ITALY: Fateful Day

On April 18 Paul Revere's ride and the San Francisco earthquake began. For another reason, April 18 kept bobbing up last week in dispatches from Paris, London, Washington. On that day Italy would hold a general election which one Washington official called more important to the U.S. than its own presidential election next November.

Two months ago, official U.S. observers had been confident that the combination of Communists and left-wing Socialists would be beaten. Last week they were far less confident. The sentiments of the Italian voters had not changed much; but...