765.84/4402: Telegram

The Chargé in Italy (Kirk) to the Secretary of State

154. The departure of the Italian delegation from Geneva,37 according to Gayda37a in today’s Giornale, interprets the feeling of the country, [Page 134] which has had enough of Geneva particularly after its attempt to perpetuate the fiction of an Ethiopia that fortunately will never again exist and it signifies that Italy will remain aloof from the League so long as its present attitude continues. This is the first step in definite clearing up of Italy’s European and League positions. Sanctions now can be nothing but an indication of unfriendliness or hostility on the part of individual governments and Italy will cooperate neither with the League so long as sanctions continue nor with any government applying them. Meanwhile she cooperates actively with Austria, Hungary, Albania and other important European countries and pursues a policy of collaboration with the United States who has kept aloof from League imbroglios, with many South American countries and with Japan.

The dispute between fiction and fact, Italy and the League, he concludes, may become open dissension in the heart of Europe: Italy will not have provoked it and it will not be Italy to feel the possible consequences.

  1. On May 12; see League of Nations, Official Journal, June 1936, p. 539.
  2. Italian Foreign Office spokesman.