ROME, Nov. 1, 1922 (UP)-Benito Mussolini, leader of the Fascistis, was only 25 when he became editor of Avanti, the official organ of the Italian Socialist Party. The war broke his belief in the internationalism, which was the center of his follower's creed. Eventually he left Avanti, and was expelled from the Socialist Party.
He founded the "Popolo d'Italia" and worked heart and soul for the intervention of Italy on the side of the allies. In 1915 he reached the front as corporal of the Bersaglieri.
He is the youngest premier, and one of the youngest of the world's political leaders. On his shoulders are three separate portfolios.
The hold the Lenin myth obtained among the workers and the seizure of the metallurgical plants in 1920 brought to the fore Mussolini and his party, the "fasci" (named, of course, after the fasces of republican Rome.)
Signor Mussolini feels that the bloody conflicts which are of almost daily occurrence all over Italy created and unfavorable impression in foreign countries and tend to mislead opinion as to the true intentions of the Fascisti.
"I am keenly desirous," he said, "of peace and reconstruction. I know Italy needs the restoration of order, needs to get back to work. But only thru our intervention could the ground be cleared for a political and financial situation in Italy worthy of her great sacrifices for the allied cause.
"Italy's government was powerless," he said.
"Only the Fascist Party is giving clear evidence of its patriotism and its determination to rescue the country from the present impasse.
"As a member of a cabinet with a Fascist program I have told the Italian people that bloodshed must cease. Everyone must work and act for the welfare of the country. There will be no reason for the continued existence of the 'Black Shirt' army. They must obey my orders and keep the peace. In common with all other Italian citizens they must abandon political antagonisms to serve the great common cause, the welfare of our beloved country."
"What will be your home and foreign policy?" Mussolini was asked.
"I love the working classes. The supreme ambition and the dearest hope of my heart has been and is still, to see them better treated and enjoying conditions of life worthy of the citizens of a great nation. They have a just claim to humane conditions and to a reward proportionate to their labor. But men have duties as well as rights. I do not believe in the class war, but in co-operation between classes. The Fascist government will devote all its efforts to the creation of an agrarian democracy based on the principle of small ownership. The great estates must be handed over to peasant communities; the great capitalists of agriculture must submit to a process of harmonization of their right with those of the peasants.
"In foreign policy we shall be good friends with all those nations worthy of our friendship; but we shall be bitter enemies of those nations that will not realize that Italy will never assert aims conflicting with the rights of other people."
"What will be your program for improving the financial situation of the country?"
"The most energetic measures will be taken to deal with the financial situation. We must spend less and earn more. The budget will be balanced as speedily as possible. We cannot afford to import thousands of tons of wheat every year. The people must eat less bread. All state expenditure must be ruthlessly cut down. Our motto will the utmost economy. If the situation should call for it we shall return to the wartime system of bread cards.
"Personally I am not longing for power. I am not so foolish as to desire office from personal ambition. I know I am a very prominent leader in Italian politics. There is no need for me to become minister, a premier, to exercise my authority. I accept the heavy task of ruling the country only because I know that Italy can only be saved through our patriotism and our energy."