Libya Politics

Libya Politics and Economy

Politics and administration. – The system implemented in 1934 with the establishment of the general government of Libya formed by Tripolitania and Cyrenaica and divided into the four provinces of Tripoli, Misurata, Bengasi and Derna and the military territory of the Libyan Sahara based in Hun, remained in force in the following years without substantial modifications. But with decr. law of 9 January 1939 the four provinces of Tripoli, Misurata, Bengasi and Derna were aggregated to the kingdom of Italy, becoming an integral part of the metropolitan territory (just as Algeria was and is an integral part of the metropolitan territory of France; which was a step forward compared to the pure and simple annexation of Libya ordered by decree of November 5, 1911 which simply meant affirmation of the full and absolute sovereignty of Italy on those lands). It is understood that the 1939 decree directly concerned the metropolitan citizens of the four new Italian Regnicole provinces thus established; but it also affected the Muslims of the four provinces, who had all become no longer “colonial subjects”, but “Italian Libyan citizens” with certain rights, such as participation in the corporate trade union system in force in Libya. Furthermore, the same decree instituted a “special Italian citizenship” for Libyan Muslims, to be obtained upon request with particular requirements, maintaining the Muslim personal and succession status, and with particular rights, such as that of carrying arms and accessing a military career in the departments Libyans, to be podestà in Libyan municipalities or consultants in mixed municipalities and to hold managerial positions in trade union organizations. At the same time, with the decree of 9 January 1939, the Muslim Association of the Lictorary was established with the task of “looking after the moral and civil elevation of native Muslims” of the Italian provinces, who had acquired “special Italian citizenship”, and were abolished the pre-existing provisions governing the acquisition of full metropolitan Italian citizenship. The measure aimed to insert coastal Libya more intimately into the life of the metropolis, also in view of the intensive population that began with the colonial immigration from 1937 onwards, and at the same time showed respect for religious conscience and ethnic individuality of Muslims since it did not ask for renunciation of personal status nor undermined their attachment to it with the lure of greater rights and privileges. Metropolitan immigration itself did not arouse discontent for the prestige enjoyed by the metropolitan, for the economic prosperity they brought, for the assistance works intended for general well-being. Finally, it should be remembered that on 17 December 1938 the Laval-Mussolini agreement on 7 January 1935 for the southern border of Libya was denounced by the Italian government. For Libya government and politics, please check

Libya was governed by Marshal Italo Balbo until June 28, 1940, then by Marshal Rodolfo Graziani until March 24, 1941, then by gen. Italo Gariboldi, and finally by Marshal Ettore Bastico from July 1941 to the end of 1942.

Population data. – The census of 21 April 1936 had given for Libya 839,524 residents (of which 772,999 between Muslims and Israelites, 66,525 kingdoms and foreigners). At 30 June 1939 there were about 918,000 residents (including 770,000 Muslims, 30,000 Israelites and 118,000 royals and foreigners). There had been a strong increase of Italians for immigration, especially agricultural ones in the colonization areas; but also the Libyan population had had a notable increase due to the improved general and sanitary conditions of the period of peace.

Agricultural development. – From 1937, the phase of official peasant colonization of the Colonization Body for Libya on behalf of the state began in the Italian policy of agrarian validation of Libya (the so called plan of the twenty thousand, from the number of settlers who had to be started annually in Libya): but the plan was just beginning its execution when it was interrupted by the war. In a census carried out in 1938 in the four Libyan provinces there were 840 farms in operation on a cultivated area of ​​187.749 ha., Distributed as follows:

The work of strengthening continued in the years 1939-40, surpassing, between private companies and official colonization, the 200,000 ha. Ten villages had sprung up in Cyrenaica, as well as various concessions and private companies, with 2755 families (over 10,000 members). Seven villages built in Tripolitania by the Tripolitania colonization body near Misrata, Azizia and Tarhuna and nine more built by the National Institute of Social Security, not counting the private concessions and those of the Italian Tobacco Company at Garian welcomed 3960 families with 23,919 members.

The provisions established for the metropolitans were extended in 1937 to the Libyans as well. In the years 1939-40 the Muslim villages of Zahra (Fiorita), elFager (Alba), Chadra (green), Nahida (Risorta), Gedida (Nuova), Mansura (Vittoriosa) were inaugurated in Cyrenaica ; in Tripolitania the villages of: Maamura and Naima were inaugurated.

Wheat production in the villages of the Cyrenaica Colonization Authority alone reached a maximum of q in 1937-38. 94,000 out of 10,000 ha. of sown. At the same time, 197,000 olive trees, 209,000 almond trees and 3,278,000 vines were planted in Cyrenaica; 177,000 various fruit-bearing plants and 97,000 forest plants. In Tripolitania up to 1940 almost 2 million olive trees, 1.5 million almond trees, over half a million various fruit trees and thirty million vines had been planted, considered as a transitory crop of first yield. The magnitude of these figures, which represent the agrarian development effort of 1929-40, must be assessed by considering the fact that they correspond to four to five times the number of olive and fruit trees owned by Libya in 1911. A dense network tree-lined road, woods,

An approximate calculation brings the total amount of capital absorbed by private colonization to 112,954,315 lire (pre-war value) and 718 million lire those required by intensive demographic colonization in Cyrenaica alone. No reliable data are known for the capital employed in Tripolitania, which can be considered double. Agricultural development had given impetus to various industries: wine, oil, dairy products, livestock and employed a large number of natives.

Libya Politics