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Cenotaph (Italian Tribute)

Volume 159: debated on Friday 15 December 1922

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asked the First Commissioner of Works whether he is aware that, on Sunday afternoon last, a floral reproduction of the emblem of an Italian revolutionary society, consisting of an axe and the fasces, was placed at the Cenotaph in Whitehall; and whether, in view of the sacred associations of the memorial, he will take steps to prevent similar acts in future?

The axe and the fasces were an emblem of authority, both under the Roman Empire and the Roman Republic, and have never been used, as far as I am aware, as an emblem of revolution. The floral reproduction of the emblem in this instance was, I understand, laid by the Prime Minister of Italy as a tribute to the dead, which, I feel sure, is deeply appreciated throughout the country; and I see no connection with any revolutionary society by this gracious and sympathetic act.

Answers to the following questions were received too late for publication in the OFFICIAL REPORT of Friday, 15th December, 1922: