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to us that the events which took place in September put the
whole Spanish conflict into a new perspective, and if the
nations of Europe escaped a great catastrophe in the acute
Czechoslovakian crisis, surely nobody can imagine that, with
that recollection fresh in their minds, they are going to knock
their heads together over Spain. In my own mind I am
perfectly clear that the Spanish question is no longer a menace
to the peace of Europe, and, consequently, that there is no
valid reason why we should not take a step which, obviously,
would contribute to general appeasement.
" In the realm of international affairs one thing generally
leads to another, and if any justification were required for
the policy of the Government in closing our differences with
Italy, it surely can be found in the action of Signor Mussolini,
when, at my request, he used his influence with Herr Hitler
in order to give time for the discussion which led up to the
Munich Agreement. By that act, the peace of Europe was
saved. Does anybody suppose that my request to Signor
Mussolini to intervene would have met with a response from
him, or, indeed, that I could even have made such a request
if our relations with Italy had remained what they were a
year ago ?
** There is one other point which I ought to mention because
it seems to me to weigh heavily, although I think unnecessarily,
upon certain minds. That is the propriety of the recognition
of Italian sovereignty over Ethiopia. I wonder how far
those who hold that view are prepared to carry their reluctance.
Are they prepared to withhold recognition in perpetuity?
Because, if that really were so, I am afraid they would very
speedily find themselves in complete isolation. I would like
to remind them that, in the first place, the Council of the
League of Nations, by a large majority, last May, expressed
the unqualified view that it was for each nation to decide
for itself whether it should or should not accord this formal
recognition. Further, I would remind them that, of all the
countries in Europe, there are only two, namely, ourselves
and the Government of Soviet Russia, which have restricted
themselves to de facto recognition. The latest country to
recognise formally Italian sovereignty in Ethiopia is France,
and their new Ambassador is to be accredited to the King of