Grand Council of Fascism

Grand Council of Fascism
Gran Consiglio del Fascism
Coat of Arms
Abbreviation Grand Council
Formation 9 December 1928 (1928-12-09)
Extinction 25 July 1943 (1943-07-25)
Legal status Constitutional Body
Headquarters Palazzo Venezia, Rome
King Victor Emmanuel III
Benito Mussolini

The Grand Council of Fascism (Italian: Gran Consiglio del Fascismo) (aka: Fascist Grand Council) was the main body of Mussolini's Fascist government in Italy. A body which held and applied great power to control the institutions of government, it was created as a party body in 1923 and became a state body on 9 December 1928. The council usually met at the Palazzo Venezia, Rome, which was also the seat of head of the Italian government.[1]

Members of the Council

Its members, selected among the party's gerarchi, were as follows:

The Head of Government and Duce of Fascism

Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office 25 July 1943 Motion
Benito Mussolini
(1883–1945)
9 December
1928
25 July
1943
Deposed

The Quadrumvirs

Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office 25 July 1943 Motion
Italo Balbo
(1896–1940)
9 December
1928
28 June
1940
Died in Office
Michele Bianchi
(1883–1930)
9 December
1928
3 February
1930
Died in Office
Emilio De Bono
(1866–1944)
9 December
1928
25 July
1943
Aye
Cesare Maria De Vecchi
(1884–1959)
9 December
1928
25 July
1943
Aye

Parliament

President of the Senate

Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office 25 July 1943 Motion
Tommaso Tittoni
(1855–1931)
9 December
1928
29 January
1929
Died in 1931
Luigi Federzoni
(1878–1967)
29 April
1929
2 March
1939
Giacomo Suardo
(1883–1947)
15 March
1939
25 July
1943
Abstention

President of the Chamber of Deputies

Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office 25 July 1943 Motion
Antonio Casertano
(1863–1938)
9 December
1928
29 January
1929
Died in Office
Giovanni Giuriati
(1876–1970)
20 April
1929
19 January
1934
Costanzo Ciano
(1876–1939)
28 April
1934
2 March
1939
Died in Office
President of the Chamber of Fasci and Corporations
Costanzo Ciano
(1876–1939)
23 March
1939
26 June
1939
Died in Office
Dino Grandi
(1895–1988)
30 November
1939
25 July
1943
Aye

Ministers

Agriculture and Forestry

Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office 25 July 1943 Motion
Giacomo Acerbo
(1888–1969)
9 December
1928
24 January
1935
Edmondo Rossoni
(1884–1965)
24 January
1935
31 October
1939
Giuseppe Tassinari
(1891–1944)
31 October
1939
26 December
1941
Carlo Pareschi
(1898–1944)
26 December
1941
25 July
1943
Aye

Corporations

Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office 25 July 1943 Motion
Benito Mussolini
(1883–1945)
9 December
1928
12 September
1929
Prime Minister and Duce
Giuseppe Bottai
(1895–1959)
12 September
1929
20 July
1932
Benito Mussolini
(1883–1945)
20 July
1932
11 June
1936
Prime Minister and Duce
Ferruccio Lantini
(1886–1959)
11 June
1936
31 October
1939
Renato Ricci
(1896–1956)
31 October
1939
6 February
1943
Carlo Tiengo
(1882–1945)
6 February
1943
19 April
1943
Tullio Cianetti
(1899–1976)
19 April
1943
25 July
1943
Aye

Finance

Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office 25 July 1943 Motion
Antonio Mosconi
(1866–1955)
9 December
1928
20 July
1932
Guido Jung
(1876–1949)
20 July
1932
17 January
1935
Paolo Thaon di Revel
(1888–1973)
17 January
1935
6 February
1943
Giacomo Acerbo
(1888–1969)
6 February
1943
25 July
1943
Aye

Foreign Affairs

Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office 25 July 1943 Motion
Benito Mussolini
(1883–1945)
9 December
1928
12 September
1929
Prime Minister and Duce
Dino Grandi
(1895–1988)
12 September
1929
20 July
1932
Benito Mussolini
(1883–1945)
20 July
1932
9 June
1936
Prime Minister and Duce
Galeazzo Ciano
(1903–1944)
9 June
1936
6 February
1943
Benito Mussolini
(1883–1945)
6 February
1943
25 July
1943
Prime Minister and Duce
Deposed

Interior

Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office 25 July 1943 Motion
Benito Mussolini
(1883–1945)
9 December
1928
25 July
1943
Prime Minister and Duce
Deposed

Justice and Religious Affairs

Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office 25 July 1943 Motion
Alfredo Rocco
(1875–1935)
9 December
1928
20 July
1932
Grace and Justice
Pietro De Francisci
(1883–1971)
20 July
1932
24 January
1935
Arrigo Solmi
(1873–1944)
24 January
1935
12 July
1939
Dino Grandi
(1895–1988)
12 July
1939
5 February
1943
Alfredo De Marsico
(1888–1985)
5 February
1943
25 July
1943
Aye

Press and Propaganda

Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office 25 July 1943 Motion
Galeazzo Ciano
(1903–1944)
23 June
1935
11 June
1936
Dino Alfieri
(1886–1966)
11 June
1936
27 May
1937
Minister of Popular Culture
Dino Alfieri
(1886–1966)
27 May
1937
31 October
1939
Alessandro Pavolini
(1903–1945)
31 October
1939
6 February
1943
Gaetano Polverelli
(1903–1945)
6 February
1943
25 July
1943
Nay

Public Education

Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office 25 July 1943 Motion
Giuseppe Belluzzo
(1876–1952)
9 December
1928
12 September
1929
National Education
Balbino Giuliano
(1879–1958)
12 September
1929
20 July
1932
Francesco Ercole
(1884–1945)
20 July
1932
24 January
1935
Cesare Maria De Vecchi
(1884–1959)
24 January
1935
15 November
1936
Giuseppe Bottai
(1895–1959)
15 November
1936
5 February
1943
Giacomo Acerbo
(1888–1969)
5 February
1943
25 July
1943
Aye

President of the Royal Academy

Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office 25 July 1943 Motion
Tommaso Tittoni
(1855–1931)
28 October
1929
16 September
1930
Guglielmo Marconi
(1874–1937)
19 September
1930
20 July
1937
Died in Office
Gabriele D'Annunzio
(1863–1938)
12 November
1937
1 March
1938
Died in Office
Luigi Federzoni
(1878–1967)
21 April
1938
25 July
1943
Aye

President of the Special Court for the Defence of the State

Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office 25 July 1943 Motion
Guido Cristini
(1895–1979)
9 December
1928

1932
Antonino Tringali-Casanova
(1888–1943)

1932
25 July
1943
Nay

*The Chief of Staff of the MVSN

Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office 25 July 1943 Motion
Guido Cristini
(1895–1979)
9 December
1928

1932
  • The Presidents of the Corporations; Industrialists, Agriculture Workers, Industrial Workers, and Farmers. The Nobel Physics laureate inventor-technologist Guglielmo Marconi was the President of the Academy of Italy, making him a council member.
  • The Secretary of the National Fascist Party, who was also the secretary of the Council.
  • Various people chosen by Mussolini himself, who each held appointments of three-year durations.

Powers of the Council

Essentially, the council held these powers:

  • The power to elect the Fascist Party deputies, the nomination for the Party Secretary and other party leaders, the approval of the party statutes and the power regarding the party's policy.
  • The power to elect the Crown's line of succession including the choice of the heir to the throne, the right of the crown, the power to choose possible successors to the Prime Minister, the power to choose the function and membership of the Grand Council, the Senate, the Chamber of Deputies (later the Chamber of Fasci and Corporations), the power to decide the rights and powers of the Prime Minister, international Treaties, and foreign affairs.

The Grand Council meetings were convened by the Prime Minister himself, and all decrees and laws could only be legalized after receiving his approval. In contrast to the Führerprinzip government model in Nazi Germany, the Grand Council retained the power to recommend that the King of Italy remove the Prime Minister from office. As all the former governing institutions had been subordinated to the Fascist party, the Council was the only check on Mussolini's power.

Overthrow of Mussolini

The Allies invaded Sicily in July 1943. Grand Council member Dino Grandi proposed a vote of no confidence in Mussolini as leader of the Council and the party. A vote was held on the night of 24–25 July 1943 and passed with 19 votes for, 8 against and one abstention. Among the 19 votes of no confidence were those of Mussolini's son-in-law Galeazzo Ciano, who had been former minister of foreign affairs, and the influential marshal Emilio De Bono.

The following day King Victor Emmanuel met Mussolini and informed him that General Pietro Badoglio would lead Italy, as Prime Minister. Mussolini was arrested immediately after the meeting.[2]

In September 1943 Mussolini was freed from imprisonment by the Germans and helped to regain power in northern Italy. He had Ciano, De Bono and three others arrested and tried for treason on 8 January 1944 in Verona. They were executed by firing squad three days later.[3][4]

References

  1. "Gran consiglio del fascismo". Enciclopedia on line (in Italian). Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana fondata da Giovanni Treccani S.p.A. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  2. Shirer, William L. (1959). The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (2011 ed.). New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 997. ISBN 9781451642599. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  3. Bosworth, Richard J. B. (2010). Mussolini (New ed.). London: Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 16. ISBN 9780340981733. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  4. De Grand, Alexander J. (2000). Italian Fascism: Its Origins & Development (Third ed.). Lincoln, NV: University of Nebraska Press. p. 136. ISBN 0803266227. Retrieved 23 August 2017.

Further reading

  • 2194 Days of War, Cesare Salmaggi & Alfredo Pallavisini (editors), Gallery Press, New York — ISBN 0831788852 (1977)

See also

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