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Mussolini arrives in Rome for conference with king

Mussolini arrives in Rome for conference with king
Portrait of a dapper looking Benito Mussolini ca. 1920s. File Photo by Library of Congress/UPI

ROME, Oct. 30, 1922 (UP) -- Benito Mussolini, the Fascist leader whom King Victor Emmanuel has asked to become premier, arrived in Rome today for a conference with his majesty.

He left the train at 10:15 a.m. A big crowd greeted the chieftain of the "black shirts," who overthrew the Facta government and virtually forced the king to recognize him as the political leader of the nation.

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Mussolini went to the palace where he was received by the king at 11:15.

They conferred with regard to the personnel of the cabinet which Mussolini is organizing.

The Fascist leader refused to accept a compromise. His invitation to form a ministry came only after he had refused pointblank to take part in any cabinet headed by former Premier Sulandra.

Mussolini had been in Milan, in conference with leaders of his party. According to reliable information the new premier stopped off at Lake Garda to have an audience with Gabriele d'Annunzio.

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The Fascisti will rule Italy without the consent of Parliament, the majority of whose members are Socialists, and opposed to the strong monarchistic tendencies of Mussolini.

The Fascisti are an organization of war veterans whose program is intensely nationalistic and anti-syndicalist. They are the "100 percenters" of Italy.

They adopted the "black shirt" as their insignia, and are commonly called the "black shirts" of Italy.

Their quick rise was hastened by the refusal of former President Wilson to support Italy's claims for land during the Paris peace conference after the world war, says former Premier Orlando.

It is believed Parliament will be dissolved Nov. 7 when it convenes and that Mussolini will appeal to the country for support.

The Bourse in Rome has been closed until Nov. 6. The Fascisti took over most of the opposition newspapers.

The fort overlooking Rome, which had been seized by the nationalists, was turned over to the military after Mussolini had been invited to become premier. The coup of the Fascisti, who had concentrated at several points in Italy and were prepared to fight their way into power, was marked with only a few disorders.

At Cremona six Fascisti were injured when they tried to take over the government. One man was killed in Rome in a conflict between the Fascisti and communists. From Piacenza comes reports that two members of the military police were killed and four Fascisti wounded.

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A sensation was caused when it was learned that Mussolini plans to include Socialists and Populists in his cabinet.

Mussolini plans to reserve for himself the important posts of minister of foreign affairs and minister of the interior. He may hand over these portfolios to others later but intends to retain them temporarily.

Assumption of the premiership by Mussolini marks the end of a regime of 20 years of statesmen of the old school.

Every cabinet made a series of concessions to the radical elements. Obviously, most of the promises could not be kept. This caused general dissatisfaction throughout the country and resulted in many Socialist victories at the polls in 1919.

In 1920, the Socialists, having had their first taste of power, occupied many industrial plants thruout the land. This marked the turning point in the situation and was the beginning of a reaction on the part of the conservative elements.

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