Italy in the 1920's 06

Italy in the 1920’s Part 6

The stabilization of the lira, which begins the new era of national financial and economic reconstruction, is being prepared by a series of measures. The exclusivity of the issuance transactions is reserved to the Bank of Italy, previously also recognized to Banco di Napoli and Banco di Sicilia (May 6, 1926). Over 20 billion lire of short-term public debt is consolidated (November 6, 1926). A control by the Bank of Italy is established on all ordinary credit banks to avoid the disordered movements of private finance, speculation and the consequent dangers of inflation. The Italian lira is stabilized with r. decr. of 21 December 1927 on the parity of 19 for one dollar and 92 for one British pound. With a subsequent banking reform of 1931, the credit institutions, already overwhelmed by industrial speculations that distorted their character by threatening the fate of deposited savings, they are returned to their original mission of raising capital and managing commercial credit. Having restored their forces with this reform, the institutes were able to give their entire collaboration to the national defense when, during the Ethiopian enterprise, as a result of the sanctions, credits from abroad for Italy ceased.

According to, the stabilization of the Italian currency allows the restoration of industrial activities, with the stability of their balance sheets, and favors the normal development of international trade. But the subsequent depreciation of the most important world currencies – the pound sterling, the dollar and the French franc – creates a new crisis of economic positions for Italy which finds itself, with its currency remaining too high, in a state of imbalance. to the world economy. The government must therefore, with a decree of October 5, 1936, review the national currency once again, bringing it back to the exchange rate parity with the dollar and the pound as it was fixed in 1927.

But, besides monetary policy, other reasons explain the development of Italian trade. Among them the new discipline of economic activities, the intensification of productive work and the new directions of commercial policy, which in 1922 had to be completely rebuilt because it was regulated by old pre-war agreements or upset by the new situations created by war and peace treaties.

The new trade policy (see international treaty, XXXIV, p. 224) was inspired at the beginning by the principles of the widest liberality and the most willing international solidarity. Its cornerstones, realized in the vast series of commercial treaties concluded between 1922 and 1928, were clarified by Mussolini in his speech of March 18, 1923 at the International Congress of Chambers of Commerce and then by his delegates at the Geneva economic conference of 1927., in which Italy also supported the project of a convention for the reduction of customs tariffs. But the tendency of the states has instead turned towards progressive protectionism and systems of the artificial limitation of imports, through quotas and closed economies, such as those created in the United States, with high customs tariffs and immigration bans.

Faced with the new conditions of world trade created by these currents, Italy too had to direct its commercial policy towards new protectionist forms, which were accentuated during the sanctions and during the new formation of the autarchic economy.

The Italian intensive economic policy tends to create new means of living and working for the growing population and must therefore be included in the great plan of the nation’s demographic expansion. This is a new word that Mussolini, the first among the statesmen of the world, launches in a time characterized by a general impoverishment of the white races, by a growing denatality created by the new industrial civilization and by a selfish tendency of the wealthier classes.

The numerical strength of the nation is one of the vital and irreplaceable elements of its power. A national political fair, which tends to the exaltation of greatness and the formation of an empire, cannot dissociate itself from that of an active demography.

Even in Italy, although it started late and with a less intense pace, the crisis of the birth rate became serious after the World War. From a quota of 31.7 live births per thousand residents, in the five-year period 1911-14, the birth rate fell, in the depressive interlude of the war, to a quota of 27.9 in 1919-21 to go back to 29.5 in 1922. -25 and go down to 26.8 in 1926-30 and to 23.8 in 1931-35. This share is still higher than that of all other major nations. Its decline is partly offset by a parallel decrease in deaths which from a quota of 19.1 per thousand residents, in 1911-14, decrease to 18.3, in 1919-21, and then, due to the effectiveness of the active health policy of the regime, at 17.3 in 1922-25, at 16, in the following five years, and at 14.1 in 1931-35. But the phenomenon of progressive denatality suggests the danger of a stagnation in the numerical consistency of the nation and of a consequent decline, due to the decrease of the young classes and the active forces capable of defending and raising the level of national power. It is enough to recall the study by Burgdörfer, director of the statistics office of Germany, who calculated that from 1934 to 1955 the number of young people who will present themselves for the military service could be decreased in Great Britain from 392 thousand to 296 thousand, in France from 324 thousand to 207 thousand, and in Germany from 597 thousand to 562 thousand, while for Italy there would be a slight decrease from 407 thousand to 400 thousand.

Italy in the 1920's 06

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