765.84/3880: Telegram

The Ambassador in Italy (Long) to the Secretary of State

77. All newspapers state that Italy’s reply2 signifies her continuing desire for peace but does not alter her fundamental demands that, (1) Abyssinia not Italy must be regarded as the aggressor; (2) that security and treaty rights be assured; (3) that the military situation must be a basis for negotiation; (4) that the injustices of past treaties must be repaired. All comment concludes that exaggerated optimism is out of place. Italy is not altering her present positions. She did not seek war for war’s sake. She would not prolong hostilities one day longer than necessary to settle definitely and permanently her vital problems. Italy’s action has been one of legitimate defense against [Page 115] continued aggression, corresponds to her recognized needs, aims at repairing the injustices of treaties without detriment to any civilized country, is proceeding upon a territory over which she has valid treaty rights. These remain the basic elements for peace which must satisfy Italian needs and thereby restore a European balance of possessions and positions.

  1. For text of Italian note, dated March 8, 1936, see ibid., April 1936, p. 395.