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upon our relations with Germany, because it is not over those
that this difference has arisen. I would only observe that the
visit of the Lord President of the Council to Germany marked
the first attempt to explore the ground, and that we hope, in
the light of the information which we then obtained, to pursue
that matter further at a convenient opportunity. In the case
of Italy there has been what my right hon. Friend has alluded
to as the gentlemen's agreement of January, 1937, an agreement
which it was hoped was going to be the first step in the
clearing up of the situation between ourselves and the Italian
Government. Speaking of this agreement in the House of
Commons on i9th January, 1937, my right hon. Friend said :
** * A series of statements were made in both countries,
one by the Prime Minister *
that was Lord Baldwinó
* which indicated a desire to improve relations. To do this
it was decided to attempt to seek agreement upon a joint
declaration. This declaration is neither a treaty nor a pact,
but it marks, we hope and believe, the end of a chapter of
strained relations.'
My right hon. Friend went on to tell the House how well
this declaration had been received by other countries, who
regarded it as likely to be of service towards an appeasement
in the Mediterranean. Unfortunately, there intervened in
Spain the events to which my right hon. Friend has alluded.
Nevertheless, there remained good reason for continuing to
watch to see whether a suitable opportunity might arise in
order to improve relations. Towards the end of July, after a
speech which was made by the Foreign Secretary in the House
of Commons on the I9th of that month, the Italian Ambas-
sador, Count Grandi, informed my right hon. Friend that
that speech had made an excellent impression in Italy and that
the situation seemed to be so much easier that he was en-
couraged to deliver to me, as Prime Minister, a message which
Signor Mussolini had authorised him to make use of when
he thought that the moment was propitious.
** Accordingly, I arranged for Count Grandi to come to
see me on izyth July. The message which he brought me
from Signor Mussolini was of a friendly character. I felt that