ITALY: The Bear Must Die

Land reform in Italy is a desperate human need and an almost insuperable problem. The Communists propose their usual Draconian solution: confiscate and redistribute large estates, eventually collectivize. The middleway Christian Democratic government of Premier Alcide de Gasperi rejects revolution for evolution.

For the past year De Gasperi has been pushing a comprehensive land reform act through Parliament. Its core: buy out large landholdings, cut them into small plots (about 15 acres), help the peasantry to buy and cultivate them. The political, financial, administrative and technical difficulties are staggering. For example, some...