The Chargé in the United Kingdom (Atherton) to the Secretary of State
[Received February 24—3:38 p.m.]
73. Eden made a lengthy speech on foreign affairs this evening94 which I understand American press agencies will cable extensively. The points in his speech which immediately struck me were as follows:
(1) A vigorous reaffirmation for [of] the policy of collective action at Geneva in which England will play her full part with other nations. (2) The desire that the League be recognized as the agent of conciliation between Italy and Abyssinia which in Eden’s interpretation should be along bases of Paris proposals of last summer. (3) England is about to undertake a program of extensive rearmament to enable her to play her part effectively in the collective action of the League. England however will take no part in a policy of encirclement. (This obviously had reference to Germany.) (4) Eden stands by Hoare’s suggestion of last September at Geneva95 regarding free world access to raw materials the efficacy of which however as a solution to many economic ills remains to be proven. (5) Anglo-Egyptian [Page 113] treaty conversations begin next week. (6) Eden laid stress on the necessity for seeking the cooperation of non-League powers to parallel Geneva policy.