ITALY: On the Eve

As Italy's first general-election campaign since 1948 went into the final week, two of the extremists' leaders, Communist Palmiro Togliatti and Monarchist Achille Lauro, took to their beds, white with exhaustion, but Premier Alcide de Gasperi, thinner and older (72) than either, seemed to gain strength. He abandoned his campaign train and took to the air, flying to Sardinia and Sicily to rally the voters.

Expected to win victory narrowly—51-55% of the expected 26 million votes —De Gasperi realized that the great danger was indifference; seeing no chance of a Communist victory...

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