wrote a thesis on Italian Financing in the American Market. It won him a prize from the Italian Chamber of Commerce, a New York City organization dominated by sympathizers with Italian Fascism. That thesis was published in an extensive brochure form, adorned with a full-page portrait of the author. For this work, which dealt enthusiastically with the doings of the Mussolini regime, the Fascist Italian Ministry of Finance also awarded Pugnucco a gold medal. In a foreword, he thanked the commercial attaché of the Fascist Royal Italian Embassy for "invaluable help," "all available Italian data," and "helpful criticism." Here are significant quotes from the text:
"The Italian people under the courageous leadership of Mussolini are now working hard for lost time, are trying to regain their place among the most progressive nations of the world...(p.5) (Italics are ours.)
"Apart from discussing the theory of Fascism which has no place in a study of this kind, nobody can deny that the present Administration has guided in a masterful way the Italian people, who in the last six years have accomplished wonders, and conquered the benevolence and admiration of the whole world... (p. 8)
"The Italian people are today working very hard. They will soon be in a position to produce their own capital, they are saving already at the rate of 1,000,000,000 lire per year, and the time of their economic independence may not be very far off. When that time comes, the Italian people will not be borrowers any more, but they will be partners with the Americans and with other peoples in the development of the innumerable resources that the world offers to those who show:
"TENACITY, DISCIPLINE, COURAGE, AND WORK.
"(Mussolini's own words.)" (p.53)
On July 16, 1936, Pagnucco was one of a group of fourteen university students who were awarded cash scholarships from a fund of $5,290 collected by Generoso Pope, wealthy newspaper publisher, and to which Pope himself gave $1,000. (Long before that and afterward, Pope was a special target for attacks by Carlo Tresca, editorially and on the public platform, because of the pro-Fascist policy of his newspapers.)
Pagnucco Makes a Speech
The awards to the students were handed out in Pope-s office in Rockefeller Center. As spokesman for the recipients, Pagnucco made a speech of thanks, reported thus in Il Progresso next day:
"After addressing words of sincere gratitude to Generoso Pope and all his friends who contributed to the fund for the scholarships, he (Pagnucco) assured them that he and his colleagues felt all the weight of the trust which has been placed on them, and would know how to render themselves worthy of it.
"'The hour has arrived,' he said, 'for the Italians of America to get a place in the sun, as the victorious Duce of New Italy said, and I hope that those who are benefited today may tomorrow reciprocate the good they are receiving by working efficiently and successfully for the growing elevation of Italian prestige in America.'" (Italics are ours.)