By Richard Davis (auth.)

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Extra info for Anglo-French Relations Before the Second World War: Appeasement and Crisis

Example text

In emphasizing the attitude of the French they were clearly aware of the disfavour with which Paris viewed any hard line towards Italy. French statements to this effect were numerous and obviously well known. In this way they were almost inviting the French to refuse sanctions and thus offer an excuse for their own rejection of such a course. At The Ethiopian Test Case 39 several important stages in negotiations British foreign policy-makers gave the impression that a scapegoat was being sought for a decision that they themselves had already reached.

7 The need to preserve Italian co-operation in Europe produced a different approach to Rome. 8 Backing up their calls for moderation, London and Paris sought to convince Mussolini of the advisability of this course, although as yet they steered clear of any clear-cut warnings. The League, they pointed out, could not be kept from considering the crisis indefinitely; if Rome showed no signs of flexibility the League would inevitably be drawn into the affair with awkward consequences for all involved.

In their respective parliaments, governments and public opinions the crisis produced widely divergent, and often contradictory, opinions towards Italy, the League and Ethiopia. The result was that neither was firmly attached either to opposing or conniving at Italian aggression. The need for Italian friendship My real trouble was that we should all have to choose between Austria and Abyssinia, if Mussolini stuck to his mania for fame and sand. I was already resigned to choosing Austria. Robert Vansittart, The Mist Procession, p.

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