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All is not quiet on the Southern Front. People who say they know promise a nice little diversion in the shape of a brand new war within a comparatively few years. Mr. Mussolini, is a pessimist with no faith in human nature and with a lot of delusions about the Roman Empire which lie conceives, so Professor Binkley of Smith College reports, as never really having fallen at all but merely experiencing a temporary lapse. The great Roman of modern times, when he is not busy dodging the bullets of eight year old would-be assassins, is occupied not with idealistic notion about a place in the sun but with the modest and practical scheme of making the Mediterranean an Italian lake. The ways and means is this new war--Italy, Hungary, Rumania, Bulgaria, and Albania against Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Poland, Belgium, and France.

That there is genuine friction between France and Italy was established at the London Conference when the question of France-Italian naval parity came very much to the fore and almost broke off negotiations. To those who still take seriously the "war to end war" idealism which died with Woodrow Wilson a war between the former allies seems an impossibility like the invasion of Belgium in 1914. Such people need to be reminded that Italy fore up the scrap of paper binding her to the Central Powers and joined the Entente in 1915 solely because she could obtain bigger territorial promises than by remaining faithful to her own allies.

All the acquisition of territory connected with the unification of Italy has been connected with a war of some sort. Present Italian unification aims at the annexation of Nice, Savoy, and Corsica from France. It also demands expansion in Africa at the expense of France. The essential basis of Italy's claim to these places is an Italian population, sometimes as much as ten percent sometimes not so much. The Fascisti are breeding with extraordinary proclivity. Mr. Mussolini's theory is to spread his population over the face of the earth and when there are enough of them in one spot--annexation. The opportunities for the old Roman Empire are tremendous and after the France-Italian-war is over it will be time for the eastern seaboard of the United States to watch out. Meanwhile the situation is not one that Mr. Mussolini sees with humorous possibilities. In self-defense will someone please--No, there is The League of Nations, Article X and all.

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