Saturday, December 20, 2014

Statement of Fiorello La Guardia on Fiume

Here we have the statements of the famous mayor of New York Fiorello La Guardia, who spoke before the United States senate on September 4, 1919, on the Italianity of Fiume, and how the people of the free city of Fiume desired to be part of Italy:
The language of the municipality of Fiume is Italian. The two chambers of the municipal government conduct all their proceedings in Italian. The language of the port is Italian. The language of the municipal court is Italian. The city of Fiume maintains its own schools, which are entirely Italian, and the same is true with the academy for the merchant marine. It is true that in the suburb of Fiume, called Sussak, the greater portion of the population are Croatians. I believe that the President is of the belief that the Fiume question can be settled by taking in Sussak with it as one port. Even to that there is no objection, because the spirit of the port of Fiume, including Sussak, would be Italian. I do not know what claims the Croatians may set forth as to Fiume… Another thing I want to point out is this, that it is not so much the claims of Italy to Fiume, as it is the desire and will of the natives of Fiume to be liberated from the Hapsburgs; to get away from Hungary and Croatia and Austria: to establish their own independent form of government and to be annexed to Italy. It is their claim which appeals to me more than anything else.
 —Fiorello La Guardia, Hearing Before the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, Sixty-Sixth Congress, September 4, 1919