The Ambassador in Italy (Fletcher) to the Secretary of State

No. 1442

Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith, in copy and translation, a front page statement taken from the October 1st Number of [Page 126] (Giovinezza, the Official Bulletin of the Fascist League of North America, which contains the text of the oath now administered to those who become members of the Fascist League of North America. Commendatore Cornelio di Marzio, the Secretary General of the “Fasci all ‘Estero” (the Fascist Headquarters abroad), who brought me this copy of Giovinezza, has explained to me that the oath was written by the Fascist League of North America and is used exclusively by that organization and not by the “Fasci all ‘Estero”. He said that, in his opinion, there could be no criticism on the part of the “Fasci all ‘Estero” in case the American Government should deem it advisable to raise objections to the administration of this oath by the Fascist League of North America in the United States. The Department no doubt knows that the “Fasci all ‘Estero” is the official Italian organization for the spread of Fascist propaganda abroad whereas the Fascist League of North America is the work of Italians who reside in the United States and is a purely local organization, incorporated under the laws of the state of New York, and of which Thaon de Revel is the leading spirit.

From the instructions to Fascists living abroad which are to be found in the Bulletin (No. 1) of the “Segretaria Generale dei Fasci all ‘Estero e Nelle Colonie” (Secretariat General of the Fascist Headquarters Abroad and in the Colonies), a copy of which is enclosed herewith,5 it would appear that this organization desires to show a proper regard for the rights of foreign nations over such Italians as reside within their frontiers. For example, Circular No. I/G of February 18, 1923 states that:

“Fascists abroad must never forget that they are guests of a foreign country and that they must conduct themselves accordingly. The most absolute observance of the laws of the country of residence and of the rules and regulations of the Party are the essentials of a Fascist who desires to be worthy of the name.”

In this connection I attach a translation of a speech of the Prime Minister Mussolini which was made for reproduction by the Movietone or speaking motion picture film in the United States of America, the text of which appears in the article referred to. The Department will recall that the brief statement which I made before the Movietone early in May of the present year (see my despatch No. 1250 of May 6, 1927)5 was an introduction to this speech of the Prime Minister.

I have [etc.]

Henry P. Fletcher
[Page 127]

Extract from “Giovinezza,” Official Bulletin of the Fascist League of North America, for October 1, 1927

To Clear Away All Doubts

In the face of useless criticism and bitter calumnies Secretary of Labor J. Davis has denied the statements attributed to him and proclaimed that membership in the Fascist League of North America is not an obstacle to the acquisition of American citizenship. At the same time Commissioner General Crist has declared himself to be opposed to the stand taken by Examiner Thomas. Now the words of the Duce, so timely, clear, and precise are being conveyed to the American people through the medium of the Movietone. These words should be sufficient to reassure honest men and to cut short the idle speculations of dishonest ones.

The following is the message of the Head of the National Government to the American people:

“In addressing both a great though distant people and its Ambassador who stands nearby and who is so worthy to represent that people, I am happy once more to declare my friendship for the American Nation.

“An intelligent and alert Ambassador like His Excellency Mr. Fletcher easily notices every phase in the development of international friendship. His perception must already have convinced him of the constant sympathy and sincere admiration felt by all Italians for his country.

“I also desire to pay tribute to Mr. Fletcher for having brought about this warmth of feeling. He is a symbol to Italy of the Starry Republic. He has kept alive in our hearts that warm feeling of friendship.

“The friendliness with which Italy regards the 220,000,000 [120,000,000] residents of the United States, from Alaska to Florida and from the Pacific to the Atlantic, will be a permanent feeling. Born of an instinctive sympathy, strengthened by common bonds of interest and by a War fought and won together, this friendship constitutes an unchangeable bond between two nations, one of which is young while the other is bursting with a new life. Both nations are preparing energetically for the great future which awaits them.

“While I greet the energy of the American people, I see and recognize among you, children of your land and ours, my compatriots who are working with you for the greatness of America, Once more I request those distant children of ours to preserve a double sense of honor: respect for the great land which affords them hospitality and for the prestige of the great land of their birth.

“I now send my greetings to the great American people who are the incarnation of the spirit of initiative, zeal, and strength. I also greet their worthy and noble Government, their distinguished Ambassador here present, and finally the Italians of America who are both uniting our two countries with bonds of affection and honoring both by their work.”

[Page 128]

We give below the full text and translation6 of the only oath which the Fascist League of North America requires its members to take in consequence of the deliberations of the Congress held in Philadelphia in 1925. It is very clear:

I Swear Upon My Honor

To serve with loyalty and discipline the Fascist Idea of Society based upon Religion, Nation and Family, and to promote respect for Law, Order and Hierarchy, and for the Tradition of the Race.

To love, serve, obey and exalt the United States of America and to teach obedience to and respect for its Constitution and laws.

To keep alive the veneration for Italy as our country of origin and as the eternal light of civilization and greatness.

To fight with all my strength the theories and ideas aiming to subvert, corrupt or disintegrate Religion, Love of Country, and Family.

To make all efforts to better my culture and myself, physically and morally, so as to deserve to belong to those who serve and guide the Nations in the greatest moments.

To be disciplined to the hierarchies of the Fascisti League of North America.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed.
  3. The Italian text and English translation of the oath appeared in parallel columns. The Italian text is not printed.