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Friday, Sept. 7, 1934
Mussolini pledges "Pax Romana"
By THOMAS B. MORGAN, United Press Staff Correspondent
ROME, Sept. 7, 1934 (UP) - Premier Benito Mussolini has pledged to France that Italy will abandon her revisionist policy concerning the Versailles treaty, it was learned tonight.
In a new move toward unity with France, Il Duce agreed also to enforcement of a so-called "pax romana" against Nazi Germany.
Denunciation of Italy's support of Germany's demands for broad revision of the treaty of Versailles was view of the new Italian-French agreement designed to police Europe and check nazi threats to peace.
Mussolini formerly supported Berlin's revision demands - but recent events, including his conviction that Adolf Hitler intends to engulf Austria as part of his nazi state of Germanic people have caused a reversion of policy.
The new attitude was revealed in another passionate address by Mussolini today, at Lecce, where he was thunderously welcomed. Addressing a throng of 30,000, Il Duce cried:
"Are you ready to rush the defense of our fatherland and the fascist revolution?"
The query was met with a roar of "yes" from thousands of enthusiastic throats.
Mussolini's speeches, including one at Barl yesterday expressing "contempt" for the nazi policies, are part of a bold program designed to indicate to Hitler just where Italy stands on the nazi program for re-armament of the reich and an "anschluss" (combine) with Austria.
The United Press informant indicated Mussolini was ready to lead a combine of nations, with France as his first ally, to preserve peace at any cost.
He emphasized this peace would be backed by 1,500,000 bayonets and 7,000 airplanes in the combined armies and air forces of Italy, France and the little entente - Roumania, Czechoslovakia and Jugoslavia - ready for action against any nation causing war.
This huge force will direct European policy indefinitely along the lines of a "pax Romania," namely, "armed peace with justice," it was intimated. It was agreed among observers that recent German events have induced this complete reversal of Il Duce's foreign policy.
The general feeling in Rome was that the new alignment will completely wreck Germany's hope of partly in armaments and place Germany in isolation, ringed around by powerfully led opponents. In keeping her in check, not only will the treaty of Versailles be re-invoked, but all Mussolini's former policy for revision to give Germany a quality status will be forgotten, it was indicated.
Copyright 2007 by United Press International.