26 Nov. 45

There will probably never again be a man in the future with more authority than I have. My existence is, therefore, a factor of great value. But I can be eliminated at any time by a criminal or an idiot.

"The second personal factor is Il Duce. His existence is also decisive. If something happens to him, Italy's loyalty to the Alliance will no longer be certain. The basic attitude of the Italian Court is against the Duce. Above all, the Court sees in the expansion of the empire a burden. The Duce is the man with the strongest nerves in Italy.

"The third factor favorable for us is Franco. We can ask only benevolent neutrality from Spain, but this depends on Franco's personality. He guarantees a certain uniformity and steadiness of the present system in Spain. We must take into account the fact that Spain does not as yet have a Fascist Party of our internal unity.

"On the other side, a negative picture, as far as decisive personalities are concerned: There is no outstanding personality in England or France."--I interpolate: I think Adolf Hitler must have overlooked one in England, perhaps many.--

"For us it is easy to make decisions. We have nothing to lose--we can only gain. Our economic situation is such, because of our restrictions, that we cannot hold out more than a few years. Göring can confirm this. We have no other choice; we must act. Our opponents risk much and can gain only a little. England's stake in a war is unimaginably great. Our enemies have men who are below average. No personalities, no masters, no men of action."

I interpolate again. Perhaps that last sentence explains what he meant by no personalities--no masters having the authority that he had over his nation.

"Besides the personal factor, the political situation is favorable for us; in the Mediterranean rivalry between Italy, France, and England; in the Orient tension, which leads to the alarming of the Mohammedan world.

"The English empire did not emerge from the last war strengthened. From a maritime point of view, nothing was achieved; conflict between England and Ireland, the South African Union became more independent, concessions had to be made to India, England is in great danger, unhealthy industries. A British statesman call look into the future only with concern.