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had too long been Italia Irredenta, and had bound together all Italian patriots as never before?
Such an amazing attitude was of course intolerable to these patriots. Mussolini instantly found that it was intolerable to him too. From the moment (1919) when he first observed it, his burning passion for unpatriotic, Communistic, revolutionary ideas definitely capitulated before his vision of a patriotic counterorganization.
The project gradually
took form in his mind. It was to be a great irregular citizen army, to back up the regular army in every way, to be its friend and propagandist, and as well to back up the officers of the civil law by ruthless deeds of violence, if necessary, whenever the administration of those officers seemed weak.
At first Mussolini called his new organization the "Fascio della Vittoria," because he wanted to emphasize the army's victory and to influence respect for that victory. But as circumstances and time went on, and the new organization was itself a long way from victory, he changed its name to "Fascio di Combattimento."
The first meeting was held in a school house and was attended by hardly a hundred persons. Socialist and Communist as he had been, Mussolini had the sense nevertheless now to appeal especially to the middle classes. His instinct proved to be sound, for they received the appeal with fewer misgivings than did the lower classes. Little by little, however, Mussolini captured the imagination of increasing numbers and assured himself of their support. Не also found support in a high quarter, for Premier Giolitti himself was delighted to discover some patriotic offset to unpatriotic Bolshevism.
Mussolini organized his followers like an army, and in this availed himself of the services of regular retired officers. He even organized the special services of arms, ambulance, aviation, and supply.
He had of course to contend with the "lunatic fringe" found on the skirts of every reform movement. These lunatic followers often got out of hand. They frequently made punishments worse than the original crimes. Burnings and murders by Communists were avenged by worse burnings and murders by Fascisti. Now and then there came along such a burlesque as yesterday's, when a crowd of Fascisti seized the secretary of a Communist society in Rome, shaved his head bare, painted thereon the green, white, and red of the Italian flag, and paraded him up and down the Corso.
Yet, despite all their self-assumed power and its often criminal exercise. the Fascisti grew until they numbered many hundreds of thousands and enjoyed more than proportionate power. For instance, two years have sufficed to reduce the Italian Bolsheviki, and last summer when the Socialists declared a nation-wide strike in all industries the Fascisti put it down in twenty-four
hours. They thus saved Italy at a critical time.
Dazzled by success, they began to go further. By brute force they deposed lawfully constituted civil authorities from their seats. Whole municipal administrations were then seized, as in Bolzano, Trent Pavia, three weeks ago. They entered the barracks and magezines and helped themselves to arms and ammunition with surprisingly little difficulty-the army had long regarded them with a generally benevolent eye.
Then we heard that they were going to march on Rome. Most persons doubted that they really would. But they didthousands and thousands of them in black shirts (the emblem of rebellion), flags and banners flying, bands playing.
And when they arrived, lo! all the political parties but theirs had apparently melted away before their display of force, and even the police were noticeable by their absence, while there was the King himself asking the Fascisti chief to form a Cabinet!
Whatever his previous experiences have been, Benito Mussolini has had no experience in governmental administration. This fact, combined with his youth and his career as a revolutionary agitator, filled all law-abiding citizens with grave fears as they witnessed the astounding spectacle of a constitutional monarch handing the reins of government to such a one.
Two things have saved the situation. Victor Emmanuel is wise and courageous to a very remarkable degree, and the new Premier, still in his rebel's black shirt, showed a sudden realization of what the crisis really meant, and instantly acted in accordance with that realization. He had the acumen to see that in order to awaken complete popular confidence his Cabinet must not con sist of Fascisti exclusively. Accordingly, he invited, not only some men of other parties, but some very authoritative personages. He actually dared ask Armando Diaz, the head of the army, to become Minister of War, and a great admiral, Thaon di Revel, to become Minister of the Navy. Doubtless acting under royal pressure, these men accepted. To be Minister of Public Instruction he secured Giovanni Gentile, Professor of Philosophy in the University of Rome. and those well informed concerning edu cational problems in Italy say that a better choice could not have been made. Perhaps the same might be said of Teofilo Rossi, whom I saw and admired at the Genoa Conference, and who now becomes Minister of the Treasury. The Mussolini Cabinet, therefore, though overwhelmingly and in some cases ridiculously Fascist, contains not only representatives from the Democratic, Liberal, Popular (Catholic), and other parties-no Socialists, however!-but, what is much more, contains some men whose names are accepted by many as sufficient pledges for the country's security and welfare.
For the present this is all very well in its way. But what of the future?
What are we to expect from Mussolini's domestic policy when he imprudently and impudently begins by seizing newspaper offices-especially that of the Milan "Corriere della Sera," the paper having deservedly the widest circulation of any in Italy, a paper whose loyalty, broad vision, and moderation have never been doubted?
And what are we to expect from Mussolini's foreign policy if, following that outlined in his own editorials in the "Popolo d'Italia," he acts aggressively against England and France in the Mediterranean? Or against Jugoslavia, as one may gather from his utterances a few days ago that Fiume and Dalmatia should not despair but confidently await their redemption? Yet Mussolini knows as well as any one that Italy by treaty has pledged herself to respect the sovereignty of the Free State of Fiume.
Let us hope that the responsibilities of high office will give Mussolini something more of an "international mind" and, above all, lessen his indifference to constitutional forms of government, so that Bolshevism, which at one time might very well have looked towards him as its potential leader in Italy, will now find in him more than ever a stern foe.
Fascism is unlike the forms of most other revolutionary movements. Cer tainly in our latter-day history it stands unique. As the new Premier remarked the other day at the Naples Conference of his party: "Fascism is the most interesting, the most orginal, and the most powerful phenomenon that has appeared in the world since the war." Interesting? Yes. Original? Yes.
Powerful? Yes; but will the Mussolini Cabinet last? To this question from me to-day a local banker with interests in Italy replied, "It may last six weeks." Another man declared, "It will last six months."
We shall see. Whether weeks or months, may no bloodshed stain its course or mark its administrative transformation into something else!
After all, the Mussolini Cabinet is but the temporary outward sign of an inward strengthening. That strengthening of determination to will and to do must remain, in the opinion of all of us who heartily join with the Italians in the cry of "Viva l'Italia!"
But to obtain this permanent result many Fascisti will have to revise a fundamental misconception; the deeds of a dictatorship imposed by force are not the deeds of a government of all the people established by law. And all Italians may remember that a revolution under the guise of ruthless enforcement of law may lead to as much ultimate tyranny and disintegration as would a revolution merely inspired by the desire for greater freedom.
THE TREASURE-HOUSE OF SOUTHEASTERN ALASKA
BY SHERMAN ROGERS
INDUSTRIAL CORRESPONDENT OF THE OUTLOOK
A STREET IN KETCHIKAN
AKE the Thousand Islands in the St. Lawrence, put a few mountains on them, and you have a southeastern Alaska setting. The landscape from Ketchikan to Cape Spencer, and, for that matter, to Resurrection Bay, has no equal in the world for scenic beauty. I have met several world-renowned globe-trotters who have assured me, in no uncertain terms, that the tourist can see more wonderful, matchless scenery of every description in Alaska in a threeweek trip than could be seen in a year's world tour.
I want the reader to bear one thing in mind throughout this article, and that is the striking accessibility of the entire southeastern section to the markets of the world. Ketchikan, Alaska, is a trifle over six hundred miles north of Seattle, Washington, and enjoys practically the same climate. The steamships now ply ing the Alaskan route easily make the trip in two days. The fast Atlantic greyhounds would make it in twentyfour hours.
Southeastern Alaska is composed of numerous islands, heavily timbered with a very thick growth of spruce and hemlock, and in the extreme southern section considerable yellow cedar of excellent quality. This section of the Territory-an empire in itself-is endowed with wonderful harbors and conveniently located waterfalls, sufficient to guarantee cheap hydroelectric power for pulp and paper mills and other manufactories.
I have, since I returned from Alaska, put the query to men in all walks of life from bank president down to newsboys, and I haven't as yet received an intelligent answer regarding the accessibility of the southeastern empire. The first man I spoke to was the president of one the largest banks in New York.
When I told him that a thirteen-knot boat reached Ketchikan in two days from Seattle, he nearly fainted. "Why," he blurted out, "I thought Alaska was almost totally inaccessible, and that it was actually situated on top of the world!"
From Ketchikan north to Cape Spencer is about four hundred miles. The principal resources of the territory embraced are pulp timber, fish, and mines of various kinds. That doesn't mean that the resources are restricted to these three elements. Practically every natural resource of the North American Continent will be found in commercial quantities in this section. A large portion of the timber is ripe, and overripe, and the pressing necessity at this time is the establishment of pulp and paper mills to take advantage of the rapid growth. At the same time the number of mills must be restricted, and will be restricted to guarantee a perpetual supply of pulp timber. As near as has been figured out up to the present, the forests of Alaska will furnish two million cords of pulp wood a year for all time, which would amount to more than a third of the total amount of news print paper used in the United States.
There is no section of North America so practically situated for natural reforestation. The rainfall is sufficient to preclude all possibility of forest fires, and the annual growth is tremendous. The forestry laws of Alaska are regulated so as to prevent the cutting of small timber, and, as a natural result, about every fifty years the areas cut over will be entirely reforested. In fact, the cutting of large timber will enhance the growth of young trees.
The Alaskan Forestry Bureau up to May, 1920, was hopelessly tied up with red tape, when the Forestry Service
modified their Alaskan timber regulations, and on January 1, 1921, the Forestry Service established an Alaskan Division, with headquarters at Juneau. Prior to that time the Forestry Service was more or less stifled under endless red tape, due to the fact that the Forestry office in charge was situated in Portland, Oregon. At the present time fully ninety-eight per cent of forestry affairs are handled in Juneau by Charles H. Flory, Forester in charge. He has complete control of cruising, plotting. sales contracts, and is not hampered in his operations by the head office in Washington. Only major details of large contracts are referred to the Washington office, and even in that case the recommendations of the Chief Forester are adhered to. Mr. Flory is one of the most efficient timber men I have met in many a day. He knows his business, is intensely practical, cuts red tape to the bone, and his whole heart and soul are wrapped up in the securing of substantial pulp and paper mills near the great Alaskan water-power projects. There is nothing hazy about his ideas-nothing impractical about the timber development policies he advocates. He realizes, as every one familiar with Alaskan timber resources does, that the southeastern section of our northern empire is the coming Mecca of cheap paper manufacturing. He realizes, at the same time, that every year of delay in securing these mills means a heavy loss, not only to the progress and prosperity of Alaska, but also to the taxpayers of the United States, who would greatly benefit through stumpage sales.
I fully agree with Mr. Flory regarding the accessibility, quantity, and quality of pulp timber covering the islands from Ketchikan to Skagway. There is no place on the American Continent where logging operations can be carried on so cheaply, due to the remarkably short distances from timber to salt water and the proximity of all timbered areas to ample water power.
I spent ten days tramping over part of the timbered area of Admiralty Island, which doesn't contain the best Alaskan pulp timber, by any means. I was amazed at the size and quality of the spruce; trees sound as a bullet and six feet in diameter were not uncommon, and one of the main tracts I looked over contained a large area that would cruise better than one hundred thousand feet to the acre. I found the timber thicker and larger than that of the famous northern Idaho pine belt. One small tract of twelve hundred acres, situated directly on the shores of a natural harbor, contained between forty and fifty million feet of wonderful clean timber, averaging about fifty per cent spruce,
and the balance hemlock. Certainly few tracts in the famous northern Idaho timbered areas, or that of northern Wisconsin, Michigan, or Minnesota, originally contained so heavy a stand of timber. To be sure, the Great Lakes and Idaho timber carry "quality" that is not encountered in Alaska, yet for paper manufacturing I do not believe that southeastern Alaska timber can be duplicated, taking into consideration easy logging, a climate permitting allyear operations, extremely cheap stumpage, large quantity, and natural cheap water power. Any doubt as to the success of pulp and paper manufacture could be quickly dispelled by crossing the narrow straits to the British Columbia side, where several large pulp and paper concerns have made a signal success, not only of paper manufacture, but of successfully competing in the world markets. Seattle newspapers, and. in fact, nearly all Pacific coast dailies, are turned out on paper purchased from British Columbia manufacturers, whose supply is identical with southeastern Alaska pulp timber, and carries the same transportation rates. In fact, an official of a British Columbia paper mill assured me that southeastern Alaska was better situated than the district he drew his supply from, from every standpoint.
It is easy for the theorist to howl that transportation eliminates Alaska from the pulp field. Statements of that kind make good copy. The only trouble is that, like all other academic theories, they don't hold water. The success of the great pulp mills on the British Columbia coast silences every argument of pessimistic theorists regarding the practicability of paper manufacture in Alaska.
I don't blame any paper manufacturer for having refused to go into southeastern Alaska under the red tape conditions existing in the Alaska Forestry Bureau up to January 1, 1921. Since that date there has been a small pulp mill established in Alaska. At the present time several large companies are negotiating for substantial areas of timber, with the intention of erecting pulp and paper mills.
During the entire year the Forestry Service has expended every effort to cruise and allocate timber in accordance with requests it has already received for desirable timber tracts.
There is one clause in the timber contract, as stated in my first article, that has proved a stumbling-block, but this clause will, in all probability, be removed shortly. However, there are desirable features in the Forestry rules and regulations that are not only reasonable, but give the operator advantages that he would not have through private purchase. In the first place, when the intended purchaser applies for a tract of pulp timber the Forestry Service picks out a water-power project, and then allocates to the intended purchaser all timber adjacent to
A GOLD-MINING COMPANY'S PLANT AT JUNEAU
curred the prejudice of the Chief For-
Proof of the pudding is generally in the eating. The radical changes in the Forestry policy in Alaska are brought to light when interviewing sawmillers and loggers engaged in the manufacture of lumber in various parts of southeastern Alaska. While the sawmills are small, they have taken care of Alaskan needs, and this year have exported several million feet of timber to foreign markets.
We will take, for example, one of the large tracts that is now being surveyed and advertised. This tract contains two billion feet, and is directly adjacent to a wonderful water-power project, with a natural harbor and excellent mill site. To purchase this amount of timber on outside sale would necessitate an outlay of at least $2,000,000. As only a nominal deposit is required, the tremendous saving to an operating company is patent, especially when the operator is relieved of the tax burden. No taxes and no stumpage outlay for uncut timber are certainly worthy of the careful consideration of any legitimate concern.
Quite true, there is one clause that does not appeal to American pulp manufacturers. I have talked to many of them. They have frankly assured me that they were greatly interested in Alaska forest products. They were quite satisfied with the Government contractup to the clause I described in my last article, namely, that the Chief Forester has the sole power to name the new stumpage rate every five years. Quite true, he must base the new price on sales that have actually been made during the five years of other Alaskan timber. This undoubtedly is a protection, but large operators have pointed out that it leaves ground for irritating discrimination, especially if the operating company should have in the meantime in
The remarks of the managers and owners of the mills are interesting. They assured me that under the old system, before the Forestry office was established in Juneau, the delays and red tape tied around practically every business transaction were very discouraging. I was assured, however, by every actual operator I talked with in Alaska that under the present system they could ask for no better treatment, and that they really fared as well as if they owned the timber outright. They received co-operation from the Forestry Service that was worth a great deal to them. The red tape had been almost entirely eliminated, and of course from the standpoint of small business, where thousands were invested instead of millions, they were not so deeply concerned over the arbitration clause. The lumbermen frankly declared unstinted admiration for the caliber of the men in the Alaskan Forestry Bureau from a standpoint of judgment, efficiency, promptness, and genuine friendly attitude. However, the most prominent sawmill operator in the Territory told me that if it were possible to arbitrate before a competent board real or fancied discrimination on readjustment stumpage rates there would be a dozen operators in Alaska where there is one now. "So far as I am concerned," he added, "with the present Forester, I would as soon take his judgment as that of any board, but that may not be the case with his successors."
I have talked to several operators since the plan outlined in my first **