RG331/10504/128/1 Vol 1 of 2 Correspondence file July 1944-April 1945
ALLIED MILITARY GOVERNMENT
PERUGIA 3 Feb 45
SUBJECT, monthly report – January 1945
TO HQ Lazio-Umbria a region
Attn. Executive officer
A) POLITICAL REACTIONS AND POPULAR OPINION:
The aggregation of a number of causes of complaint (e.g. shortage of electricity, cut in pasta ration, olive oil dispute etc) has produced a certain amount of public resentment. The situation, so far, cannot be called really serious, but public feeling will require careful handling if it is to be prevented from deteriorating rapidly, as it will do if there are many more ‘pin pricks’, (even though none my be serious in itself). As elsewhere, the idea of fighting as co-belligerents, instead of as Allies, is unpopular and there is a marked lack of enthusiasm for the king or any member of the Royal Family, as a national rallying force.
B) LOCAL GOVERNMENT – PROVINCIAL:
The over abundance of Vice Prefects has been rectified. It is difficult to assess the overall efficiency of the Administration until further observation has been made and I would like a little more tine before being called upon to express a definite opinion.
C) ECONOMIC RESOURCES AND SUPPLY:
A.M.G. Commodities: 145 tons of sugar, 17 tons of dried vegetables and 330 tons of salt were received. Salt is still an urgent necessity and stocks were NIL at 28 January. Demands outstanding total 200 tons (this includes 130 tons for February ration).
Pasta: January pasta ration was 1720 grams(as against 3000 previously) and for February it is being reduced to 600 grams, in line with other Provinces.
Industry: Re-activation of industry is largely dependent on provision of electric power. This is dealt with separately under Section C. but it would appear that very little new industrial re-activation can be expected for some time to come, and there may in fact be some retrogression. The promise of the attachment of in officer from Region 1V Industry Division is appreciated as without such assistance the work is bound to suffer. Production of the cement-factory at SPOLETO is now 150 tons per day and repairs to the MAGIONE factory is nearly complete. Supervision of Lignite mane production and exports is apparently being exercised from Region IV HQ. It is requested that responsibilities in this sphere be defined.
D) AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES:
Olive Oil: Under the A.C. HQ. amassing proposals this Province is only expected to export 100 tons of olive oil. The Provincial proposal would provide a minimum of 250 tons. It is hoped that HQ A.C. will accept the Perugia proposal as otherwise amassing will prove extremely difficult and it is doubtful if even the 100 ton export total will be reached. Up to 25 Jan production stands at approx. 2400 tons, of which 800 tons have been amassed. (an increase of 500 tons for the month).
Grain: Total grain amassing as at 23 Jan was 86.000 tons (3900 tons in excess of the target figure) and further substantial increases are anticipated. Exports to 23 Jan total 22,300 tons (an increase of 4000 tons since 31 Dec).
Livestock: 65 head of cattle and 3600 head of swine were exported during the month. The livestock market has been closed for one month by Prefectorial decree, in an endeavour to reduce clandestine exports and control prices (which are under re-consideration), and on account of an outbreak of foot and mouth disease.
Eggs: Prices are being raised 33 1/3%, (by agreement with the military, whose requirement is approximately 22000 per week) and future contracts will be made at 20 lire per egg.
Fuel: it is unlikely that the charcoal export target for the Province will be reached, as no account appears to have been taken of the considerable military requirements in this area.
Fertilisers: There is urgent need for fertiliser, for which a request has been made separately.
By order of GOC 1 Districts the full cost of living bonus is being paid in this area. A Prefectorial decree has been published making it compulsory for all workers to register with the Collocamento and separate offices have been set up at PERUGIA, FOLIGNO and SPOLETO. The secretaries will act as Collocamenti in other Communes.
F) PUBLIC WORKS AND UTILITIES:
Public Works: The Position as regards works in hand. or approved but not yet started is as follows:
In Hand In Hand But Not Yet Begun
Bridges Lire 110,000,000 lire 20 00%
Other Works 7,000,000
Work has been somewhat delayed during the month on account of frost and bad weather.
Utilities: The system of bidding for, and allocation of, electric power for civilian needs is most unsatisfactory, and appears to require investigation and decision on a considerably higher level than mine. Whatever the policy decision local control should. in my opinion, be centralised under an Allied Officer on my staff (particularly in view of the acute shortage of power which has suddenly developed in this area) and I hope that this task can be undertaken either by the Industry Officer you are attaching, or by one of the Public Works Officers already attached to my HQ The latter would be the better solution (since constant liaison with C.R.E. is necessary) but there appears to be a disinclination on the part of Region IV Engineering Division to permit this. Your decision is requested.
G) PUBLIC SAFETY AND FUNCTIONING OF COURTS:
The number of cases tried showed a decrease of nearly 50%. The Pretore’s Courts tried 70 cases, the Tribunale of PERUGIA 12, of SPOLETO 2 and A.M.G. Courts handled 127 cases. Details are being collected with a view to reinstating persons who were dismissed without due cause. Carabinieri and Civil Police are greatly lacking in training and there is also a shortage of boots and clothing.
H) PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARE:
I am doubtful of the efficiency of the Medico Provinciale’s organisation and would welcome an investigation by, and report from an officer of the Public Health Division. Scrutiny of Censorship extracts shows a certain amount of public dissatisfaction over the scarcity of medical supplies, but the time of J/Cdr GOGGIN is too fully occupied at the moment with the activation of the Italian Welfare Organisation to permit her to do much more than draw the facts to my attention. Gen. PAOLETTI has been appointed Provincial Welfare Officer. The status of the Yugoslav Relief Committee requires definition. This bas already been requested but no reply has yet been received.
Schools were closed till 1 March on account of lack of heating and military requisitioning of School premises has created the usual difficulties. Arrangements are proceeding for an Art Exhibition to be held in April on the lines of the one held in Rome (Palazzo Venezia).
There are some 400 refugees not in camps. This situation is undesirable, and they are being transferred to camps as soon as possible. A visit from a representative of the Displaced Persons Sub Commission would be appreciated.
Road: Steps are being taken to tighten up on the operation of the Ufficio Provinciale Trasporti, though the basic system in force appears to reasonably sound. 10 bus services are operating within the Province (with a further one projected) and efforts are being made to institute a second service to Rome, There are some 70 trucks from Ufficio Trasporti di Roma hauling grain to railhead in this area. They are not always fully occupied, but it is hoped that the daily allocation of 8 rail cars will shortly be increased to twelve, which should overcome the difficulty. Shortage of tyres and petrol are, as always, the chief worries; however steps are being taken to reduce the high proportion of private cars in circulation, which should reduce petrol consumption.
Rail: There are two extremely important bridge projects (of which you already have details) completion of which would link PERUGIA with the whole of the Tiber Valley.
Telecommunications: Ten telephone exchanges have been reopened during the month. Telegraphic services have been reported as slow in operation.
Posts: Posts are also slow.
L) PROPERTY CONTROL:
The work is nearing completion and before long it should be possible to dispense with the necessity for a Property Control Officer in this HQ.
Banks and Currency:- Savings, as at 31 Oct 44 were 1,537 million lire (as compared with an estimated 1,000 million lire at June 1944). Cash Bank holdings rose during the month of December from 57,000,000 lire to 96,000,000. Of this increase, 5,000,000 lire was in AM Currency, (the total holding o£ which stood at 16,000,000 lire, as at 31 Dec 44). Thousand lire notes are proving unpopular, owing to the forgeries which are in circulation.
Revenue and Expenses: As at 31 Dec 44, revenue exceeded liabilities by 153 million lire.
Insurance: Applications for unemployment allowance have risen from 700 in Oct. to 900 in Dec. The Ente Nazionale Providenza ed Assistenza per i Dipendenti Statali covers 6114 employees (say 18,000 persons in all) and assistance has been granted to 767 persons.
Although the Patriot Officer has left to join the army the Patriot office in this Headquarters has not yet been closed, as a directive on the subject is still awaited.
C. NORMAN RAMSEY