Page 6, 31st December 1943

31st December 1943
Page 6
Page 6, 31st December 1943 — " AB AMGOT LIBERA NOS DOMINE
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" AB AMGOT LIBERA NOS DOMINE

—Italian Priest

By a C.H Reporter

Best reaction to Flaw Haw's Christmas broadcasts on how badly Amgot behaves in Italy and Sicily comes from a chaplain just returned from there. Haw Flaw has been painting a sorry picture of inefficiency, and. what is worse, of children being torn away from their parents under Amgot direction and dispatched by the Allies to Soviet Russia !

" Very doubtful." thought the chaplain. " I've never heard of a case of that sort." But he wouldn't give Amgot full marks for conduct.

" Said a Sicilian priest to me one day with a grim smile," he went on, " • AbAmgot at omnibus operibus suis, libera nos Dornine. We are adding that to the Litany now.'

Trouble is, as my chaplain explained, that given goodwill on the part of Amgot officials, many of whom are Americans, there is red tape and lack of co-ordination between this organisation and the fighting service.

For instance, the minimum food required by inhabitants of the Messina province, with its quarter-of-n-million inhabitants, is 300 grammes daily, yet it was decreed that they should have only 100. that is, 3.2 ounces. No other food was available to them save local fruit and grain, the harvest for which is now. of course, ended. The grain required had to come from Catania, where it grows abundantly. There was no Amgot transport available, no trains, and the organisation had to requisition what little there was of native transport. " Yet the army had plenty of vehicles to spare. as I know for a fact," said the chaplain.

As reported in the national press recently, Palermo has witnessed outbreaks among the population, who are wearied of the disorganisation and who see winter and hunger fast approaching. Abusive posters have been set up on walls, and there have been arrests. " But we chaplains have been ordered to keep clear of the disputes arising between Amgot and the population,"

the chaplain added. If. we could only interfere there would be daily

rows."

In the province referred to there are 20 Amgot officials at Messina itself, five of whom act as area officials; local civil administration found there on occupation of the territory is made use of, and Sicilian or Italian clerks are employed. Incidentally, as my chaplain agreed, this fact gives cause for the English Leftist press to condemn Amgot as Fascist.

He added : " It is silly to suggest that there is any bullying of persons or oppression, however unsatisfactory is Amgot's work,"




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