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IF I had written this article ten years ago I should, no doubt, have sought to show with what lack of understanding Italian problems had been examined and settled at the Peace Conference, and I should have tried to explain the reasons for the deep sense of dissatisfaction with which the Italian people received the results. Today it does not seem necessary to do this. During these ten years the problem of ensuring peace, tranquillity and work, so as to enable a people with limited resources to meet the ever growing demands of life, has gradually come to be universally recognized. The situation created by those who made the peace terms in Paris is such that a detailed review is superfluous. Public opinion all over the world is beginning to ask how statesmen could have parcelled out immense colonial territories without any regard for the only one of the Allies for whom the pressure of population was creating a vital and urgent problem. How could statesmen, when distributing colonial mandates, have seen fit to entrust these to Great Britain, France, Japan, Belgium, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia -- and none to Italy? Why, at the risk of deeply offending the Italian people, did they choose to create so many artificial difficulties and obstacles to Italy's national aspirations? Why, in short, should Italy, who had been a loyal member of the victorious alliance in the war, have deliberately been thwarted and made discontented?
No doubt errors were committed by the Italian representatives in Paris. But this does not alter the fact that the men who represented England, France and the United States were fundamentally lacking in any understanding of Italian needs. They failed to realize that Italy was a young and active country, entering on a new phase of demographic and economic development, and that she was animated by new spiritual values which were to take shape in a much more vigorous conception of the future of the nation and the rôle of the state. Their failure seems all the stranger when we remember that they possessed the key to the new Italian political situation. Italy was not driven into the war by force of circumstances. Her intervention was her own voluntary act. Before committing the country to such an enterprise, the Government very properly tried to safeguard Italy's rights to compensation at the end of the war. But it was a wave of popular enthusiasm which swept the politicians before it and in 1915 decided upon intervention.
It should not have been difficult to see that this movement, of which Mussolini was the leader, was the outcome of a reserve of youthful energies, capable of giving a fresh and vigorous impetus to national life. The statesmen in Paris, however, were blind to the ideals of the new generation of Italians. They also failed to take a practical view of the Italian question. It was not in the interest of Europe and European stability to debar Italy from the outlet requisite to the growing needs of her population; nor was it a move in defense of the interests of European civilization to offend and humiliate the new spirit of energy animating the Italian people. It was that people, in the sequel, which was destined to make the most vigorous contribution of any single nation to the common defense of European stability and of European civilization.
The greatest lack of understanding of the realities of the Italian situation was displayed by the statesmen of France, and this was the primary cause of the uncertainty and instability prevailing in Franco-Italian relations during the post-war years. The relations of the two countries have been so genuinely improving in recent times that, I trust, I am safe in putting forward these historical considerations without risk of giving offense. There is one page in M. Poincaré's memoirs which it is difficult to read without asking oneself whether political insensibility is not sometimes accompanied by a considerable amount of moral insensibility. I refer to an extract from his 1915 diary, written at the moment when Italy was entering the war as France's ally. After having enumerated the territorial concessions granted to Italy by the Treaty of London, M. Poincaré adds: "Rien ne prouve, d'ailleurs, qu'au moment de la paix toutes ces attributions puissent être maintenues." An obscure phrase, perhaps, but one which can be better understood if we read what Ray Stannard Baker wrote in his book "Woodrow Wilson and the World Settlement." In it he records that, a few days after the armistice, the Quai d'Orsay approached Colonel House and proposed "to scrap all the secret Treaties for the sake of curbing Italy." This meant annulling the Treaty of London, which stipulated the compensations due to Italy at the end of the war.
Is it surprising that Italy left the Conference with the feeling that she had been injured in her rights and interests, convinced that she had been deceived and defrauded, and determined to correct these errors and right these wrongs? I persist in calling them "errors" because I have always felt that, from their own point of view, French statesmen -- Clemenceau and his followers -- whose object it was to create a condition of stability so as to protect the Treaty of Versailles, ought at least to have been wise enough to wish to associate a great country such as Italy with the cause of conservation. It was evident that Italy, being a country in a phase of dynamic development, would otherwise be inevitably drawn towards a revisionist policy.
I do not wish this statement of mine to be misunderstood. Mussolini's foreign policy, in the matter of the revision of the Versailles Treaty as in other questions, rests on a much wider conception than the mere correction, in Italy's interest, of certain of the diplomatic results of the Paris Conference. But the fact that the Italian people has of recent years been peculiarly interested in the question of the revision of treaties is assuredly due in part to its own painful experience at the Peace Conference -- an experience which, notwithstanding the radical change that has taken place in Italy's international position during the last few years, is not yet forgotten. The Italian people has always considered that the peace settlement, both as a liquidation of the World War and as a foundation of the new institutions which were to guarantee the future political stability of Europe, was based on an insufficient and erroneous view of the facts. On this point the Duce has expressed himself with his usual clearness and straightforwardness.
Coming into power in October 1922, Mussolini was faced by two exigencies of foreign policy: the need to rouse the European Powers to a sense of Italian realities, to a recognition of the new creative forces inherent in the national rebirth; and the necessity of incorporating the Italian question in the vaster and more general problem of a revision of the principles upon which the peace settlement had been founded.
One episode of Mussolini's foreign policy has often been misunderstood both in the United States and in England. Indeed, my American and English friends have always advised me not to talk about it. I frequently bring it up, however, because I believe in the eloquence of examples. I refer to the Corfu episode. There is a sentimental aspect to this incident, and apparently that is the only one which struck the imagination of most people: namely, the guns of a great naval Power were trained against a lesser one. This fact is certainly not new in history, nor can it be suggested that Mussolini invented the procedure. Not unnaturally, however, every time it occurs it arouses a reaction of public feeling. But the real importance of the Corfu incident was quite different. The Duce, by the concrete example of the Corfu expedition, called Europe's attention to the respect due the new Italy and to the reawakened energies of the Italian people. That is to say, it called attention to a fact that had been ignored at the Paris Conference.
According to international custom, when a warship wishes to order a vessel suspected of carrying contraband to stop, she shall fire a warning gun. At Corfu the Duce fired his gun, not to intimidate Greece, but to intimate to Europe that it was time to halt for a moment in order to consider Italy's international position, before the tension created in Italy by the wrongs done her at Paris reached the danger point. By so doing, he made the first real contribution to European peace. A few months later the question of Fiume was peacefully settled by a direct understanding with Jugoslavia, the independence of Albania was secured, and the relations between Italy and Greece themselves entered upon a phase of friendship and collaboration. This led to the Italo-Greek Treaty of 1928 -- an event which I regard as particularly fortunate, and one that displays the intelligence of Greek statesmen, who realized that the Corfu episode was not an Italo-Greek incident, but a stand made by Italy vis-à-vis Europe -- a somewhat strong one perhaps, but very illuminating. So illuminating was it, in fact, that since then Mussolini has not found it necessary to fire any warning guns against anyone.
He has had other means of recalling Europe to a sense of reality, since Europe -- harassed by political instability, divisions and conflicts, revolutions in many of its leading states, and urgent claims beating against the fragile structure of the peace treaties and the League of Nations -- has itself come to demand that revision of principles and methods which the Duce for ten years has advocated and fostered.
The Peace Conference bequeathed to Europe two tendencies, both divorced from reality: the apocalyptical ideology of which President Wilson was the primary interpreter; and an out-of-date reactionary spirit whose principal exponent was Clemenceau. One of these tendencies seeks to immobilize Europe in a network of theoretical formulæ, the other to force it into an iron frame based upon past events.
While one of these tendencies reflected the past and the other faced towards the future, both, however, had a common significance: the immobilization of history -- Wilson by the optimistic notion of universal peace, and Clemenceau by the pessimistic notion of French security. Their aims were different, but the starting point, and I might say the initial illusion, were the same. For both sought to suppress the realities of history by denying the free play of the forces of movement and development that make history. The Powers in Paris attempted to force the peace problems of Europe into this duplex structure of unreality. They regarded them not as dynamic problems of the future, the settlement of which demanded careful study and preparation, but as static questions to be definitely settled by legal and coercive means.
Ever since 1919, Europe has dwelt in this fantastic structure of prophecies and armaments. But while the force of arms has steadily increased, the force of prophecy has dwindled. The League of Nations exists at Geneva; but despite all the trust we may place in it, and all the good will with which we uphold it, it is a fact that the League now stands on the defensive; and all the efforts made for a reduction of armaments have led to no results. Indeed, the Disarmament Conference has meandered into a legal quibble on "parity of rights," from which we are seeking to extricate ourselves by an effort of diplomacy; which all goes to prove the need of reforming the methods with which the League of Nations has worked up to the present.
These methods do not respond to the exigencies of international life. They are derived from those ideological formulæ which attended the League's birth, and from the experiments of the parliamentary system. I do not mean here to discuss parliament as a constitutional institution in Europe or America. It is a fact, however, that the parliamentary system no longer enjoys unanimity of consent nor inspires the universal confidence accorded it in the nineteenth century. But even were this otherwise, the fact of having transplanted the system from national life into the international domain was a performance that calls to mind the act of the Roman general, who having been struck with admiration for a wonderful sun dial at Syracuse, had it dismantled and removed to Rome, only to find that the dial did not work in a different latitude. Parliamentary institutions, in fact, are quite out of keeping with a League of Nations. The League does not correspond to any parliament, because every parliament is connected with an executive power, and the League of Nations possesses no executive worthy of the name. If we are to seek an historical comparison, we should turn rather to the Continental Congress -- but American historians have dealt too severely with the Continental Congress for me to dare to do so.
Putting aside these theoretical arguments, we are faced at Geneva with the following reality: that the Powers -- large and small -- carry their difficulties and their conflicts of interests to the League of Nations. These conflicts do not shrink at Geneva: they expand. The Great Powers, in conflict with one another, seek for allies among the lesser Powers and form hostile groups which complicate and aggravate the situation; the small states court the support of the Great Powers, who in order to maintain their diplomatic combinations at once take sides. Thus all the disputes brought to Geneva finish sooner or later, either directly or indirectly, as conflicts between the Great Powers. During my stay in Geneva I never saw a dispute of any importance settled otherwise than by an agreement between the Great Powers. They alone are responsible for the situations that arise. A few states that remain outside of fixed diplomatic combinations, and are therefore able to maintain an independent attitude, have from time to time exercised a conciliatory influence at Geneva. But this only happens in the case of secondary disputes, and, moreover, these lesser Powers, not having at their disposal the forces that might become necessary to back their action, are themselves compelled to have recourse to the Great Powers.
The whole of the Geneva procedure is, in fact, a system of detours, all of which lead to one or other of these two issues: agreement or disagreement between Great Britain, Italy, France and Germany -- the latter now formally absent, but not yet entirely detached from the League.
Experience and common sense alike prove that political institutions live and function only when they respond to the realities of a situation and are able to adapt themselves thereto. The real situation in Europe is this: the four Great Powers have it in their power to realize a policy of effective collaboration, not only among themselves but also among the lesser states. Every time that the problem has been envisaged in this way -- at Locarno in 1925, at Lausanne in 1932, and at Rome during the negotiations for the Four Power Pact -- something definite has been achieved. Whenever -- as at Geneva during the Disarmament Conference -- the Western Powers have departed from this position, the results have been negative, or practically so. It is from this point of view that we should consider the Four Power Pact and the policy defined therein; and it is for this reason that the Duce discerns a close connection between the Four Power Pact and the Locarno Treaty.
"In the Locarno Treaty," he said recently in an historical speech in the Italian Senate, "the position of the four powers was clearly defined and a basis was established from which in the course of time certain results might ensue. In the years following, European policy has too often departed therefrom.
"It was high time that the four western Powers should return to the principle that had preceded the 1925 agreements and solemnly pledge themselves to collaborate and act in concert and mutual understanding in all questions concerning them; that they should make every endeavor to realize a policy of effective collaboration, not only among themselves, but also with the lesser Powers. It is this pledge that the new Pact solemnly undertakes by Article I, which is the corner stone upon which all the other clauses are based."
Several political observers have thought to discern in the Four Power Pact certain principles tending to reform the League of Nations, and League zealots have criticized it mainly on this ground. It must frankly be admitted that these elements are there. They were already present in the Locarno Treaty, which, after all, created a procedure extraneous to the League, and they are to be found again in the Four Power Pact. Each of these great international treaties sought to establish a system of relations between states which had been paralyzed by the vast and heavy mechanism of the League; and they corrected, or at least they aimed at correcting, those deviations from reality inherent in the universality of the League and in its abstract and ideological character. They sought to remove the League from the world of prophecy to the world of hard facts, from purely theoretical and universal affirmations to the immediate guarantees necessary to satisfy the craving for safety and protection -- these are the very words of the Locarno Treaty -- that animate the countries who were victims of the war scourge of 1914-1918. Both treaties are the logical expression of the need for common agreement between the four western Powers in order to impart vitality and efficacy to Articles 10, 16 and 19 of the Covenant, and in order to restore the equilibrium that must exist between them if constructive and lasting results are to be obtained.
All this involves a constant effort to adapt the peace treaties to the actual conditions of Europe. For ten years this has been one of the Duce's main preoccupations. For ten years he has constantly sought to convince Europe that the real menace to peace consisted in the excessive rigidity of the endeavor to maintain a system of international obligations, on a basis of psychological and political conditions which were changing from day to day. This is, and has always been, Mussolini's thought. I summarize the matter in what are his own words, so far as my memory serves: "From the moment of the cessation of war -- of this war, as of all wars that preceded it -- the process of adapting the peace treaties to the changing situation commences. It would be useless and dangerous to conceal the fact that this process exists, and that it has often gone on amid far greater difficulties than would have existed in an atmosphere of greater reciprocal trust and understanding. During the years following 1919, rigid conditions have been enforced and have created an atmosphere of tension; while adaptations and revisions have taken place almost unawares, under the pressure of circumstances that have often threatened Europe's stability, and without producing in the relations of the several states and in the general situation that organic improvement which was aimed at and which ought to have ensued."
In maintaining this attitude, Mussolini has often found himself in open disagreement with those French statesmen who regard peace and security essentially in the same way that Clemenceau did: as a system of juridical engagements and a system of military alliances to maintain rigidly the structure of the peace treaties. An understanding with Italy on these lines was difficult. Nor is it hard to see why. A policy of intensive armaments, completed by a foreign policy of alliances, has been constantly explained by French statesmen as designed to give France military security. I avoid saying that it has been essentially directed against Germany, but certainly it has been based upon the hypothesis of a possible new conflict with Germany. French statesmen, with whom I have on many occasions discussed the question, have constantly said to me: "Our armaments do not concern you; why do you worry about them?"
Herein lies the fallacy. The concentration of a great military force in the hands of a single country -- whatsoever the specific purpose for which it has beeen formed -- is in itself a fact of political importance, and therefore it concerns everyone. It may be destined, in the intention of the government concerned, to be employed for a given object and in the hypothesis of a particular conflict; but in everyday life it resolves itself into a form of political pressure which cannot be ignored by any of the peoples or states with interests in the continent of Europe. I have never understood how anyone could possibly imagine that the Duce -- who has a big pair of eyes, very wide awake in Italy's interest -- could close them to this most obvious fact.
The French themselves, moreover, have done everything in their power to make us consider the question from this standpoint. Why did they in London in 1930 obstinately refuse to recognize the principle, laid down by the Washington Treaty of 1922, of naval parity with Italy? If they had wished to make the political purpose of French armaments quite clear to us, it was only necessary for them to come to a fair naval agreement with us. It is not surprising that the refusal to come to any such agreement -- following upon the substantial concessions on our part agreed upon with Mr. Henderson in Rome, and embodied in the so-called Basis of Agreement of March 1, 1931 -- should have been unfavorably interpreted. More recently, that is to say after the Lausanne negotiations and during the preparation of the Four Power Pact, French statesment have displayed a better understanding of the Italian point of view. Relations between the two countries have consequently improved. The general function of Italy in the balance of Europe is perhaps better understood now in France.
This function is dictated to Italy by her geographical position and her Mediterranean interests. With her natural frontiers, Italy has no dreams of continental conquests; but she must be safe in the continent to which she is attached and on the seas that surround her. This security can only be guaranteed by the equilibrium of European forces. Italy's freedom is compromised the moment this balance is disturbed. Thus Italy cannot be other than adverse to the formation of military alliances, political blocs, and closed systems, which seem to translate into present reality an old civic law of Manu: "Your neighbor is your enemy, but your neighbor's neighbor is your friend." Nor, indeed, do these systems serve to secure the safety of anybody, since by splitting Europe up into so many armed camps they merely exacerbate relations between countries and widen the zones of conflict.
It is to be hoped that with the Four Power Pact -- in which the spirit of neighborly collaboration is unequivocal -- Europe may take a new turning, and that we may attain a proper balance. I mean a positive, political and military equilibrium, to be realized first of all between the Great Powers, solely because if it is lacking between the Great Powers it is impossible between the lesser. This applies primarily to the question of disarmament.
It is generally known that the Duce holds that disarmament should be achieved by a fair distribution of armaments, which on the one hand would gradually eliminate the great inequalities, both legal and technical, now existing, and on the other would deter Europe from plunging into an armament race. Nor can there exist juridically two different orders of states, one free to arm and the other bound by treaties to a limitation of armaments. Armaments must be placed on a single juridical basis and be equally distributed.
This has been and remains the basic principle underlying Italian policy on disarmament. In which way this principle can be practically applied is a matter of method. In other words, it is necessary to find what immediate and concrete results it is possible to achieve in the actual political situation of Europe. The Duce, in laying down the terms of Italian policy in this field, was inspired by the following principle: that once equality of rights in favor of Germany has been recognized, this principle must be applied. It is necessary to meet Germany's legitimate demands for defensive rearmament. On the other hand, it is also necessary to consider the position of those Powers like France which possess a superiority of armaments; one cannot ask them to renounce immediately and unconditionally all those advantages which they actually enjoy. To do so would be running after shadows, and it would be a departure from and not an approach to that unity of views among the Great Powers without which Europe will find itself shortly plunged into a new armament race like the one which preceded the World War. The Italian Memorandum of January 4 must be read with this fundamental consideration in mind. It tends to prevent the race to armaments, and to develop a policy of fair distribution of military strength amongst the Great Powers.
In order that such results should be achieved, it is further necessary that the political atmosphere in Europe should become one of confident coöperation between the Great Powers; it is therefore essential that these should renounce all attempts to modify to their own advantage the political balance which has been established. The tendency to concentrate forces -- in any form -- is equally dangerous. It interrupts the slow, arduous and painful work of reconstructing the political texture of Europe, and it paves the way to a régime of strife and anarchy among the Great Powers. This is exactly what those who drew the Locarno Treaty and the Four Power Pact endeavored to avoid. Attempts to concentrate power -- an attempt by Germany to annex Austria would be an example -- are the exact antithesis of the Locarno and Four Power Pact policy. They would represent a set-back instead of an advance in the policy of revision and would retard coöperation and pacification in Europe.
I think I can express this feeling with all the more frankness inasmuch as everybody knows what cordial and friendly relations exist between Italy and the German Government and people and how actively Italy has worked in every field (reparations, armaments, etc.) in favor of Germany's equality of rights. This equality should represent an element of balance and of adjustment in the interest not only of the German people but of the whole of Europe. An independent Austrian state is a most essential element in this equilibrium.
In asking for this, Italy does not ask for a guarantee of equilibrium for herself only, but for Europe as a whole. Austria holds a key position on the continent which can be compared only with that of Belgium. There are three crossroads in Europe: one is Belgium, between England, France and Germany; another is Switzerland, between France, Germany and Italy; the third is Austria, between Germany, Italy and the Slav states of southeastern Europe. It is in the interest of Europe that these crossroads be maintained intact, that they be allowed, as political units, to perform their function -- that of separating and conciliating the Great Powers, giving them thereby that tranquillity and security which are the only foundations upon which a policy of collaboration and peace can be based.
From the North Sea to the Danubian Basin there exists today an uninterrupted chain of political and diplomatic guarantees: the independence of Belgium; the guarantee of the western frontiers of Germany, as stipulated at Locarno; the independence of Switzerland; and the independence of Austria. The preservation of this chain is an essential condition of European collaboration. It is of common interest to the four Great Powers. Hence the close connection, in the mind of the Duce and in Italian policy, between the Locarno Treaty, the maintenance of Belgian, Swiss and Austrian independence, and the Four Power Pact. This is the only system by which the peaceful coexistence of the Great European Powers can be ensured.
There are two countries within this system which are in a similar position and whose interests coincide: Italy and Great Britain. This fact has become more and more manifest in the course of recent years, but I remember the Duce pointing it out very clearly at Locarno, as far back as 1925. "Italy," he said, "occupies the same place as England as guarantor of the agreement, and therefore of the general peace."
It is by no mere chance that Italy and England are entrusted with the same responsibilities in Europe under the Locarno Treaty, and that they constantly find themselves side by side. We have often had differences of opinion with both France and Germany. But on all important questions, such as debts, reparations, disarmament, and reconstruction of the Danubian States, the policies of Italy and Great Britain have always been substantially in agreement. There are permanent interests binding Italy and England together in Europe. These interests are dictated by the geographical position of the two countries, which makes each an interested but detached element of the European situation; by the necessity felt by both countries alike to maintain a certain balance on the continent; and by their respective positions in the Mediterranean.
These interests were realized by far-seeing English statesmen as far back as the beginning of the eighteenth century. England, already in the Mediterranean, sought then to establish closer relations with the Italian states, and more particularly with the House of Savoy; the latter, in order to defend itself against the territorial ambitions of Louis XIV, whom Spain was no longer able to withstand, had for some decades been turning towards England. It is from this period -- not as is usually supposed, from the time of Palmerston and Gladstone -- that we can date England's first concern for Italian independence. It is from the early days of the eighteenth century that we can trace the English idea of turning to Italy for those elements of guarantee of the European balance which she so anxiously sought.
The affinity of Italian foreign policy with the foreign policy of England grew steadily throughout the nineteenth century and during the early years of the twentieth. The decisive moment in Italian foreign policy, in the early years of the new kingdom, was when, at the moment of the signing of the Triple Alliance (1882), the Italian Government insisted upon the insertion of an additional clause clearly stating that under no circumstances should the Triple Alliance be considered as directed against England. Nor did this suffice: we further demanded a special protocol whereby the Triple Alliance should be left open for British adhesion, at any rate enabling England to adhere to the articles relating to mutual neutrality. This Bismarck opposed, fearing the treaty might take on an anti-Russian significance. Such are the ironies of history! The important point is that the additional clauses, upon which the British-Italian agreements of 1887 were later on to be based, permitted Italy to restrict the importance of her continental engagements, and established the Italo-British understanding which has always been maintained.
This understanding has been renewed of late years by the similarity of our views as to the best way of facing Europe's political exigencies, a common dislike for the rigidity of abstract formulae, and an innate sense of justice in the two peoples -- justice based on an understanding of mankind, which alone makes it possible to settle problems in reality and not merely in form. Justice and legality are not identical. There are treaties, pacts and agreements which must be respected and honestly carried out; but over and above treaties, pacts and agreements there are the claims of good sense and equity which must be satisfied. International problems are not merely matters for legal and coercive settlement; they are essentially problems of social order, and social order is maintained only by an earnest effort to satisfy the needs of the peoples.
We are satisfied that during these last years Italy has made this effort. No problem has left us indifferent or lacking in zeal, still less, hostile. Never has Italy refused to recognize the just rights of others. Ever since the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, France has insisted on her need for security. We did not hesitate to guarantee this security, and took a solemn pledge to this effect by signing the Locarno Treaty. The German nation has claimed and still claims freedom. From the close of the war to the present time it is true to say that Italy has never neglected any occasion, however slight, to help Germany to get a term put to international control over her domestic concerns, to remove over-burdensome obligations in the political military and financial domains, and to assist the German people to resume its place on an equal footing in the consortium of free nations.
But Italy also has her own problems to solve, and ones no less formidable than those of safety, liberty, or the resumption of economic relations with neighbouring countries. Ours is a vital problem that involves our very existence and our future, a future of peace, tranquillity and work for a population of 42 million souls, which will number 50 million in another fifteen years. Can this population live and prosper in a territory half the size of that of Spain and Germany and lacking raw materials and natural resources to meet its vital needs, pent up in a closed sea beyond which its commerce lies, a sea the outlets of which are owned by other nations, while yet others control the means of access -- the Caudine Forks of her liberty, safety, and means of livelihood -- the while all the nations of the world are raising barriers against the development of trade, the movement of capital, and emigration, denationalizing whoever crosses their frontiers to enter, I do not say their own homes, but even their protectorates and colonies?
During the eleven years that Mussolini has been Head of the Italian Government this problem has grown steadily more acute. Eleven years ago it hardly existed in the consciousness of Europe, which regarded our foreign policy as permanently bound up with and circumscribed by the Adriatic conflict. Today it forms part of the general situation of European reconstruction, which nobody is any longer able to envisage without taking into account the satisfaction of Italy's vital needs.
Thus the first constructive phase of our foreign policy is closed. Fascism has placed Italy's problem before Europe, not as an isolated one to be considered apart from others, but as one factor of the comprehensive European problem, which demands a single organic settlement. In this, I think, consists the deepest and more real significance of the Duce's foreign policy.