The Consul at Geneva (Gilbert) to the Secretary of State
[Received May 12—8 p.m.]
168. (1) In a public meeting of the Council this afternoon which dealt solely with the Italo-Ethiopian dispute and at which Italy was not represented Eden presented “as a result of an exchange of views between various members of the Council” a resolution stating in effect: that further time “to consider the situation created by the grave new steps taken by the Italian Government” was necessary, that the Council would take up the matter again June 15 and that in the meantime it considered there was “no cause for modifying the measures previously adopted in collaboration by the members of the League”.[Page 132]
The Ethiopian delegate made another plea for the integral application of article 16.
The Argentine delegate said: “In view of the present serious circumstances, and for the safeguarding of the fundamental principles of our Covenant, I accept the draft resolution submitted, nevertheless making a reservation on behalf of my Government as far as the adjournment of the discussion is concerned.”
The representative of Chile said that he had no objection to an adjournment of the question but desired to state “without pre-judging the examination of the substance of the problem that my Government is of the opinion that, since the war is finished, we should proceed to raise sanctions”. Sanctions, he said, no longer have any object and the adoption of Chile’s point of view would constitute an effective contribution toward remedying the present economic and political crisis. Since, under the resolution proposed, sanctions would remain in being, he would refrain from voting.
The representative of Ecuador stated that he approved the adjournment of the question but could not agree to continuance of sanctions. His Government on the contrary considered that as soon as Italy had declared herself prepared to enter into negotiations the situation would have been simplified by raising sanctions. With all the more reason his Government could not now associate itself with their maintenance. He would, therefore, vote for the adjournment subject to the reservation he had made in regard to sanctions.
The President then declared the resolution33 adopted subject to the reservations made.
(2) A number of representatives of Latin American states here have told me that they are watching with great interest any statement of principle made by Latin American members on the Council as having a possible bearing on questions which may arise at the Buenos Aires conference.34 For this reason I have reported the statements made in some textual detail.
(3) In a preceding private meeting Avenol35 announced that the Italian delegation was leaving Geneva and the Council made arrangements for the presentation of the reports prepared by the Italian representative on subjects for which he was rapporteur.