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qualities of Lord Perth and his staff, on the one hand, and of
Count Ciano, the Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs, on the
other, in the handling of these negotiations, and on the careful
and thorough manner in which they examined every aspect of
a somewhat complicated situation. In that connection I
should not like to fail in recording my sense of the contribution
made also by Count Grandi, the Italian Ambassador in
London, who has won for himself a position of confidence
and respect in this country, and who certainly did much to
facilitate the conclusion of this Agreement by his unceasing
and effective efforts to remove doubts and misunderstandings.
" Before I come to examine the details of the Agreement I
should like to say one or two words about its place in the
general scheme of the Government's foreign policy. As the
House has been informed on numerous occasions, the purpose
of that general foreign policy is not only to establish peace
but, if possible, to restore the general confidence that peace
can and will be maintained, because without that confidence
no progress is possible in international affairs. We can only
attain that confidence if we can succeed in removing grievances,
differences and suspicions which may, if unchecked, lead to
war. That is not a task which can be accomplished in a
moment, or all at once, but if we can remove the danger spots
one by one, we may in time find ourselves in a position to
arrive at the goal at which we are aiming.
" No one can doubt, I think, that before the signing of this
Agreement the relations between Italy and this country, and
between Italy and France, constituted one of those danger
spots. His Majesty's Government believed that that danger
could be eliminated by the application of good will and
common sense to problems which arose, as we believed, very
largely out of want of trust and confidence between us. But
to accomplish that, it was necessary to face facts, however
unpalatable those facts may be. It is in our willingness to
face realities which we cannot change, and to make the best of
them, that the difference lies between this side and the other
side of the House.
" This Agreement has been designed to cover compre-
hensively the whole ground of the relations between ourselves
and Italy in certain areas of the world, and it paves the way for