Page 5, 27th August 1954

27th August 1954
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Page 5, 27th August 1954 — 4 2k place all to

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Locations: Rome


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Below are some of the Press tributes to Signor De Gasperl : THE TIMES

EUROPE and the world have lost -1-:sa Christian statesman of whom the reputation and the respect in which he was generally held were so great in his lifetime that they cannot easily be greater in history.

An adequate account of the later years of his career must become in fact a history of post-war Italy.

For eight years, from December, 1945, until July, 1953, this quiet, devout man controlled the destinies of Italy as Prime Minister and sometimes as Foreign Minister as well.

The new Italy that had to learn again all the lessons which it forgot in 20 years of Fascism owes De Gasped a debt which is less only in degree than that which the first Italy owed to Cavour.

In spite of his long-lasting preeminence of position De Gasper' never knew, or at least never yielded to, the temptations of power.

De Gasperi, the idealist, the internationalist, who had patriotism without nationalism, political skill without demagogy. and. above all, a strong sense of public duty without a trace of personal ambition. occupies a place all to himself in the annals of modern Italian history.

ISM an of Providence'


QIGNOR DE GASPER' was a man s3of Providence providentially preserved during the generation of Fascism, like the manuscripts among which he worked in the Vatican Library, to emerge at the moment when his country needed just such a leader.

He will be remembered in history for two great achievements. He restored his country from the humiliation of defeat to equal partnership with its victors, and he saved Italy from being overwhelmed by Cornm unism.

When, after his failure to secure an absolute majority in the elections last summer, De Gasperi stepped into the background, his great work had been done.

A oh myelin ents


THE late Alcide de Gasperi will rank among the great statesmen of our times, if only for having shown that democracy can not merely successfully replace a totalitarian regime, but can prove superior in drive and efficiency.

Even those of Mussolini's achievements for which he was most widely praised-order, stability, and whatever else was symbolised by those proverbially punctual trains-were puny in comparison with the record of the de Gasped Administration. Indeed, the transformation of a mess of twisted rails and broken bridges into an efficient transport system was only the most spectacular token of its far-reaching reconstruction work.

In its promotion of economic recovery, social welfare and the beginnings of land reform, and even in its reorganisation of the country's defence, it far surpassed the muchadvertised performance of Fascism.

'Noblest epitaph'


AT the end he could say of his work what he said nearly thirty years before. when in 1925 it looked as though he would be able to do no more in politics : that he wished to be remembered as a man who had served his fellows with dignity, with sincerity, and with disinterestedness.

That last word is his noblest epitaph.

'The Honourable'


"COR 15 years while Mussolini stumped Italy a quiet, cultured roan worked in the Vatican library, writing and indexing-and planning the revival of the Christian Democrat Party which he had founded in 1919. They called him "The Honourable."

That man was Alcide de Gasperi, proclaimed anti-Fascist, who had spent 18 months in a Roman jail, then been freed because of ill-health on intervention by the Pope.

Italy's guide

MANCHESTER GUARDIAN A LCIDE DE GASPER! guided riltaly through years of post-war confusion and humiliation to a rehabilitation which is now almost complete.


Continued from page 1

last. He asked for the prayers for the dying, and his last words were: "Gest!, Gesii."

The Holy Father, among the first in Rome to hear of his death, sent a message of condolence to Signora De Gasperi and her children, promising his prayers.

The Vatican newspaper Osservatore Romano paid him the highest possible tribute as a Christian, a zealous son of the Church and as a statesman all of whose actions were inspired by the teaching of the church, It recalled that the Holy Father had said of him that he was a man "whose doctrine. outstanding qualities of government and integrity of life find widespread admiration at home and abroad."

This has recalled, too. that when he was attacked for his religious devotion and his loyalty to the Holy

See, De Gasperi replied :

"If this is an attempt to embarrass me on account of my Faith, I declare that it is useless because I do not make any secret of that.

"Nor do I make any mystery of my devotion to the Church, my devotion and admiration as an Italian and as a Catholic toward the present Pontiff, who in his teachings and all his immense works and cares has hut one policy, that of a charity which knows no limits and of a defence for the rights of peoples unparalleled in the world today?'

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