Founded on 15 December 1922, it was set up by Mussolini to disguise his own authoritarian control over the Italian state. It constituted an important instrument of patronage, as the ambition of loyal supporters was satisfied through a seat on the council. Nominally the highest organ of the Fascist state, it had little executive power and could do little against Mussolini's will. Nevertheless, its mere existence pointed to the fact that Mussolini was never in control of his own party in the way that Hitler was in total control of the German Nazi Party. This was fateful for Mussolini at the meeting of the Fascist Grand Council on 24– 5 July 1943, when for once it did act against Mussolini's will, voting with seventeen against seven votes to support the motion from Count Grandi(b. 1895, d. 1988) for Mussolini's dismissal. Arrested the following day, Mussolini was eventually liberated by the Germans and became head of their puppet state of Salò.
Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).