The Western Mail
March 22nd 1932
HE HAS TRANSFORMED ITALY.
By GARETH JONES
has spoken. One word from him and
Cabinet Ministers fall like ninepins. This
week he has dismissed five of the most outstanding men in the Italian Cabinet,
and the unexpectedness of the decision can be judged from the fact that,
although I was in Rome within the last fortnight, not a single foreign observer
even suspected that such a great change was to take place.
action typical of the Italy of today, which is subjected to discipline and
obedience by the Duce. In each
branch of Italian life Mussolini has acted with vigour and ruthlessness.
railways. In the beginning of this month I crossed the French-Italian
frontier near the Mont Cenis Pass and travelled through Turin to Genoa and Rome.
Every inch of the railway track on this journey was electrified, for
Mussolini is now carrying out a great programme of railway building.
Effect on Welsh Miners
this electrification of the railways Mussolini has adversely affected the
livelihood of many South Wales miners, tippers, and sailors, for the Italian
State Railways become less dependent on imported coal.
out of the train between the frontier and Rome, one could see that every patch
of land was cultivated and that up to the vary fringe of the mountains the
peasants had planted wheat or vegetables. Mussolini
is fighting fox the full use of Italian soil, against the crowding of the masses
in the great cities. A typical
expression of his desire to foster agriculture is the following Fascist
quotation: “The dark and mysterious earth yields other gifts than harvests: it
gives birth to renunciation, sell-sacrifice, and industry, the loftiest and
noblest expressions of the human spirit; Fascism seeks and finds in the fields
the purest and freshest spiritual reserves of the nation, and gathers and
diffuses these forces to revive new energy and poetry in the soul of the
is building roads, bridges, canals, and viaducts in many parts of Italy. He aims at a re-building of his native country, and it is remarkable that
his programme follows the lines laid down by the Liberal party in Great Britain.
What irony that the enemy of Democracy should be carrying out the policy
advocated by British Liberals!
programme is being carried out by Mussolini in the same spirit in which he has
dismissed his Ministers, and it reveals his impetuous, energetic nature. He will brook no rivals.
the Foreign Minister, who had aroused the admiration of diplomats in all
continents, must now go. Mosconi,
the Minister of Finance, is dismissed, and his place is taken by Signor Guido
Jung, an energetic, much traveled man, who received me in Rome a fortnight ago.
Little did I think that this keen, grey-haired man who faced me would
within fourteen days be Finance Minister of Italy.
has through his Dictatorial methods aroused great opposition. One evening a German foreign correspondent and I, having dined together
near the Italian Foreign Office, walked out of the restaurant, looked up, and
saw searchlights flashing across the sky. “Do you know what that is?” asked
searchlights are to prevent anti-Fascist aeroplanes, coming from France and
manned by Italian exiles, from dropping a bomb on the Palazzo Venezia, or from
dropping pamphlets against Mussolini on the streets of Rome.” Communism also
is growing in the North of Italy.