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protests to the German Government on the action that had
been taken. From the Italian Government we received no
full exposition of their views, but their attitude has been
defined with great precision in the statement issued on behalf
of the Italian Government which appears in the Press to-day,
" It is quite untrue to suggest that we have ever given
Germany our assent or our encouragement to the effective
absorption of Austria into the German Reich. We had,
indeed, never refused to recognise the special interest that
Germany had in the development of relations between Austria
and herself, having regard to the close affinities existing
between the two countries. But on every occasion on which
any representative of His Majesty's Government has had
opportunities to discuss these matters with representatives of
the German Government, it has always been made plain that
His Majesty's Government would strongly disapprove of the
application to the solution of these problems of violent
methods. It must have, as I have constantly pointed out to
the House, a damaging influence upon general confidence in
" In appraising recent events it is necessary to face facts,
however we may judge them, however we may anticipate that
they will react upon the international position as it exists
to-day. The hard fact is—and of its truth every hon. Member
can judge for himself—that nothing could have arrested this
action by Germany unless we and others with us had been
prepared to use force to prevent it. I imagine that according
to the temperament of the individual the events which are
in our minds to-day will be the cause of regret, of sorrow,
perhaps of indignation. They cannot be regarded by His
Majesty's Government with indifference or equanimity.
They are bound to have effects which cannot yet be measured.
The immediate result must be to intensify the sense of uncer-
tainty and insecurity in Europe. Unfortunately, while the
policy of appeasement would lead to a relaxation of the
economic pressure under which many countries are suffering
to-day, what has just occurred must inevitably retard economic
recovery, and, indeed, increased care will be required to
ensure that marked deterioration does not set in.
" This is not a moment for hasty decisions or for careless