Front Our Own Correspondent happened to be waiting for a bus outside the. offices of the largest Roman daily, II Messagero, when a messenger rushed out to pin up the first page of the special edition announcing the landing of Italian troops in. Albania.
and nobody made any comments.
It was a slence which in a Fascist country means at least a deafening shout of anxiety or perplexity, We had read nothing here of the luxurious rate of living of King Zog (at the expense, it is now asserted, of Italy's credits to Albania), and nobody seemed to know much about Italians being maltreated until the Press announced this in connection with Italy's seizure of the country.
Some Italian papers said that in Rome demonstrations of enthusiasm took place, but these must have been on a very small scale.
In the most important evening paper, // Giorna/c IY/ta/ia, Sig. Gayda had an article which was obviously prepared some time before the date of its actual appearance.
He was able to declare that Italy's seizure of Albania was a "natural event," and he based his assertion on four grounds—the nature of the people of Albania, who, divided by blood from the Slays about them, have always relied on Italy'm support for enterprises of all kinds; the recognition of the fact in Europe in general that Italy has a major interest and priority of rights in the good order of Albania; the impossibility for Albania to support or defend herself by her own resources; the continuous effort on the part of Italy to develop the civic life of the people from the beginning of the constitution of Albania as an independent country. Elsewhere in the same edition another article shows how Italy has had direct interests in the welfare of Albania since the time of the Punic wars.
WHAT THE TEOPLE THINK
The people in Italy are not alarmed over the possibility of a general War over Albania; they see no big jump from the unofficial Protectorate attitude on the part of Italy towards Albania to direct domination.
But what Italians in general seem to fear is that their troops will be sent to Tunis, and that Tunis will not be easily seized.
The Osservatorc Romano, Vatican semi-official newspaper, has so far not commented on the Italian invasion of Albania.
On Saturday it reported that Italian troops had been sent to Albania, and then, immediately underneath, printed the communique broadcast from Bari on Wednesday, April 5, that " it is not the Intention of the Italian Government to make an attack on the independence or integrity of Albania."