1923年・コルフ島の占領決定とムッソリーニ [in Japanese] <Article>ITALY'S DECISION TO OCCUPY THE ISLAND OF CORFU IN 1923 AND MUSSOLINI [in Japanese]
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Fascist Italy's occupation of Corfu has been interpreted by many historians as an exception to its early foreign policy. In appraising Mussolini's foreign policy, the tendency of scholars as well as the contemporaries has been to regard the Corfu Incident as a manifest lapse of moderation, an incipient expansionism, or an exceptional event in the course of his early diplomacy. Such capable diplomats as Contarini and Russo are said to have effectively led and controlled Fascist Italy's early diplomacy, while their fortuitous absence from Rome in August 1923 made it possible for Mussolini to venture on the occupation of Corfu. Was this decision of Mussolini incompatible with the old doctrine which career diplomats had pursued since the beginning of the Kingdom? Is it not true that even some non-fascist diplomats and statesmen did contribute to this decision-making? The relation between Mussolini's decision and the traditional doctrine seems worthy of investigation. It is the purpose of this essay to explain how and why the occupation of the island was planned, formulated and executed. This paper is divided into three major parts. First, examined are the historical background of Italy's foreign policy and the milieu in which the Fascist regime was required to embark upon its policy in 1922. Among factors that influenced Mussolini in the formulation of his foreign policy, dominant was the psychology of frustration which had become more and more conspicuous in the Italian people's state of mind particularly since the end of World War I. The second part covers the several days from the murder of the Tellini mission to the occupation of Corfu. Here discussed are : what sort of information was transmitted to Mussolini; how Mussolini and other policy-makers recognized the situation; and with the informations received and the situation recognized how they carried out their policy. Third, two important facts are stressed to throw light on the origin and motives for the occupation of Corfu. In brief, one of these facts was that Mussolini wanted to send a naval squadron to the Dodecanese immediately after the conclusion of the Lausanne Treaty. And the other was that some officials of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Navy had prepared before the incident the military operations including the occupation of Corfu. These two plans can be said to have been prompted by the same desire to recover and promote the prestige of Italy as a great power. Finally, it is emphasized that Mussolini and non-fascist statesmen could cooperate with each other in shaping and executing their foreign policy as far as Great Britain could or would give her support.
- The journal of law & politics
The journal of law & politics 19(2), 39-76, 1968-06
Kwansei Gakuin University