The Charlotte News
Sunday July 4, 1937
Note for the Signor
Signor Benito Mussolini's official newspaper closes a tirade against Great Britain and France with the significant utterance, "The last word is decisive and now belongs to cannon."
Perhaps the Signor is right and perhaps, if he insists on it, the last word may have to belong to cannon. But all the same, and granting the hypothesis, the Signor might do well to have a second thought before he lets things get down to the last word. For, after all, when it becomes a question of cannon, the Signor will not be dealing with Ethiopia or even with Spain when he tackles the British Empire and France. He will, in fact, be dealing with the British and French navies which pack at least two cannons to his one, and cannons manned, too, by men who by the historical record are a good deal more apt at the business of running them than the Signor's bandy-legged gentry. The Signor might do well to remember that and to remember that most Italian cities of any importance are within shelling distance from the sea. If cannon are to have the last word, it may be, it is likely to be, a highly unpleasant word for the Signor and his unfortunate dupes.
But as a matter of fact, and on the word of so great authority as Napoleon Bonaparte of Corsica, the last word probably does not rest with cannon so much as with the power to replace cannon when they are worn out, and with the power to feed men who operate cannon. And if that is so, the Signor would do well by himself to read carefully the history of the last war.
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