The Socialist Congress – Defeat of the Communists -Labour and Emigration Figures

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The Economist

Data di pubblicazione: 29/01/1921

The Socialist Congress – Defeat of the Communists -Labour and Emigration Figures

«The Economist», 29 gennaio 1921, p. 171

 

 

 

Turin, January 22

 

 

The debates at the Socialist Congress of Leghorn were watched with the greatest attention by all parties. The debates closed with a vote on the motion for the adhesion to the Third (Moscow) Communist International and to the Lenin’s 21 points. Notwithstanding two empassioned speeches by Mr Kabakrieff, the Moscow delegate, the Communists were defeated. The result of the debate will be that the 116 Socialist M.P.’s will split into two parties, of which the extreme Communists will number 20 members at the utmost, with Bombacci as the leader in Parliament and the Turinese group of young men in the Ordine Nuovo as writers and pro­pagandists. They will try to conquer in the coming months the Labour Unions, and gain a footing in the General Confederation of Labour. But the fulfilment of their ambitions is not easy.

 

 

Professor Giorgio Mortara has published a volume of Prospettive economiche, 1921, a book somewhat on the line of Business Prospects and Babson Forecasts. But Mortara’s book is much more guarded and scientific; a very useful volume on past conditions of Italy before and during the war, with a review of future possibilities. The book, after a general introduction, reviews wheat, wine, fruit, olive oil, silk, cotton, hemp, wool, coal, iron industries and trade, labour, emigration, transport, taxes, public finance, and money. Some figures from labour and emigration chapters will be interesting at a moment in which, thanks to the Socialist Congress, labour problems are to the fore. The number of casualties owing to the war and during demobilisation was 650,000; the extra deaths caused by epidemics of 1918-1919 were from 200,000 to 300,000. Invalids and disabled may be calculated at 300,000 or 400,000 men. Even deducting from these 1,250,000 losses, some 150,000 which would have been lost in the normal ways, there remains a net loss in manpower of over one million men. But the loss was partly offset by emigrants repatriated from 1914 to 1919, and by the great decrease of emigration during the same period; and it should be added that the young generations, born from 1900 to 1905, have not suffered any loss from war and emigration, and their contingent is therefore greater than usual. Summing up all these circumstances, Italy possesses today, perhaps, a working population greater than in 1914. It will be somewhat difficult to employ all this man-power in the country, and some doubts may be entertained upon the probability that the emigration currents may be resumed at an early date. Before the war, in the five year period 1909-1913, emigrants numbered 650,000 yearly, from which, deducting 500,000 returned, a loss resulted of 150,000. But as the annual net increase of population (births, less deaths) was 430,000, the net increase was 280,000. The following table gives the number of emigrants from 1909 to 1920 (in thousands):

 

 

 

To European or

Mediterranean Countries

To Trans-Oceanic

Countries

Total

 

 

1909

226

399

625

1910

249

403

652

1911

271

263

534

1912

308

403

711

1913

313

560

873

1914

246

233

479

1915

79

67

146

1916

68

74

142

1917

33

13

46

1918

24

4

28

1919

136

94

230

1920 (first nine months)

159

305

464

 

 

While the Central Empires and Switzerland absorbed two-thirds of European emigration, after the war the percentage was reduced to 3 per cent, for the former and to 14 per cent, for the latter country. The greatest number of European emigrants (22 per cent.) goes today to France; of the transoceanic emigrants 80 per cent, goes to the United States and Canada, 14 per cent, to Argentina, and 5 per cent, to Brazil.

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