Powers Ponder Mussolini Defi

Pittsburgh Press/August 30, 1935

European Statesmen debate Italy Avowal of ‘Nation On The March’

The world sat back today to take stock of Benito Mussolini’s virtual admissions that Italy prefers the ways of war to the paths of peace.

Military activities—out in the open for all to see—overshadowed diplomatic moves in the news dispatches. More than ever the statesmen of Europe deliberated the consequences of Italy’s avowal that she is a nation on the march.

But their ponderings were behind tightly locked doors. In their chancelleries they confronted the alternatives—League of Nations pressure against Italy with every peaceful weapon available or recognition of the “purely colonial character” of Italian aims in Ethiopia.

Italy has promised that sanctions (throttling economic boycotts by her critics) will mean war.

The purport of Il Duce’s dramatizations at Balzano was:

“Let me go unchecked, unhindered for the next few months and I will eliminate the Ethiopian problem from the domain of European politics.”

France said she would do so when Premier Pierre Laval organized his delegation for next week’s League council session and when he conferred with Vittorio Cerruti, Italian Ambassador to Paris. The French busied themselves with finding a formula under the League covenant justifying a  Black Shirt punitive expedition against Addis Ababa and consequent Italian military occupation of Ethiopia.

Britain said she would think it over when Foreign Secretary Sir Samuel Hoare canceled plans to vacation at Aix Les Bains, France. He called Capt. R. Anthony Eden to reconsider British policies at Geneva.

Assured by Mussolini that Italy will not endanger Britain’s supremacy of empire the British decided apparently to take a chance. But finding the French still working with Rome they decided to go through with their display of armed might to make doubly certain Il Duce will confine his adventuring to “slave-ridden, uncivilized Ethiopia.”

(Source: Google News, https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1144&dat=19350830&id=9yEbAAAAIBAJ&sjid=hksEAAAAIBAJ&pg=2943,5090035)

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