Italy: the birth of the republic – archive, 1946 | Italy
Rome, June 10
Today, the Italian Supreme Court, in a simple but historic ceremony in the parliament building, announced the almost complete return of the referendum on the monarchy. And so, a little hesitantly, the Italian Republic was born.
Since early in the morning, there had been a line in front of Parliament for the few seats available to the public at tonight’s ceremony.
The president of the High Court of Cassation, with six section presidents, all in black robes, stood at one end of the room, along with the Italian government, as the president solemnly announced the nearly complete numbers of the vote. They were:
For a Republic ……… 12,672,767
For a monarchy ……. 10 688 305
The tribunal had announced that some objections had yet to be investigated and that certain results were lacking, and the question therefore arose as to whether the Republic had been officially proclaimed. Signor de Gasperi, the Prime Minister, thought so: it didn’t have to be proclaimed from a balcony, he said. “If the court felt entitled to release figures showing a majority for the Republic, it means that the court is convinced that further adjustments cannot materially alter the result.”
Signor de Gasperi added that if Umberto leaves this evening or tomorrow, he always leaves as “king” of Italy. There was no personal reason for the king to leave as he had behaved very well.
New Head of State
Thus, from this evening, Signor de Gasperi becomes not only Prime Minister but also Head of State of Italy. This is a temporary measure until the first meeting of the new Constituent Assembly, which is to elect the first Italian president. This week, the Communist and Socialist Parties are each holding their executive council meetings to decide what form their participation in the new government will take. It is not yet clear whether Signor de Gasperi intends to invite another party or group to join his new cabinet during its formation.
Of the ten million people who voted for the monarchy, there is a hard core that still seems to be considering last-minute unrest. The chief monarchist hive here is right in front of the parliament at the headquarters of Italia Nuova, and there in the courtyard is a detachment of a hundred Italian sailors who lie down with their Bren guns at night, and outside from the parliament are three Italian tanks day and night on duty.
Large crowds are gathered around the palace this evening and a rumor spreading is that Umberto II is awaiting a second referendum. For many Republicans here, their victory is already starting to tarnish with possible compromises that bode ill for the future.
On the banks of the Tiber, Signor Nenni and Signor Parri commemorated the death of Matteotti this evening just 22 years ago. Signor Parri told a large Republican crowd: “The High Court ceremony this afternoon was like a funeral. Here we are truly celebrating our victory.
Troubles in Naples
Naples, June 10
Around 10,000 monarchists stormed Nantes town hall that night, smashed a police cordon, smashed windows and hoisted the House of Savoy flag over the building. The mob attacked the offices of the Republican newspaper La Voce. The police eventually dispersed them after trying to set the Communist headquarters on fire.