Page 5, 16th December 1949

16th December 1949
Page 5
Page 5, 16th December 1949 — "YOU MUST DO MORE THAN DIVIDE LAND" —Says De Gasperi

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Locations: ROME


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Premier Alcide De Gasperi of Italy has told the foreign press that his government is clearly conscious of the urgent need for land reform, but insisted that reform is a much more complicated problem than the mere division of the land.

in a special press conference here the Christian Democrat leader declared that land reform must be carried out as part of the process of Italian reconstruction. Past experiments have indicated, he said, that the were giving away of land has usually resulted in complete waste. its loss for the individual who received it and often its return to the former owner. It is the aim of this government to avoid such and similar mistakes, the Prime Minister stated.

Outlining the government's programme for land reform, De Gasperi

said he envisages the ultimate establishment of some 250,000 families on more than four million acres, but always with regard for insuring continued improvement and production.

These latter can be secured, he asserted, only by providing homes, roads, irrigation and other opportunities assuring the individual farmer of a real chance to succeed.

Observers in Rome believe that the campaign of occupying uncultivated and poorly cultivated lands, which caused disturbances in southern Italy and in the areas around this capital, have probably come to a close for the present.

They also point to the widespread conviction that these outbursts have been at least used by the Communists, if not organised and directed by them, and that they have already achieved satisfactory results for the Reds.

By staging, or exploiting. the propaganda value of the land occupation campaign now, observers say Reds can claim " We did it for you,' if the government comes forward with a workable plan in the near future.

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