23 JANUARY 1926, Page 14



[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.] - :SIR,—The letter on the Italian Debt in the Spectator of January 16th, signed " An Italian," repeats a statement which has been more than once advanced in the Italian Press and -which, however sincerely it may be believed by those who make it, does not correspond to facts and therefore should- not pass unchallenged.

The decisive importance of the Italian co-operation in the common cause of the Allies can never be too much emphasized, and the arguments used in this letter to illustrate it are incon- trovertible. It is more questionable whether, in tabulating the losses sustained respectively by the Allies, it is fair to augment the British population by the many millions of India, under the guise of " and Colonies," and so to reduce the percent- age of British killed to 0.16 per cent., as compared with the estimate of 1.16 on the Italian side. For comparison with the losses of Italy only the people of-Great Britain should come into the reckoning. And it is on them alone that the burden of Allied indebtedness has fallen.

Nor do I question, on the contrary .I have consistently maintained, that Italy's entry into the War was decided by the generous impulse which moved the mass of the nation to fdemand intervention. But I maintain. with- equalkinsistenee that it is not correct to affirm that " Italy, in conseqgweeof the solicitationsof the Allies, was pushed to anticipate the date of -her intervention." Any pressure on our-part was scrnpulously -arid- wisely avoided, and though I hate no anthoritytnIspeak for our French Ally, I have every reason to ■believe.stiie.jianie was true in her case.—I am, Sir, lie., RENNEIA. Rona.1 - 25 Cavendish Sqnarci W. 1. '