1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Tittoni, Tommaso

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TITTONI, TOMMASO (1855-), Italian statesman, was born in Rome 1855. His father, Vincenzo, a tenant farmer on a large scale at La Manziana, had taken part in the defence of the Roman Republic under Garibaldi in 1849, was exiled by Pius IX., and reëntered Rome in 1870 through the breach of Porta Pia. Tommaso Tittoni was educated first at Naples, and subsequently at Oxford and Liége. He began his parliamentary career as deputy for Civitavecchia in 1886, sitting on the Right, but he resigned his seat in 1897, having been appointed prefect of Perugia; three years later he went to Naples in a similar capacity, and in 1902 he was raised to the Senate. When Giolitti became premier for the second time in 1903, Tittoni became his Foreign Minister. He aimed at improving relations with Austria, and also tried to bring about a reconciliation with France; it was in fact under his auspices that President Loubet visited Rome. On the resignation of Giolitti in March 1905 Tittoni became interim premier for a few days and remained in the Fortis Cabinet as Foreign Minister. His proposal to reduce the duty on Spanish wines in connexion with an Italo-Spanish commercial treaty aroused a storm of indignation among the agricultural classes and caused the fall of the Cabinet on Dec. 24 1905; and although Fortis composed a new administration, Tittoni did not enter it. A few months later he was appointed ambassador in London (March 1906), but in May, on the fall of the Sonnino Cabinet and the return of Giolitti to power, he was again summoned to the Consulta. He continued the policy of improving relations with Austria, which did not contribute to his popularity; after the annexation of Bosnia and the Herzegovina his imprudently worded speech at Carate created the illusion that Italy was to be compensated, perhaps by the cession of the Trentino, and the disappointment when nothing of the kind materialized greatly weakened his prestige. He remained in office until the fall of Giolitti in Dec. 1909. In April of the following year he was appointed ambassador in Paris. When the World War broke out, in spite of his Triplicist policy he openly expressed himself in favour of Italian neutrality, and on Italy's entry into the war he was careful not to compromise himself with Giolitti's attitude. But he was not at his ease in the French capital and in Nov. 1916 he resigned from the Paris embassy. On the fall of the Orlando Cabinet in June 1919, the new Premier Nitti chose Tittoni as Foreign Minister and first delegate at the Peace Conference, but the severe strain of the work told on his health and he was forced to resign in November. He was chosen president of the Senate in Dec., and soon after was appointed Italian delegate on the Council and Assembly of the League of Nations, but ill-health again forced him to relinquish both appointments. In 1910 he had published a volume of speeches, which was translated into English, and in 1919 he brought out a work on political conflicts and constitutional reform.