Why would the Italian government pay for passage of Italians to the US? What were the contours of this policy and does it reveal meaningful information about the recipients?
In the manifest for a ship from Naples to Ellis Island in 1920, a number of the Italian passengers received passage paid by the government. On the manifest line under "By whom was passage paid?" it says "Ital. gover." with ditto marks all down the page for an entire page of passengers.
I know that Australia had a policy of paying for immigration and that the US promise of free land probably encouraged immigration. Why was Italy paying for emigration? I could infer that maybe they felt over-population or unemployment were problems and perhaps they wanted to encourage nationals to go abroad to earn money. Perhaps the recipients had to qualify for the passage by military or other service.