Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Letter to Mussolini from Publisher of AVIATION in 1927

I came across the following interesting letter to Benito Mussolini, apparently left with envoys of Il Duce and translated for his pleasure; it is from the publisher of AVIATION. It serves as a reminder that fascism in general and Mussolini's government in particular had enjoyed a noncontroversial status in the eyes of world leaders, successful businessmen, scientific minds, and other figures the world over prior to the Second World War.

To view a .pdf of a publication of the letter to Mussolini, click here.
I have the honor to convey to your Excellency an expression of the deepest admiration from innumerable Americans who are interested in aeronautical problems. By them, you are considered as a unique leader of the world in aero. nautical progress. Your determination to make Italy impregnable from air attack has been shown in the manner in which you have organized and encouraged Italian aviation. A strong air defense renders aggression through the air an impossibility. 
Americans have observed with the greatest interest the development of the Italian Air Force, and admire greatly the magnificent organ. ization created by you to give wings to the new and glorious Italy. All nations can learn from the progress you are making, which will be a shining example of the advantages that come from a strong and independent aerial arm. 
Excellency, through your efforts, Italy is now a united country, not only politically but in spirit from the peaks of the Alps to the plains of Cyrenaica. The great admiration which you receive from all parts of the world is due, we like to feel, not only to the statesmanship which you have shown but also because you have demonstrated such great belief in aeronautics. Thanks to the extreme courtesy of the Societa Anonima Navigazione Aera, I have been privileged to view the wonders and beauties of your marvelous country from Genoa to Palermo. You deserve the unstinted praise of every traveler for the creation of the Italian air lines and the splendid facilities that you have made available for fol. lowing the most picturesque air route in the world along the Italian coast. 
After traveling over many air lines, I can say without hesitation that I believe aerial travel in Italy has before it an immense future and will bring great advantages to your Commerce and Industry. 
Excellency, I shall be greatly honored to con. vey to your admirers in America a greeting from you, and if I am not asking too much would greatly appreciate receiving your opinion as to the future of aeronautics.
The Leader of Fascist Italy responded in kind to the warm and respectful letter:
Signor Gardner, 
I greatly appreciate the opinion which you expressed with regard to the Italian aeronautical progress. 
I am well aware that the magazine "Aviation" which you edit is the champion in your country of the broadest and most rapid developments of the wings of peace and of war, and so I ask you to convey my greetings to those Americans whose hearts rally around your flag. 
The United States of America are certainly among the most alert vanguards of the development of aviation. 
Your scientists and experts, uniting with a high intelligence the benefit of material means, bring every day to this development an admirable contribution. 
Your pilots are among the first in the world in daring and skill; your leaders of aeronautical enterprises bring also to this latest undertaking, which employs human flight, the positive spirit and breadth of view which distinguish every American organization. 
Thus our aviators and aeronautical experts take pride in competing with yours because the aeroplanes produced by your industry rank high in the excellence of performance, and because your military aviation has attained a remarkable efficiency which is evident to all. 
Thus, from coast to coast and between the busy cities of your vast continent civil aviation has already begun to stretch a met of aerial transport lines, working day and night, and greatly admired all over the world. 
The future of civil aviation is clearly indicated by its brief but vigorous past, by this new means probably the Atlantic will become like a Mediterranean Sea; by it the most impenetrable continents will be opened to the knowledge of man, to the throb, bing fervour of his traffic and to the intellectual and material exchange among the peoples.

Rome–February 1927. 
Anno. Vo.

To view a .pdf of the response of Il Duce to the generous letter, click here.