Memorandum by the Under Secretary of State (Phillips)

During his call this morning the British Ambassador discussed in general terms the Ethiopian situation. He said that his information was to the effect that the “dead line” would occur on September 29th, on which date the rain suddenly ceased throughout the country; in his opinion, the British Government would follow the most practical course rather than an altruistic one; the only effective step which could be taken, he said, was to close the Suez Canal to Italian ships; that this probably could not be done without action by the League; that any such proposition presented to the League would bring long heated discussion for and against, and might easily result eventually in war with Italy. Such a war was not to be thought of, and it was the Ambassador’s opinion that any other restraining influence would bear no results.

William Phillips