Fiume has been under the control'of the famous Italian _poet, Gabriele JVAnnunzio, for 15 months. D'An.nunzio entered Fiume on September 12 last year at the head of 4000 Italian volunteers, while the Allied conference at Paris was debating whether the city should be awarded to J^jgo-Slayia or Italy. It was regarded by many at the time as a transitory adventure .that would -endure no longer ±han .the .caprice of the poet who evoked it, but D'Annunzio tenaciously retained his hold on the city, despite the alternating threats and cajolery of the Italian Government^ and exercised a virtual dictatorship. After several months of intermittent and ineffectual •debate by the Supreme Council at Paris, the .Allies decided to resign to Jjtaly and Jugo-Slavia the responsibility of settling the 'disposal of Fiume by direct negotiation. Last month the of Rome and Belgrade reached an agreement, and a treaty was signed at Rapallo. The cabled, summaries of the treaty indicate .that JPiume is to be constituted a free city under Italian protection, and that Jugo-Slavia is to receive compensation j in the form of .neighbouring islands off I the Dalmatian coast. To execute its obligations under the treaty, the Italian .Government was compelled at last to take action against D?Annunzia. From .accounts cabled during the past few months it would seem that the forces under the command of tfche pe^t-dictator, both naval and mili~fcary, thave "been considerably augmented by desertions from the Italian .navy and army. Several islands in the 'Gulf of iQuarnevo, the approach to IPiume by sea, and along the Dalmatian coast j have been occupied <by TJ'Amaunzio's legionaries, and a small fleet of destroyers and light craft brought to Fiume by naval mutineers has been at the poet's command. ITAnnunzio is now 56 years of age. Before the war he was Italy's foremost poet, novelist, and dramatist. By his stirring orations he played an important part 7 in "bringing about Italy's intervention in -the war, and afterwards he v?on fame as a fearless airman.
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