ITALY: Tooth & Nail

A fortnight ago, the government of Premier Alcide de Gasperi narrowly escaped a parliamentary defeat when dissatisfied wings of his own Demo-Christian party voted against their chief on a minor issue. Last week, De Gasperi faced a parliamentary test on a major issue: defense. Up for approval by Italy's Chamber of Deputies was a government bill asking for 250 billion lire ($400 million) to modernize Italy's armed forces. Said De Gasperi: "This battle I do not fear."

Minister of Defense Randolfo Pacciardi opened the debate for the government. Said he: "Since 1945, there has been...

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