765.84/3628: Telegram

The Chargé in France (Marriner) to the Secretary of State



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With respect to the Italian situation it was the opinion89 that little military progress was being made in Ethiopia and that the present calm and inaction of the world powers was making it difficult for Mussolini to keep up public resentment in Italy. The present policy was to delay matters with respect to oil sanctions. Massigli felt that the Technical Committee would presumably not have its report ready for 10 days at least and thus there would be no possibility of a meeting even to consider its approval before the end of the month. After that considerable delays in application, should it be decided on, might be envisaged and by that time the rains would be coming along to put a stop to the active campaign in Ethiopia. After that they felt that the costliness of the enterprise in men and money would be becoming ever more clear to the Italian people and the effect of the sanctions already existing more difficult. It was Massigli’s opinion that the application of sanctions had not borne heavily on French economy since the small amounts that certain industries had lost in the regions contiguous to the Italian frontier had been more than made up by share in former Italian business gained in other industries.

  1. Telegram in five sections.
  2. The opinion of Paul Bargeton and René Massigli, Director and Assistant Director, respectively, of Political and Commercial Affairs in the French Foreign Office, with whom the Chargé had had conversations on February 4.