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from him a letter of resignation which has been published this
morning in the Press. That is the end of my account of the
differences between my right hon. Friend, on the one hand,
and my colleagues and me, on the other, on this particular
" There remains a further brief chapter of the history which
I must now relate. This morning I received a call from the
Italian Ambassador in accordance with the arrangements
made when we parted on Friday last. He had been in com-
munication with his Government over the week-end, and he
began by informing me that he had received from them a
communication, which I think I had better read to the House.
It is as follows :
" * The Italian Ambassador informs the Prime Minister
that he has submitted to the Italian Government the proposals
suggested at their meeting of last Friday, and is glad to convey
to him the Italian Government's acceptance of the British
formula concerning the withdrawal of foreign volunteers
and granting of belligerent rights/
I have not the formula with me, but I think the House is
familiar with it. It is that when a certain proportion of
volunteers on both sides has been withdrawn there should be
granted belligerent rights., I think I can say that in handing
me this communication the Italian Ambassador intimated
that I was to regard it as a gesture on the part of his
MR. THORNE : " When they knew that the Foreign
Secretary had gone."
THE PRIME MINISTER : "------indicating the spirit of good
will and good feeling in which they would wish to begin our
conversations. The hon. Member for Plaistow (Mr. Thome)
says: * When they knew that the Foreign Secretary had gone/
I asked the Italian Ambassador when he had received this
communication, and he informed me that he had received it
early on Sunday morning. I then informed the Ambassador,
following on the meeting of the Cabinet, that I was happy to
say we were ready to begin conversations, and that the Italian
Government would be so informed at once* It would,, how-
ever, be necessary, as a preliminary, as the conversations