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250 __---------------------------------------------------.
be referred to a third party, not of British or Spanish nation-
ality, but who should be agreed upon between the Burgos
authorities and ourselves, and that he should make the final
decision. We have now received a reply from the Burgos
authorities in which they say that, in pursuance of their desire
to meet the wishes of His Majesty's Government, they accept
this formula, and they agree that the investigation we propose
should be carried out. We are now considering whether it
would not be advisable to send Sir Robert Hodgson back to
Spain with instructions which would cover, among other
things, the detailed working out of this proposal
" There is another matter which is bound up with the situa-
tion in Spain, and that is the position in regard to the Anglo-
Italian Agreement. The Agreement was to come into force
upon a date to be determined by agreement between the two
Governments, but on i6th April, that is to say, the date upon
which the Agreement was signed, Lord Perth addressed a
Note to the Italian Foreign Minister in which he reminded
him that His Majesty's Government regarded the settlement
of the Spanish question as a pre-requisite of the entry into
force of the Agreement made between the two Governments.
I should like to explain, because I am not sure that it is generally
apprehended, why it was that we put in that stipulation. We
never regarded this Agreement as simply a bilateral arrange-
ment between Italy and ourselves. When we entered into
negotiations, we did so because we thought then, and we are
still of the same opinion, that the restoration of the relations
between Italy and this country to their old terms of friendship
and confidence would bring us appreciably nearer to our
ultimate aim, which is a general European appeasement. We
felt at the time that the moral justification for our recognition
of the Italian position in Ethiopia would be the knowledge
that that recognition had brought with it a real contribution
to the peace of Europe. We felt that, while this conflict was
going on in Spain under the sort of conditions in which it has
been waged, the Spanish situation was a perpetual menace
to the peace of Europe, and it was for that reason that we said
that it must be removed from that category before our Agree-
ment was brought into force. It is not our fault, and it is
not the fault of the Italian Government, that that condition