to which I wish to draw your attention. You say 
that the ex-soldiers fought for liberty. How does it happen, 
then, that these ex-soldiers are in favour of a liberticidal 
Government? (Applause.) 

Are force and consent antagonistic elements? Not at 
all ! In force there is already consent, and consent is force 
in itself and for itself. 

But tell me, have you found on the face of the earth a 
Government, of whatsoever kind, which claimed to make 
happy all the people it governed? But this would mean 
the squaring of the circle! Whatever Government, be it 
even directed by men participating in the Divine wisdom, 
whatever measure it takes, will make some people dis- 
contented. And how can you check this discontent? By 



I 



PRIME MINISTER 357 

force! What is the State? It is the police. All your codes 
of law, the laws themselves, all your doctrines are nothing 
if, at a given moment, the police by their physical strength 
do not make felt the indestructible weight of the law. 
(Comments and assent.) 

We do not want to abolish Parliament. They say that we 
want to abolish Parliament. No! It is not true. First of 
all, we do not know what we could substitute for it. (Com- 
ment.) Parliaments, the so-called Technical Councils, are 
still in the embryonic stage. 
Maybe they represent some principles of life. With such 
ibjects one can never be dogmatic or explicit; but, 
the face of to-day's state of affairs, they represent 
>nly attempts. Maybe that in a second stage it may be 
>ossible to allot to these Technical Councils a portion of 
ie legislative work. 

But, Gentlemen, I beg you to consider that Fascismo is 
favour of elections. That is to say, it calls for the elections, 
order to conquer the communes and the provinces. It 
has called for them in order to send Deputies to Parliament; 
it does not, therefore, seek to abolish Parliament. On the con- 
trary, as I said before and I repeat it, the Government wants 
to make of Parliament a more serious, if not more solemn 
institution: it wants, if possible, to bridge over that hiatus 
which undeniably exists between Fascismo and the country. 

Fascismo is not a transitory Phenomenon, Do not hope 
that its Life will be short ! Gentlemen, we must follow Fas- 
cismo, I will not say with love, but with intelligence. There 
must be no illusions. How many times from those benches 
it was said that Fascismo was a transitory phenomenon! 
You saw it. It is an imposing phenomenon which gathers 
in its followers, one might say, by millions. It is the largest 
mass party which has ever existed in Italy. It has in itself 



358 THE FASCISTA 

some vital, powerful force, and since it is different from all 
others, as regards its extent, its organisation, its discipline, 
do not hope that its life be short ! 

To-day Fascismo is going through the travail of a pro- 
found transformation. You will ask: " When will Fascismo 
grow up?" Oh! I do not wish it to grow up too soon! 
(Laughter.) I prefer that it should continue still for some 
time as it is to-day till all are resigned to the fait accompli, 
and have its fine armour and its virile warlike soul. 

There is a fact which is rapidly transforming the essence 
of Fascismo. The Fascista Party, on one side, becomes a 
Militia, and, on the other, becomes an administration and 
a Government. It is incredible what a change the head of 
a "squadra" undergoes when he becomes an alderman or 
a mayor. He understands that it is not possible to attack 
abruptly the Communal Budgets without preparation, but 
that it is necessary to study them and devote himself to 
the administrative part, which is a hard, dry, and difficult 
task. (Applause.) And as the communes conquered by 
Fascisti number now several thousands, you will conclude 
that the transformation of Fascismo into an organ of 
administration is taking place and will be soon an 
accomplished fact. 

Liberty must not be converted into Licence, and Licence I 
shall never grant! You ask: "When will this moral pressure 
of Fascismo end?" I understand that you are anxious 
about it. It is natural, but it depends on you. You know 
that I should be happy to-morrow to have in my Govern- 
ment the direct representatives of the organised working 
classes. I would like to have them with me; I would like 
also to entrust them with a Ministry which requires delicate 
handling, so as to convince them that the administration 
of the State is a thing of the utmost complexity and dim- 



PRIME MINISTER 



359 



culty, that there is little to improvise, that tabula rasa 
must not be made, as in some revolutions, because 
afterwards it is necessary to rebuild. You cannot take a 
corporal of the division of Petrograd and make of him a 
general, because afterwards you have to call in a Brusiloff! 
(Comment.) To sum up, so long as opponents exist who, 
instead of resigning themselves to the fait accompli, 
contemplate a reactionary movement, we cannot disarm. 
But I say further that the last experience after your 
attempt at the strike of last year must also have convinced 
you by now that that road will lead you to ruin ; whilst, 
on the other hand, you ought to take into account, once 
and for all, if you have in your veins a little Marxist doc- 
trine, that there is a new situation, to which (if you are 
intelligent and watch over the interests of the classes you 
say you represent) you should conform. And, moreover, 
Colombino, who is a friend of Ludovico d'Aragona, can 
say if I am an enemy of the working classes. I dare him to 
deny my statement that six thousand workmen belonging 
to the Italian Metallurgic Consortium work to-day because 
I helped them and because I did my duty as citizen and 
head of the Italian Government. (Comment and assent.) 

But liberty, Gentlemen, must not be converted into 
licence. What they ask for is licence, and this I shall never 
grant! (Loud applause and comment.) You can, if you 
wish, organise and march along in processions and I shall 
have you escorted. But if you intend to throw stones at 
the carabineers or to pass through a street where it is for- 
bidden to do so, you will find the State which opposes you, 
if necessary by force. (Loud applause on the Right: 
comment on the Left.) 

Close Analysis of the Electoral Reform Bill. But this 
Electoral Law which harasses us so much: is it really a 
monster? I declare it to you that, were it a monster, I 



360 THE FASCISTA 

should like to hand it over at once to a museum of mon- 
strosities. (Laughter.) This law, of which I have traced 
the fundamental lines, but which afterwards has been 
successively elaborated by my friend the Hon. Acerbo, and 
re-elaborated by the Commission, I do not know whether 
for better or for worse, — (Much laughter.) — is a creation, 
and, like all creations of this world, has its qualities and 
defects. One must not condemn it as a whole; it would 
be a great mistake. 

You must consider — I say this to you with absolute 
frankness — that it is a law for us; — (Comments.) — but it 
involves principles which are ultra-democratic — that of 
the State election schedule; that of the national con- 
stituency, which was the vindication of Socialism, as just 
now Constantino Lazzari recalled. You say that the struggle 
is impersonal, that the elections will cause unrest. But who 
tells you that the elections are near? (Laughter: prolonged 
comments.) The working of this law is such that a fourth 
part of the seats is guaranteed to the minorities, while I 
think that, calling the elections by the present law, the 
minorities would, perhaps, be further sacrificed. (Assent and 
comment.) At* any rate the impersonality of the struggle 
withholds from the same struggle that character of harsh- 
ness which might preoccupy from the point of view of public 
order. As things stand to-day, elections held on the 
uninominal constituency or even on the proportional basis 
would certainly lead to excesses. (Assent.) 

The Government cannot accept Conditions. Either you give 
it your Confidence or deny it. I declare that I shall not call 
elections until I am sure that they will be held in 
independence and order. (Comment and applause.) I 
add that while on principle I am, and I must be, in- 
transigent, I entrust myself, in a certain sense, as regards 
technical discussion, to the competent elements. In this 



PRIME MINISTER 



36i 



hall there are very many competent elements. They will 
say how this law can be even more abused or improved. 
(Comment.) But this is the business of the Chamber, and 
the Government declares to you that it does not refuse to 
accept those improvements which would render easier the 
exercise of the right to vote. 

This concerns in a certain sense the Popular Party, 
which must decide for itself. I have spoken plainly, but I 
must say not as plainly as has been spoken from 
those benches. The Government cannot accept conditions. 
Either you give it your confidence or you deny it. (Assent 
and comment.) 

On your Vote will depend in a certain sense your Fate! 
I agree with all the speakers who have declared that the coun- 
try wishes only to be left alone; to work in peace with 
discipline. And my Government makes enormous efforts to 
achieve this result and will go on, even if it has to strike its 
own followers, because, having wished for a strong State, 
it is only just that we should be the first to experience the 
consequences of strength. (Loud applause.) I have also 
the duty of telling you — and I tell you from a debt of 
loyalty — that on your vote depends in a certain sense your 
fate! Do not delude yourselves, even in this field, because 
nobody gets out of the Constitution — neither I nor the 
others — as nobody can suppose that he is not amply 
guaranteed according to the spirit and the letter of the Con- 
stitution. (Comment.) And then, if things are thus, I tell 
you, take into account this necessity. Do not let the country 
have once again the impression that Parliament is far from 
the soul of the nation and that this Parliament, after having 
manoeuvred for an entire week in a campaign of opposition, 
has achieved sterile results at the end. Because this is the 
moment in which Parliament and country can be recon- 
ciled. But if this ohance is lost, to-morrow will be too late. 



362 THE FASCISTA 

and you feel it in the air, you feel it in yourselves. And 
then, Gentlemen, do not hang on political labels, do not 
stiffen yourselves in the formal coherence of the parties, 
do not clutch at bits of straw, as do the shipwrecked in 
the ocean, hoping vainly to save themselves. But listen to 
the secret and solemn warning of your conscience; listen 
also to the incoercible voice of the nation ! 

(The last words of the speech of the Hon. Mussolini, 
which had been listened to all through with the greatest 
attention by the Assembly and the Tribunes, are greeted 
by frantic, repeated applause by the benches of the Right, 
by the Centre and by many Deputies of the Democratic 
Left. The ovation lasts for a long time and is intensified 
by that paid by all the Tribunes. 

When the applause is over, all the members of the Govern- 
ment shake hands with the President of the Council, while 
from the benches of the Right all the Deputies come down to 
congratulate the Hon. Mussolini, amongst them the Hon. 
Fera, ex-Minister of Justice, and the ex-Prime Ministers, 
the Hon. Giolitti, the Hon. Salandra, the Hon. Orlando, 
and the President of the Chamber, the Hon. De Nicola, 
who exclaims: "It is the finest speech in the annals of 
Parliamentary history/') 

The sitting is suspended for half an hour. When it is 
resumed at 8.10 the Hon. Mussolini agrees to accept the 
order of the day proposed by Larussa, viz. : 

" The Chamber, re-affirming its confidence in the Government, 
approves the principles contained in the Electoral Reform Bill, 
and passes to the discussion of the Articles of the project." 

At 1 1. 10, the operation of voting having been completed, 
the result is proclaimed, viz. : " The Chamber of Deputies 
votes in favour of the Government by a large majority." 

(The sitting is adjourned.) 



PRIME MINISTER 363 



THE MASSACRE OF THE ITALIAN DELEGATION 
FOR THE DELIMITATION OF THE GRECO- 
ALBANIAN FRONTIER 

On the 27th of August, General Enrico Tellini, President of the 
International Commission for the Delimitation of the Greco- Albanian 
Frontier, the medical officer, Major Luigi Corti, and Lieutenant Mario 
Bonacini, members of the Mission, were atrociously murdered in 
Greece, while motoring from Janina to Santi Quaranta. 

In consideration of preceding assassinations, of all the concordant 
information from different sources gathered on the scene of the 
massacre, and of the persistent campaign of libel and instigation on 
the part of the Greek Press against Italy and the Italian Military 
Mission, the Royal Government (the Stefani Agency informs us) has 
come to the conclusion that the moral as well as implicitly the 
material responsibility of the massacre falls on the Greek Govern- 
ment. On these grounds the head of the Government, certain of 
interpreting the sense of indignation of the whole Italian nation, 
has instructed Commendatore Montagna, Minister at Athens, to 
present to Greece the following Note containing Italy's demands. 

Hon. Mussolini's Note to Greece demands on behalf of 
Italy: 

1. Apologies in the most ample and official form, to be 
presented to the Italian Government at the Royal Italian 
Legation at Athens through the highest Greek authority; 

2. Solemn funeral ceremony for the victims of the mas- 
sacre, to be celebrated in the Catholic Cathedral at Athens, 
with the presence of all the members of the Greek 
Government ; 

3. Honours to the Italian flag to be paid by the Hellenic 
Fleet in the bay of the Piraeus to one of our naval divisions, 
which will proceed there purposely, and this by means of a 
salute of twenty-one shots fired by the Hellenic ships, 



364 THE FASCISTA PRIME MINISTER 

whilst the Greek Fleet flies the Italian flag from the 
masthead; 

4. A strict inquiry will be held by the Greek authorities 
on the scene of the massacre, with the assistance of the 
Royal Military Italian Attache, Colonel Perrone, for whose 
personal safety the Hellenic Government holds itself ab- 
solutely responsible. Such an inquiry will have to be con- 
ducted within five days of the acceptance of these demands; 

5. Capital punishment of the guilty; 

6. Indemnity of fifty million Italian lire (about 
£500,000) — to be paid within five days of the presentation 
of this Note; 

7. Military honours to the remains of the victims upon 
their embarkation at Prevesa on Italian warships. 

Mussolini. 

Rome, Palazzo Chigi, 29th August 1923. 



FINIS 



INDEX 



Abba Garima, 164 

Abbazia, Conference of, 269, 271, 278-9, 

281 
Absolutism, 311 
Acerbo, Signor, 310, 343; on Electoral 

Law, 360 
Adige, Upper, 109, in; effect of 

Austro-German union on question 

of, 125; Germans in, 109, 131; 

Fascismo and, 164; Italophobia on, 

184-7 
Adler, Fritz, 98 

Admiralty, Fascisti demand the, 174 
Adrianople, 241 
Adriatic, eastern shore of, 59; Sauro 

and the, 74; National Vindications 

and, 89; Zara and the, 257; Abbazia 

Conference, 269 
JEgean, Bulgaria's right to a port on 

the, 125 



Arbatax, malaria in, 356 
"Arditi," 74; the Association of, 92 
Armenia, oil wells of, 96 
Army, Italian, and Fascismo, xii 
Arosio, speech 30th March 1923 at, 277 
Arpigati, Captain Arturo, 42 
Association, of Fighters, 87, 92, 99; 
of Arditi, 92; of Volunteers, 92; of 
Garibaldians, 92; of Maimed and 
Disabled, 316 
Athens, Fascismo and " eterie " of, ix 
Austria, 12; Italy and the Austro- 
German Alliance, 12; Austro-Ger- 
man militarism, 16; preparations in, 
against Roumania, 20; demand for 
repudiation of Triple Alliance, 22; 
Republic of, 124; dual monarchy, 
187, 249 ; Commercial Treaty between 
Italy and, 284 ; reparations, 295 ; 
loan to, 299 



Albania, rebels in, 21; as a centre of I Austrian Institute, 281 



unrest, 125; Commercial Agree- 
ment with, 283; massacre of Italian 
delegation at Janina, 363 

Albertini, Senator, 219-20 

Alessio, Signor, 350 

Alliance, Austro-German, 12; Triple, 
22; Republican, 101; Continental, 
against England, 231; Cavour and 
Treaty of, with France and England, 
35i 

Alps, the, 60; National Vindications 
and, 89; Brenner, 107, 192; Julian 
Alps, 107; Dinaric Alps, 120, 127 

Alsace, 100 

Amain, 113 

Ambassadors, Conference of, 268 

Ambris, Alcesto de, 9 

Amendola, 352 

America, cables to, xviii; intervention 
of, in the war, 53. See also United 
States 

American students, faculties for, in 
Italy, 335 

Ancona, 307 

Andreas Hoferbund, 185 

Angell, Norman, 11 

Angora, National Assembly of, 241* 
Turkish aspirations, 254; Allied 
reply to Government of, 280 



Austro-Hungarian monarchy, 187, 249 
Avanti, xvi, 3, 4, 9, 87, 162 

Bainsizza, 28 

Balbo, Italo, xiii, 310 

Baldwin, Mr. Stanley, 296 

Balillas, 159, 343 

Balkans: Balkan zones of Austria 
Hungary, 9; Roumania, 20; Valona, 
21,118; Bulgaria, 125; seeds of war 
in, 125; Treaty of Rapallo, 125 etseq.; 
Montenegro's independence, 189 et 
seq.\ Turkey's success at Lausanne, 
213 

Bandiera brothers, 351 

Baracca Cup, 329 

Barbarossa, 27 

Barcelona, 270 

Barzilai, 224 

Battisti, Cesare, 48, 89, 134 

Bazzi, 69 

Bebel, 26 

Belgium, martyrdom of, 12, 14; 
neutrality, 23; undertaking not to 
sign separate peace, 19; colonies, 
90; ex-President Wilson and, 189 

Belgrade, Fiume and the agreement 
concluded at, 193 

Bellini, Senator, 223 



365 



3 66 



INDEX 



Benedict XV., Palestine and, 194; on 
Ruhr crisis, 345 

Bentini, 353 

Berchtold, Count, 19, 20 

Berne Convention, powers of, respect- 
ing international traffic, 270 

Bernhardi, von, 26 

Bernstein, Edward, and Versailles 
Treaty, 99 

Bersagliere Regt., nth, Mussolini joins, 
xvi 

Bessarabia, 20 

Bezzi, Ergisto, 18, 88 

Bianchi, Michele, xiii 

Bismarck, 9 

Bissolati, Leonida, 158 

Black Shirts, Nationalists and, 148; 
revolution of, a force for progress, 
208 

Bologna: speech of 24th May 191 8 
at, 37; speech of 3rd April 1921 at, 
134; University of, and Montenegrin 
independence, 191 ; Fascista occupa- 
tion of, 308 

Bolshevism: Mussolini saves Italy from, 
xiv; textile workers' strike, 68; 
failure of, in Italy, 73, 167; Musso- 
lini's fight against, 87, 101 ; Florence 
under, 103; Bolshevist element in 
Italian Socialism, 116; in Trieste, 
117, 121; of Russia, 129, 147; the 
Bolshevist State and the Liberal 
State, 139; Fascismo and, 166, 179; 
the Italian Bolshevist world, 178; 
Germany's resistance to influence of, 
290; Italian losses in crushing, 324; 
freedom of the Press and, 355 

Bolzano, xiii, 163-4; 173, 185, 187, 
308 

Bonacini, Lieut. Mario, murder of, 363 

Bono, General Cesare de, xii, xiii, 

309, 343 

Bordiga, General, 105 

Bourbons, 75, 351 

Bourgeoisie, Fascismo and the, 165; 
Risorgimento and, 50 

Breitemburg, Count, 186 

Brenner, the: Battisti and, 74; Bezzi 
and, 88; Italy in possession of, 107; 
as bulwark against Germany, no; 
Paduan valley and, 125; as Italy's 
northern boundary, 136; defence of, 
184 ; Mussolini's declaration to 
German deputies respecting, 188; 
Versailles Treaty and, 293 

Brest- Litowsk, Treaty of, 44 

Brofferio, Angelo, 351-2 

Brussels Conference, 1923, 214 



Bucharest, Peace of, 44 

Budapest, Danube Confederation and, 

124; peace of justice, and occupation 

of, 149, 172 
Budget, Italian State, 215, 272-3; 

Communal, 358 
Bulgaria, 10, 125, 213; reparations, 

295, 299; coup d'etat in, 345 
Buozzi, 219 
Burian, 20 

Cables, conventions relative to, xviii 
Cagliari, speech of 12th June 1923 at, 

323 

Canada, Commercial Treaty with, 214 

Cannae, 288 

Capitulations, the, 241, 266 

Caporetto, speech after, 30; causes of 
disaster of, 32; anti-war demonstra- 
tions after, 34 ; national crisis follow- 
ing, 43; German calculations after, 
45; Rapallo and, 126; Pact of Rome 
and, 126; Fascismo and, 135; disci- 
pline of war and, 350 

Carabineers, xvii, 359 

Caradonna, 310 

Carducci, 37 

Carli, 99 

Carso, 28; Italian sentiment for the, 
35; Corridoni's death, 48; insur- 
rection against Trieste on, 118; com- 
memoration ceremony, 120 

Carthage, 177 

Castelrosso, 280, 302 

Castua, 278 

Catholicism, Mussolini on, xii 

Cattaneo, 53 

Cavallotti, 351 

Cavazzoni, 252 

Caviglia, General, 129 

Cavour, Camille, 311; Crimean expedi- 
tion and, 351 

Ceccherini, Ma j. -General, xii, 310 

Central America, cable to, xviii 

Central Empires, 9; war desired by, 
27, 72 

Cervantes, 114 

Cettinge, 190 

Chamber of Deputies, Fascista Govern- 
ment and the, 313 

Chiesa, 255 

Child, Mr. Richard Washburn, speech 
at Rome by, 335 

Chiusa di Verona, 185 

Cicerin, Commissioner of Foreign Affairs, 
Russia, 44 

Ciccotti, Ettore, on Italian Fascismo, ix 

Cinque Giornate, 28; speech before the 



INDEX 



367 



monument of, 58; Austrian threat 

to city of, 135 
Cipriani, Amilcare, 5 
Civil Law Codes, reformation of, xvii 
Class struggle, Mussolini on, 285 
Clemenceau, 32, 40, 56; on concessions 

in Asia Minor, 96 
Clemente, Maj. -General Ozol, 310 
Coalition Ministry, 221 
Coliseum, 234 
Colombino, 359 
Colonna di Cesaro, 307 
Columbus, Christopher, 50 
Commerce, Chambers of, International 

Congress of, 274 et seq. 
Commercial Treaty: with Switzerland, 

212; with Canada, 214; with France, 

265; with Yugoslavia, 271, 282; with 

Austria, 281 
Committee of Understanding and 

Action, 93 
Committee of Wounded and Disabled 

Soldiers, 51 
Communes, Italian, ix 
Communism, x, 116, 334 
Comunale, Bologna, speech at the, 37 
Constantine, King, 125 
Constitution, the, and the Government, 

361 
Contadini, adherents of Fascimo, 316 
Conti, Senator, 219 

Continental alliance. See under Alliance 
Convention, of Washington, 243, 251; 

for Italo-American cables, 245 
Corriere delta Sera, 163-4 
Corridoni Club, 92 
Corridoni, Filippo, 48, 59, 71, 88 
Corsica, Italians of, 137 
Corti, Major Luigi, murder of, 363 
Cremona, speech at, 25th Sept. 1922, 

158 
Crespi, Senator, 161, 258 
Crimea, expedition to the, 351 
Crispi, Francesco, 108 n. 
Cucco, 28 

Cuno- Rosenberg Memorandum, 295 
Curtatone, 289 
Cyrus, 38 
Czechoslovakia, Italy's relations with, 

213 

Dabormida, General, 351 

Dalmatia: Rismondo on, 74; National 
Vindications and, 89 ; Italian minori- 
ties of, 96 ; and the victory of Vittorio 
Veneto, 107; Croats of, 118; Treaty 
of Rapallo, 125, 262; education of 
Italians of, 131; care of Italian 



residents, 132 ; suffering* of Italians in, 
136; Italian unity and, 144 ; betrayed, 
171, 192; Santa Margherita Agree- 
ments, 247, 256, 260-1 

Dalmine, speech 20th March 1919 at, 
63 

Dante, 60, 77, 114, 133 

D'Annunzio, 77, 114; Mussolini at 
Fiume with, 103; proclamation to 
the Croats, 104; legionary occupa- 
tion of Fiume, 1x9, 192; the Fiume 
tragedy, 128-9, *4i 

Danube Confederation, 124 

Danubian States, economic settlement 
of, 300 

D'Aragona, Ludovico, 359 

Dardanelles, 2x4, 241 

Death duties, xvii 

De Bono, Cesare. See Bono, de, General 
Cesare 

Debt, national, xviii; Italian war, 259 

Debt funding agreement, Anglo- 
American, 259, 296 

Debts, inter-allied, and reparations, 294 

Deffenu, 88 

Del Croix, Carlo, 129 

Delegation, Italian massacre of, at 
Janina, 363 

Delta, the, 193, 262, 278 

Democracy, meaning of, 36 ; syndicalism 
and, 148; Fascismo and, 167-8, 176; 
and suffrage, 355 

Democrats, 92 

De Nicola, President of the Chamber, 
362 

Deutscher Verband, 185-7 

Deutschland iiber A lies, 21 

Diaz, General, 343 

Dictatorship, proletariat and a, 349 

Dinaric Alps, 120, 127 

Diplomatic and consular services, 305 

Dock- workers, Fascist! , 82 

" Dolomites of Italian Thought," the, 
114 

Dortmund, 235 

Dumas, 353 

Dunkirk, attack on, 19 

Eastern Mediterranean. Set undtr 
Mediterranean 

Economic policy, 274 

Economy, Ministry of National xvii 

Edvige, xvi 

Eight Hours Day Bill, xvii, 198, 334 

Electoral Reform, xvii, xoi, 165, 314, 
347, 359-6o,362 

Elementary schools, religious instruc- 
tion in, xii 



368 



INDEX 



Emigration, 341 

Employers and employed, co-operation 
between, 285 

Eneo, 262 

England, Russian expectation of finan- 
cial aid from, 19; Italian confidence 
in, 46; D'Annunzio's coup at Fiume 
and, 104 ; mandate in Palestine, 194-5 ; 
continental alliance against, 231 

Entente, the: French and British 
soldiers at the Piave battle, 59; 
Italy's position and, 211-12; the 
Ruhr advance and, 230; Greco- 
Turkish affairs and, 254; continued 
existence of, 259 

Entente, Little, 124, 238, 240, 300, 345 

d'Esperey, Franchet, 189 

Esthonia, xviii, 283 

Etna, eruption of, 331 

Europe, economic system of, 275 

Exchanges, European, 345 

Ex-soldiers, blind, 277; National 
Association of, 316 

Facta, Signor, 165, 267 

Fara, Gustavo, General, xii, 310 

Farinacci, Roberto, 158 

Fasci Italiani di Combat timento, 103, 

328 
Fascio of Fighters, 92 ; demands of, 132 
Fascio Nazionale dei Combattenti, x 
Fascismo: part of general historical 
development of nations, ix ; irise of, 
x; and the Army, xii; " March 
to Rome," xii; progress of, xiii; 
Mussolini summoned to form cabinet, 
xiii; official song of, xiv; symbol, 
xv ; syndicalism of, 63, 177; aims 
and programme of, 92, 150; tasks of, 
108 et seq.; patriotism of, 112; sin- 
cerity of, 114; not conservative, 115; 
Communism and, 116, 196; attitude 
of, towards Socialism, 116, 196 et 
seq.; demagogism and, 119; prob- 
lems of foreign policy, 121 et seq., 149 
et seq.; attitude towards the peace 
treaties, 124; demands of Italian 
Fascio of Fighters in matters of for- 
eign policy, 132; birth of, 135; im- 
perialism of, 136; not essentially 
violent, 138, 156; in the Socialist 
crisis of 1921, 139; attitude in the 
1921 elections, 139; Fascista Day, 
141; and the Monarchy, xi, 152; 
the Fascista revolution, 154; attitude 
of, towards State economic attri- 
butes, 155; and the bourgeoisie, 165; 
and the proletariat, 165; and demo- 



cracy, 176-7; and the New Provinces, 
183; demands regarding the Upper 
Adige, 187; attitude towards the 
Popular Party, 201 et seq.; and the 
Vatican, 201-3; and Social Demo- 
crats, 203; military organisation of, 
xv, 223; domestic policy, 215; 
emigration and, 215; foreign policy, 
251 ; Yugoslavian policy, 253; women 
of, 286; attempt to sever Mussolini 
from, 287 ; strength and adherents of, 
316; associations included in, 316; 
Sardinia and, 324; Parliament and, 
357; not a transitory phenomenon, 
357 ; an organ of administration, 358 ; 
liberty, not licence, under, 358; and 
the constitution, 361 

Fascista Council, Great, xv, 232-3, 314 

Fascista Government, work of, xvii; 
beginnings of, 163-4, 173; "Govern- 
ment of speed," 234; policy respect- 
ing Fiume and Zara, 256; foreign 
policy, 265, 293 et seq. 

Fascista Party, National, xiv; military 
organisation, xv; numbers and 
adherents, 316 

Fascista revolt, 76 

Fascista State, 169, 173 

Federation, of Labour, General, 106, 
no; of Seamen, 106 

Federzoni, Signor, 190, 192 

Fera, Signor, ex-Minister of Justice, 362 

Ferrara, speech of 4th April 192 1 at, 75 

Ferrari, Giuseppe, 78 

Ferrarin, 133, 285 

Ferrario, General, 192 

Fiat factory, 349 

Fighters, National Association of, 87, 
92, 99; Fascio, 92 

Finance, Ministry of, 272-3 

Finland, xviii, 283 

Finzi, 310 

Fiume, 53, 74 J National Vindications 
and, 89; Tardieu and, 96; Mussolini 
visits D'Annunzio at, 103; inter- 
national relations and D'Annunzio's 
occupation of , 104; Italian acquisition 
of, 111; Hungary and, 125; the 
tragedy of, 128; the war between 
General Caviglia and, 129 ; the Fascio 
of, 131; economic annexation of, 
demanded by the Fascisti, 132; 
sympathy of Fascista for, 136; 
Italian unity and, 144; General 
Ferrario, 192; the Belgrade Agree- 
ment, 193; Agreements of Santa 
Margherita and, 248; Arbitration 
Commission, 262; Abbazia Con- 



INDEX 



369 



ference, 278-9; difficulties of Yugo- 
slav Government, 301; representa- 
tions to Belgrade, 346 
lorence, speech 9th Oct. 1919 at, 
103; speeches 19th June 1923 at, 
328-9; of the Middle Ages, 113 
Foreign Affairs, Ministry of, Fascisti 
and, 174 
reign policy, 121, 132, 149, 251, 278, 



J ?3» 345 
rli, 



Forli, xvi 

Forum, the, 234 

France: Italy's neutrality in 1914, 

12; undertaking not to conclude a 

separate peace, 19; heroism of, 45; 

attitude of, towards Fiume question, 

104 
Franche-ComtS, 21 
Frankfurt, Treaty of, 9 
Frankfurter Zeitung, 21 
Freedom of the Press, 353, 355 
Freemasonry, 201, 314, 318 

Galassi, Angelico, 201 

Galicia, 20; Eastern, 280 

Galileo, 77, 114 

Gandolfo, General, 309 

Garibaldi, 14, 27, 77, 114, 134; "red 
shirts" of, 145; Piedmont and, 352; 
and Dumas, 353 

Gasparri, Cardinal, 345 

Gay, Harry Nelson, 335 

Geneva, Protocol of; loan to Austria, 
299; territorial integrity of Austria, 
300 

Genoa, 113, 311 

Gentile, Senator, xii 

George V., King of England, visit of, 304 

Georgia, 133 

Germany: Italy's neutrality between 
Triple Entente and Austro-German 
Alliance, 12; dependence on Austria, 
20; and Belgium, 22; Prussian 
militarism, 23, 60; " Wilsonites " 
in, 54; imperialist, doomed 60; war 
desired by, 72 ; reparations problem, 
124; Upper Adige question and, 125; 
resistance in the Ruhr, 240; repara- 
tions, 294 

Gioberti, 261 

Giolitti, revelations of, 12; adherents 
of, in upper bureaucracy, 106: 
Italian intervention in the war and 
the followers of, 107; attitude 
towards Upper Adige question, 188; 
congratulates Mussolini, 362 

Giordani, Giulio, 134 

" Giovinezza " (Youth), xiv 

2A 



Giulietti, Captain, 104 

Giuriati, 310 

Giustixia, La, 315 

Goethe, 114 

Gorizia, 48; Italophobia in, 184 

Grappa, 120 

Graziadei, Antonio, 196-7 

Graziani, General, xii 

Greco- Albanian frontier, massacre of the 

Italian delegation for delimitation 

of the, 363 
Greece, 10; Italian relations with, 

under Fascista Government, 212; 

Italian note to, respecting Janina 

massacre, 363-4 
Grodno, 123 
Gronchi, speech on Electoral Reform 

by, 348 
Guardie Regie, abolition of, xvii 
Guesde on Socialist nations, 14 
Guglielmotti, Maj. -General, 310 

Hapsburg, House of, domination of, 

Prevented by the war, 89; war 1- j 
>ose by, 100; attempt of, to present 
navy to Yugoslavs, 126; Upper Adige 
and, 185, 187 

Harden on Germany's desire for war, 26 

Harding, President, 279 

Heraclea coal mines, 96 

Hermada, 48 

High Commissioners, 315 

Hindenburg, 36 

Hohenzollerns, the Germany of the, 
26, 36; passing of militarism with 
the, 60; domination of, prevented 
by the war, 89; Socialists and the, 
99 ; war let loose by the, 100 

Holland, colonies of, 90 

Hungary: preparations against Rou- 
mania, 20: Fiume and, 125; Popular 
Party and, 201; economic relations 
with, 213; reparations, 295, 298. 
See also Austro-Hungarian monarchy 

Iglesias, speech 13th June 1923 at, 326 

Immigration Bill, 341 

Imperial Italy, 292 

lndt pendente, 354 

Inter-allied debts, 204, 346 

Internal policy, 306 ei seq. 

" Internationals," German, 26 

Internationalism, n 

Islam, situation in, 213 

Isonzo, fording of the Upper, 3:; 
Caporetto and the, 32; Italian sacri- 
fices beyond the, 48; destruction of 
the Hapsburg empire, 107; obliga- 
tion of Italy to pass the, 11 1 ; Yugo- 



370 



INDEX 



slav boundaries and the, 127; 
Italian army's advance towards, 172. 
Ismet Pasha, 266 

Istria, Slavs in, 131; Fascisti from, 171 
Italian-Croat brotherhood, 104 
Italian Proletariat, Assizes of the, 105 
Italo- American Association, 336 
Italo- American Society, 342 
Italo-Russian Agreement, 303 
Italo-Ukraine Agreement, 303 
Italo- Yugoslav Commission, 301 
Italy: Socialist Party, 3, 23, 93; Triple 
Alliance, 22 ; no ground for remaining 
neutral, 23; Battisti, Sauro and Ris- 
mondo on destinies of, 74; and the 
Brenner, 74; and the Adriatic, 74; 
and Dalmatia, 74; Socialist Union, 
92; Liberal leaders out of touch 
with, 165; Monarchy of, 176; Con- 
vention with Montenegro, 190; agree- 
ments with Yugoslavia, 251; uni- 
versities of, 291 ; position of, respect- 
ing reparations, 294 ; War Loan and 
credits to Austria, 299; relations 
with Russia, 303; relations with 
United States, 304; Crimean ex- 
pedition and the unity of, 351 

Jaffa, Conference of, 195 

Janina, 363 

Japan, conflict between U.S. and, 121-2 

Jerusalem, conquest of, 100; Polish 

immigrants, 195 
Jews: English mandate in Palestine, 

194 et seq. ; sacrifices by Italian Jews 

in the war, 195 
Journalism, Parliamentarism and, 313 
Judiciary Circuits, 314 
Jugoslavia. See Yugoslavia 

Kaiser, the, 66 

Kemal, Mustapha, 150, 189, 266 

Kerensky, 33 

Klopstock, 114 

Labour, Asiatic Utopia and, 82 
Labour, General Confederation of, 106, 
no; Fascisti demand Ministry of, 
174 
Labriola, 348-9. 352 
Lansing, Mr., on Dalmatian question, 96 
Larussa, order of the day on Electoral 

Reform proposed by, 362 
Lausanne Conference, recognition of 
Turkey's successes by, 213; safe- 
guarding of European and Christian 
interests by, 213; Russian repre- 
sentation at, 214; Italian delega- 
tion, 232, 241, 254; Ruhr and, 241; 



Turkey's legitimate rights, 241; 
questions of the Straits and of 
capitulation, 241; Angora Govern- 
ment and, 266; Turks invited to 
new, 279 ; cession of Castelrosso, 302 ; 
Treaty of Lausanne, 345 

Law, Mr. Bonar, proposals of, at Con- 
ference of Paris, 230, 295. 

Lazzari, Constantino, on Election Law, 
360 

League of Nations, the : disabled Italian 
soldiers and, 52; ex-Pres. Wilson 
and, 52-4; no substitute for victory, 
54-5; Germany and, 55; Renan's 
prediction falsified, 55-6; Inter- 
nationalism, 56; difficulties in estab- 
lishing, 56; dream of, founded on 
ruins of the old world, 60; Fascisrao 
and, 132; Palestine mandate and, 
195; Polish-Lithuanian boundaries, 
268 

League, National, 343 

Legnano, 27, 45 

Lenin, effect of gospel of, on Italy's 
working classes, ix; results in Russia 
of gospel of, 44; and Tuscany, 103; 
Bolshevism of, preferable to other 
forms, 129; Milan and, 136; an ally 
of Kemal, 189; production and the 
Communism of, 196; reactionary 
policy of, 199 

Lerici, Mayor of, 163 

Lettonia, 133, 283 

Levanto, Fascista programme described 
at, 150 

Liberal State, the: weakness of, 154; 
superiority of Fascista State over, 
163; devoid of spirit, 165; necessity 
for broadening, 175 

Liberticidal Government, 354-7 

Liberty, 358 

Libyan subjects, 303 

Lithuania, commercial treaty with, 
xviii, 283; Wilna question and, 123; 
rights of, to Memel, 242, 268 ; Polish- 
Lithuanian boundaries, 268 

Little Entente. See Entente, Little 

Lombardy, iron foundries of, 79; 
Fascismo in, 356 

Lombroso's classification of men, 54 

London: Treaty of (191 5), 189; Mus- 
solini's speech, 12 Dec. 1922 in, 227; 
Ruhr advance and Italian memoran- 
dum of, 231, 238, 346; Italian 
foreign policy at, 254; Inter-allied 
meeting at, on draft Peace Treaty 
with Turkey, 279 

Lorenzino dei Medici, 291 



INDEX 

Lorraine, reconquest of, 100 

l.otta di classe, La, 3 

Lucci on Mussolini's foreign policy, 253 

Ludendorff, 36 

Lupi, Dario, xii 

Macedonia, Bulgaria's right to, 125 

Machiavelli, 38 

Maeterlinck, 38-9 

Malton, Rosa, xvi 

Manzoni, Alexandra, 313 

Marconi, 133 

Ifargherita, Santa, Agreements of. See 
Santa Margherita 

Marx, Karl, 24, 27, 197, 359 

Materialism, Mussolini on, 290 

Muzzini, 53, 77; Socialism of, 78; the 
Risorgimento, 145; advocate of Re- 
publicanism, 153; on power, 288; 
Democracy and, 351; Crimea ex- 
pedition and, 352 

Medals, 309 

Mediterranean, compensation in, for 
loss of Sebenico, 96; Socialists and 
the, 115; a centre of world civilisa- 
tion, 122; Italian policy in Eastern, 
125; Italy as leading power on the, 
1 4 1-2, 150; Italian losses in, 211; 
Greco-Turkish affairs in Eastern, 
254; Italian interests in Eastern, 302 

Melloni, 161 

Memel, 241-2, 268 

Memorandum of London. See London 

Menotti Serrati, Giacinto, 9 

Merano, commissioner of, and Upper 
Adige, 186 

Merrheim, 94 

Messina, 356 

Metallurgic Consortium, Italian, 359 

Metz, 53 

Michael, Grand Duke, 33 

Michelangelo, 114 

Milan, Mussolini's speeches at : 25th Nov. 
1914, 3; 25th Jan. 1915, 18; 8th April 
1918,49; 20th Oct. 1918,52; nth Nov. 
1918, 58; 23rd March 1919, 87; 22nd 
July 1919, 92; 5th Feb. 1920, 67; 24th 
May 1920, 71; 6th Oct. 1922, 161; 
6th Dec. 1922, 79; 29th March 1923, 
276; 30th March 1923, 277 

Militarism, Austro-German, 16. See 
also under Germany 

Militia, National, xvii, 309 

Miliukoff, 33 

Mincio, the, in 

Ministerial departments, reduction of, 
xvii 

Minorities and the Electoral Law, 360 



371 
Mirabello, Villa, blind ex-toldiers At, 

27'' 

Mohammedans, 213 

Moltke, 9 

Mommsen, 202 

Monarchy, the, Statute Law and* 312. 
See also under Fascismo 

Montagna, Commendatory Janina 
massacre and, 363 

Montanara, 289 

Montemaggiore as Italian boundary, 127 

Montenegro, independence of, 125, 
189, 191 

Monte Nero, no 

Monte Santo, 28 

" Mopsy," 195 

Moratorium for reparations, 235-6, 238 

Morgagni, 114 

Moscow, Third International at, 195 

" Most favoured nation " clause, 282 

Mussolini, Arnaldo, xvi, 69 

Mussolini, Benito: leader of the Fasdo 
Nazionale dei Combattenti, x; sum- 
moned to form cabinet, xiii; saves 
Italy from Bolshevism, xiv; the 
" Duce," xv; career, xv, xvi; 
family, xvi; foreign policy, xvii; 
his legislative and administrative 
work, xvii- character, xix; expul- 
sion from Socialist Party, 3; editor 
of Avanti, xvi, 3; La lotta di clam, 
3; against reformism, 3; agitator 
for intervention in the war, 9 et seq. ; 
editor of // Popolo <f Italia, 37; anti- 
pacifist, 58; Fascista friend of the 
people, 63; the " Fascista," 87; 
sane conception of problems of 
foreign policy, 108; against re- 
volutionary policy regarding Fiume, 
128; triumph. 134; Fascista Mem- 
ber of Parliament, 183; Prime 
Minister, 207; Note to Greece on 
Janina massacre, 363-4. Set also 
Fascismo. 

Naples, speech of 26th Oct. 1922 at, 171 ; 

Risorgimento and the bourgeoisie of, 

150 
Napoleon, 114 

National League. See League, National 
National Militia. See Militia, National 
National Vindications, the, 89 
Naval disarmament, 243 
Neues Deutschland, 21 
Neue Zurchcr Nachrichten, 22 
Neuilly, Treaty of, 123, 299 
Nevoso, the, 120, 136, 184, 19*1 *86, 329 



372 



INDEX 



Nicholas, King of Montenegro, 189, 190 
Nitti, Signor, 106 
Nofri, Gregorio, 252 
Nola, the Risorgimento and, 351 
North African colonies, 303 
North America, Italian emigration to, 
34i 

Oberdan, Guglielmo, 344 
Oldofredi, Count, 351 
Olympic Games, 340, 342 
Order, measures to restore, 308 
Orlando, Cantiere, of Leghorn, xiii 
Orlando, Signor, 362 
Ortigara, no 
Ottoman Public Debt, 303 

Padua, speeches: 2nd June 1923 
(Women's Congress), 286; 3rd June 
1923 (at the University), 289 

Palestine, 194-5 

Pangermanism, xiii, 21, 44 

Pareto, 312 

Paris Conference, Montenegrin inde- 
pendence and the, 189 ; failure of, 295 

Parliament, Government of Fascisti 
and, 208, 221, 313, 357; speech in, 
on Treaty of Rapallo and Agreements 
of Sta. Margherita, 210; Sub- Alpine, 
and Cavour, 351 

Parma, speech 13th Dec. 19 14 at, 9 

Passive resistance, 346 

Perathoner, Herr, xiii, 164 

Petrillo, 347 

Petrograd, tyranny at, 33 

Piave, the Germans on, 31, 32, 45; 
Italian resistance on, 48, 59; the 
" arditi " and, 74; Austrian empire 
destroyed on, in, 135, 332; a 
starting point for the Fascisti in their 
march to Rome, 160; deciding factor 
of the war, 332 

Piedmont, Cavour and the constitu- 
tional movement of, 311, 351-2 

Pisacane, Carlo, 78, 351 

Po, Valley of (Valle Padana), 42, 125; 
Socialist exploitation of the masses 
in, 134; Upper Adige question and, 
184 

Poincare, M., 346 

Poland, xviii, 100, 123, 195, 213; 
boundaries, 268, 280, 304; Italian 
relations with, 304 

Pontifical Allocution, Zionism and the, 
194 

Popolo d' Italia, founded, xvi; German- 
Swiss and the, 21 ; Mussolini and, 37; 
Treaty of Rapallo criticised by, 125-6 



Popular Party, strike of textile workers 

belonging to, 68 ; annual day of, 141 ; 

Fascismo and the, 183, 201-3, 318; 

Electoral Reform Bill and, 347, 361 
Porta Pia, breach of, 108, 144 
Porto Baros, 193, 256, 262 
Portorose Conventions, 270, 281 
Porto Sauro, 278 
Portugal, colonies of, 90 
Post and Telegraph Offices, 307 
Potsdam, 59 
Prefects, 315 
Press, the, 313; jury and, 352; freedom 

of, 353 
Principe, the, 38 
Priza, Admiral, 269 
Proletariat, Italian, intervention and 

the, 16; Assizes of the, 105 
Proudhon, 10 
Prussia, 9, 36, 50 

Public services, industrialisation of, xvii 
Public Works, Ministry of, Fascisti 

demand, 174 

Quadrumvirate meeting, xiii 
Quaranta di San Severino, Barone Ber- 
nardo, 335 

Radice, Signor Lombardo, 343 

Raffaello, 114 

Railways, 270 

Ramanadovich, Commander, 190 

Rapallo, Treaty of, 123-4; opinion of 
Central Committee of the Fascio on, 
125; why Italy signed, 126; Dal- 
matia and, 127, 130; mentioned in 
Parliament, 210; Agreements of Sta. 
Margherita presented to Parliament, 
247 ; evacuation of territories claimed 
by Yugoslavia and, 248; Italian 
foreign policy regarding, 249; ratifi- 
cation, 251; revision of, 256; ap- 
plication of, 261 ; enforcement of, 300 

Red Cross, German, 21 

Reggio Emilia, Congress of, 3 

Regguzoni, 88 

Religious instruction in elementary 
schools, xii 

Renan, 55 

Reparations Commission, 236, 298 

Reparations: decision of Reparations 
Commission, 26th Dec. 1922, 236; 
decision 12th Jan. 1923, 236; failure 
of Germany to supply wood, 236; 
Italian delegate's mandate, 236-7; 
Turko-Grecian, 266; Italy and, 294; 
Italian project, 295; owed by 
Austria, Bulgaria and Hungary, 295; 
Italian quota of, 295-6; German 






INDEX 

project, 207; German Note on, 297; 
Treaty of Trianon, 298 ; Allies' agree- 
ment with Bulgaria, 290; Ion t-. 
Austria, 300. See also Interallied 
debts 

Republican Alliance, electoral reform 
and the, 101 

Republican Party, intervention and 
the, 24; aims of Fascismo and the, 92 

Revolution, French, ix, 14, 349; 
Fascista, 354 

Rhino, German threat to Italy from, 
45; American withdrawal, 230; 
Ruhr advance, 230; exploitation of 
forests, 236 

Rismondo on Dalmatia, 74 

Risorgimento, Italian, in, 144-5, 150-1 

Risorgimento, II, 312 

Roccatagliata, Ceccardi, 18 

Rodzianko, 33 

Romanoff, House of, 33 

Rome, Pact of, 126 

Rome, Government of, and Govern- 
ment at Fiume, 128; Bolshevist Con- 
gress of, 167; Fascista march on, 171 

Rome, speeches of Mussolini at, 24th 
Feb. 1918, 30; 21st June 1921, 183; 
16th Nov. 1922, 207; 2nd Jan. 
1923, 228; 6th Jan. 1923, 82; 
15th Jan. 1923, 230; 19th Jan. 
1923, 234; 23rd Jan. 1923, 235; 
1st Feb. 1923, 240; 6th Feb. 1923, 
245; 8th Feb. 1923, 247; 10th Feb. 
1923, 251; 16th Feb. 1923, 258; 
2nd March 1923, 264; 6th March 
1923, 271; 7th March 1923, 272; 
18th March 1923, 274; 7th April 
1923, 278; 8th June 1923, 293; 
8th June 1923, 306; 25th June 
19231 33i; speech by American 
Ambassador, 28th June 1923, 335; 
Mussolini's reply to American Am- 
bassador, 340; 2nd July 1923, 347; 
3rd July 1923, 345; 16th July 1923, 
347; Internal Congress of Chambers 
of Commerce at, 274 

Romulus, 38 

Ronchi, legions of, 128 

Rossoni, Esmondo, xi 

Rothermere, Lord, on Mussolini's 
work, xiv 

Roumania, intervention of, 19; Italian 
relations with, 213; Mohammedans 
in, 213 

Rovigo, speech at, 2nd June 1923, 284 

Ruffini, Senator, 335 

Ruhr, Italian policy in the, 230-1, 
238-9, 254 ; Memorandum of London, 



373 

231; German Government's order* as 
to coal deliveries, 235; Reparations 
Com Mission's report on Germany's 



failure, 236; Moratorium. 236-7; 
sentative cm Rhine High Commfaisson, 



OOBta '1 Of inmes, 236; 



237; Italian mediation, 237, 250; 
America's neutrality, 238; Little 
Entente and, 238, 240; ' *TMt 

Conference, 238, 241; Russia and, 
240; train services ami. iai] passive 
stance, 264, 346; French object, 
264; English attitude, 264; reasons 
for occupation of, 295; extension of 
occupation, 345; European ex- 
changes, 345 

Ruskoie Slovo, admission of Russian 
vacillation in, 19 

Russia, commercial treaty with, xviii; 
undermined by revolution, 12; En- 
tente and financial difficulties <<• 
Leninist policy at Brest- Utowsk, 43; 
Agrarian revolution, 123; the Baltic 
States, 123; Pan-slavism, Ifjj 
agreement over Wilna and Grodno, 
123; fate of Poland, 123; Russian 
Jews and Palestine, 195: 
between Italy and, 303; liber: 
association and, 355; freedom of the 
Press in, 355 

Rybar, Signor, 269 

Sabotino, 28 

St. Germain, Treaty of, unsatisfactory 
to the victors, 123; Austrian Re- 
public and, 124; Austro- Italian 
economic relations and, 282 

Salandra, Signor, his formula of ' 
egoism," 16; congratulates Mi 
lini, 362 

Salorno, Pass of, X85 

Salute, Fascista, xv 

San Terenzo, 163 

Santa Margherita, Agreements of, 210; 
purpose of, 247 et sty. ; approv 
251; Adriatic question and, 255-6; 
application of, by Italian Govern- 
ment, 256; effect of, on Zara and 
Dalmatia, 260-1; Abbaxia Con- 
ference, 278; enforcement of, 300 

Santi Quaranta, 363 

Sardi, Baron, 335 

Sardinia, soldiers of, 120; Fasdsti of, 
171; the post-war needs of, 321; 
Fascismo and, 324; Mussolini m, 
320, 323, 326; malaria, 356 

Sassari, speed) 10th June 1923 at, 320 

Sasseno, occupation of, 20 



374 



INDEX 



Sauro Basin, 279 

Sauro, Nazario, 269 

Savoy, Upper, Switzerland, 21; House 
of, and Italian unity, 176; Military 
Order of, 309 

Scala, the, 25, 59 

Schappner, 21 

Schools, reform of, 314 

Sciesa, Antonio, 161 

Sea, Federation of the, 104 

Seamen, Federation of, 106 

Sebenico, 96 

Seipel, 281 

Serbia, 10, 12; against separate peace, 
19; integrity of, safeguarded, 189 

Serbo-Croat-Slovak Delegation at Ab- 
bazia, 278 

Serrani, 88 

Serrati on Tuscany, 103 

Sesto San Giovanni, speech at, 1st Dec. 
1917, 25 

Sevres, Treaty of: not satisfactory, 123 ; 
results of possible failure of, 150; 
Palestine Mandate, 194 

Sforza, Count, on Montenegrin inde- 
pendence, 189, 191 

Siam, commercial treaty with, xviii, 283 

Silesia, Upper, 123, 189 

Sionism. See Zionism 

Skrzynski, 280 

Smyrna, 124; Entente and, 254 

Social-Bolshevism, 108 

Social-Communists, 161 

Social Democrats, 203 

Social-Extremists and economic policy, 
275 

Socialism, 5; Italian, 97; co-operation 
with useless, 99 ; State, 198 

Socialist Party, Italian: Mussolini's 
expulsion from, 3; irredentism and, 
15; intervention and, 27; Dalmine 
strike and, 63 ; condemnation of, 69 ; 
working class and, 70; anti-Italian 
nature of, 73; Fascismo and, 92; 
membership roll, 93, 105; Leninist 
Socialists, 101; in 1913, 97; Turati, 
105; Bolshevist element in, 116-7; 
Fascisti and, 139, 154; party Social- 
ism and Socialism of Labour dis- 
tinguished, 197 

Socialist Union, Italian, 92 

Socrates, 135, 162 

Soldiers, Committee of Wounded and 
Disabled, 51 

Soviet, in Italy, 97; in Russia, 123; 
Fascist a policy towards, 133; Italian 
Communists and the, 197; attitude 
towards German proletariat, 232 



Spa, conference at, 295 

Spain, commercial treaty with, xviii, 
283 ; conditions in, 306 

Spalato, 255 

Sparta, Fascismo and " krypteia " of, ix 

Stambuliski, 345 

Stampa, the, 97 

Statute Law, the, 311-12, 356 

Stefani, de, xviii, and Budgets, 272 

Stelvio, 276 

Straits, the. See Dardanelles 

Strike, anti-Fascista, 307 

Stringa, Major- General, 310 

Sturck, 98 

Siidbahn Conference, 269-270 

Sudekum, 99 

Suffrage, universal, 355 

Susak, 256, 262, 278 

Switzerland, Mussolini expelled from, 
xvi, 21, 22 

Syndicalist organisation of Bologna, 37; 
of the Fascista, 148, 178 

Syndicalism, 9, 63, 148, 178, 313-14 

Syndicalist corporations, xi 

Syndicalists, in Parma, 9; of Bologna, 
37; in Dalmine, 63; Syndicate of 
co-operation, 69; Fascista syndi- 
calism, 63, 148, 178; Fascista syndi- 
cates, 81; in Italy generally, 197 

Syndicate, of Co-operation, 69 ; Fascista, 
81; National Italian, 197; Con- 
federation of Italian Syndicates, 197 

Tacitus, 44 

Tamassia, Senator, 260 

Tangorra, 215 

Tardieu, 95 

Taxation, 317 

Theseus, 38 

Tellini, General Enrico, murder of, 363 

Ticino, Canton, 136, 184 

Timavo, 48 

Tirso, Lake, 324 

Tittoni, Senator, 263 

Titus, 37 

Tivaroni, Senator, 260 

Tokyo, circulaton of Our Next War With 
the United States in, 122 

Tolstoy, 114, 118 

Tonoli, 161 

Toscanini, 133 

Transylvania, 20 

Trento, Fascismo in, xiii; Italian aims 
and, 53; statue of Dante at, 60; re- 
conquest of, 100; acquisition of, in; 
Socialists and, 118; Fascisti of, and 
Fiume, 131; elections, 173; Fascisti 
demands concerning, 187 



INDEX 



375 



Treves, 14 

Trianon, Treaty of, 123; Hungarian 
reparations, 298 

Trieste, 25; Giacomo Venezian and, 48; 
Adriatic aspirations, 59; reconquest 
of, 100; speech of 20 Sept. 1920 at, 
108; Risorgimento, 11 1; Socialists 
and, 118; military sacrifices of 1915, 
120; speech of 6 Feb. 1921 at, 121; 
Fascisti of, and Fiume, 131; Fascisti 
of, and separation, 171; frontier 
traffic, 282 

Triple Alliance, 12, 22, 23 

Triple Entente, 12, 15, 16 

Tripoli, war in, 14 

Turati, Filippo, 69, 105, 252 

Turin, 43 

Turkey, 10; Treaty of Sevres, 125; 
Kemal Pasha, 150; juridical protec- 
tion of foreigners, 302-3; Libyan 
subjects resident in, 303; Ottoman 
debt, 303. See also Lausanne 
Conference 

Tuscany, 328 

Udine, speech 20 Sept. 1922 at, 

143 

Ukraine, 195, 303 

United States, internationalism and the, 
46; democracy of, 49; no; inter- 
vention of, 49 51; relations with, 
214; representatives of, at Economic 
Congress, 275; agreement with 
Britain on debt, 296; Austrian loan 
and, 300; Italian relations with, 304, 
335 ei seq. 

Unity, basis of, 93, moral, of the Italian 
people, 352-3 

Universal suffrage, 355 

Universities, Padua, 289; of Italy, 
291 

Unknown Warrior, tomb of, 331, 343i 
344 

Utopia, the Asiatic, 82 

Valona, 20, 117, 118 

Vanzette, 79 

Vatican, the, 202 

Vecchi, Cesare Maria dc, xiii, 310 

" Venezia Giulia," 343 

Venezia Tridentina, 171 

Venezian, 134 

Venice, 113, 286 

Venizelos, 125 

Verdi, 77 

Versailles, 56 



Versailles, Treaty of: revision of. 99. 

100; nxlnnnity under, i- 
cxcludcil from economic and colonial 
benefits, 293 

Victor hnnnanucl III , Kiug, xii 

\ IdiM, 88 

Vienna, n; Danube Confederation, 
124; occupation of, 149, 172 

Vigeyano, Colonel, 190 

Vinci, Leonardo da, 114 

Vittorio Veneto, 75, 77; vindication 
of fruits of, xvii, 107, 151, 154, 160, 
164; greatness of victory of, no; 
Austria crushed at, 135; Fascista 
Government, the Government of, 333 

Votes for Women, 286 

War Office, Fascisti demand, 1 74 

War, revolutionary, 23 

Warsaw, Italian firms and, 280 

Washington Conference on Disarma- 
ment, xviii, 243; social and pacifist 
Conventions of, 353 

Waterloo, 5 

Wells, H. G., 41 

White Federation, 197 

Wilna, 123 

Wilson, Woodrow, 28, 52, 126, 189 

Woman's Fascista Congress, 286; suf- 
frage, 355 

Workers, General Federation of, 198 

Working classes, post-war rights of, 
63; intervention and the, 69; Fas- 
cismo and the, 75 ; Fascista Govern- 
ment's policy towards, 80 

Workmen, Italian Union of, 66, 69 

Yellow immigration, 121 

Yugoslavia, pact of Rome, 126; Isonxo 
and, 127; Porto Barro and the Delta, 
193; Mohammedanism in, 213; the 
Adriatic question, 255 ; Abbazia Con- 
ference, 269; commercial treaty, 
271, 282. See also Fiume; Rapallo, 
Treaty of 

Zagabria, 127 

Zahn, 21 

Zambon, Maj.-General, 3x0 

Zankoff, 345 

Zara, 53, 59 J Treaty of Rapallo, 125, 262 ; 
Fascismo and, 136; Adriatic question 
and, 192; Agreements of Sta. Mar- 
gherita, 247, 260-1 ; Fascista Govern- 
ment and, 256-7; "Special cone 
of Zara," 301. Se* also Yugoslavia 

Zocchi, Fulvio, 9 



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