[Railway reconstruction Italy 1943-1946 published by Royal Engineers, 1946]

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Chapter I

Section I.
Staff and service organisation

2. - Allied Commission.

The Allied Commission has been in existence throughout the whole of the Italian campaign. The general intention was that the Commission should be an Allied organization which would exercise such controls as might be necessary in the various affairs of the country between the time when military control ceased and the normal peacetime administration of the country resumed efficient working. To do this, the Commission was divided up into a number of branches or Sub-Commissions each dealing with a separate aspect of the life of the country, i. e., Industry, Finance, Commerce, etc.

The Sub-Commission under whose jurisdiction the railways came, was the Transportation Sub-Commission, and this was further divided into Movements, Port and Warehouse, Road and Rail Divisions. The Rail Division was equipped with its own internal branches dealing with Operating, Workshops, Stores, Construction etc. Although the Commission as a whole was of some size, it was found that the strength of each of the specialist branches was very small, and that therefore their capabilities were very restricted.

Owing to the fact that the main bases were in Bari and Naples, and that the bulk of the traffic carried was military, the greater part of the Italian Railway system was retained under Military control unit until some time after the campaign was over (31 October, 1945). The only area which were restored to civilian control before this date were the Compartimenti of Palermo, and Reggio di Calabria. It thus happened that the scope of A.C. to function in the manner intended was somewhat limited. With a view to effecting a compromise and at the same time to making the best use of all available resources, arrangements were mutually evolved between M.R.S., and A.C., to enable them both to work in harmony in the military zone.

The basis of this agreement in so far as Construction was concerned, was that A.C. would supervise all works put in hand by the Italian State Railways regardless of whether they were for military or civil benefit. M.R.S. would then restrict its activities to works executed by military forces. To enable this arrangement to work properly M.R.S. undertook supply of such stores, as might be necessary from military sources, to the I.S.R. Contractors, as and when requested by A.C. A.C. thus became a central agency for organizing and controlling I.S.R. civilian contractors for and on behalf of M.R.S.

In addition to this work, A.C. were allowed to operate with very little restriction on such lines in the military zone as were from time to time declared to be of no military importance. In general, it was of course not possible to admit the issue of any military stores to such projects, but owing to the close working relationship between M.R.S. and A.C. at this time, it was frequently possible to smooth out difficulties more easily than would than would otherwise have been possible.

The system of controls placed on the economic life of the country by both the Military Authorities and the Allied Commission was so rigid and universal that the Italian State Railway had virtually no independence of action in Construction matters and any proposals for works other than routine maintenance had to be approved before they could be put in hand. The Rails division of A.C. had no power in itself to approve any works. Works of a military value could only be approved by M.R.S., and works of civil importance could only be approved by the body of the Allied Commission after consideration of the various economic and industrial implications of the proposals.

When the proposals had been approved it became the responsibility of the Rails division to call on the I.S.R. to put the work in hand. From that point until the completion of the works, the Rails Division maintained control through the I.S.R. In addition they acted on behalf of the I.S.R. in all questions concerning the Allied Authorities. This latter responsibility was probably one of the most arduous of their duties and involved such difficult questions as obtaining releases for frozen stores, circulation permits for personnel, etc.

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[Railway reconstruction Italy 1943-1946 published by Royal Engineers, 1946]

Alessandro Tuzza