765.84/4557: Telegram

The Ambassador in Argentina (Weddell) to the Secretary of State

119. The Minister for Foreign Affairs spoke to me yesterday of the suggestion which he was making to the League of Nations that the Assembly be convened at the earliest possible date to consider the Italian-Ethiopian question. He informed me that previous to advancing this idea the British and French Governments had advised him of their desire that discussion of the whole subject be postponed until September or else October in which latter month the Assembly would meet in regular course. He had replied that he felt this delay would adversely affect the prestige of the League. He said further that if the Assembly was not convened at an early date and the matter arose in the Council, Argentina would refuse to vote there and would make its reasons known. He added that failure of the League to take early action in this case where one member had by violence absorbed another would utterly destroy its moral influence. Continuing the Minister said that some time ago he had suggested to the British Government consideration of the advisability of expelling Italy from the League and that he was told in reply that they could not consider this action since its effect would be to throw Italy into the arms of Germany.

I asked what was the present attitude of his Government toward the application of sanctions against Italy. The Foreign Minister replied that Argentina was continuing the application of the sanctions to the extent previously made known although he added the effect of this was nil. With regard to sanctions involving the prohibition of imports from Italy, he said that the request laid before the Congress that it take action on this point was still before that body. The Minister stated further that Argentina would continue to live up to its principles and would vote consistently for these principles in the League of Nations.

Reference was made to the impending Pan American Peace Conference. The Minister said that the President of Colombia58[Page 149]had asked him to join in a request for inclusion in the agenda of the Peace Conference the matter of a Pan American League of Nations but that he had declined to do so for the reason, among others, that the request as drawn by the Colombian President contained an attack on the League of Nations of which Argentina is a loyal member. Just here he remarked that the Secretary General of the League of Nations had advised him that it would be well if the Peace Conference might be held in September and prior to the normal meeting date of the League Assembly but that he had not reacted favorably to this.

In conclusion, and when I thanked him for supplying me with the details relating to Italy’s signature of the anti-war pact, enclosed in my despatch No. 1189 of May 22,59 the Minister said that Italy’s reservations made of its signature “a joke” and that he had so informed the Italian Ambassador.60

Weddell
  1. Alfonso Lopez.
  2. Not printed.
  3. For correspondence relating to Italian adherence on March 14, 1934, to the Anti-War Treaty of Nonaggression and Conciliation, signed at Rio de Janeiro, October 10, 1933, see República Argentina, Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto, Memoria Presentada al honorable Congreso Nacional correspondiente al período 1933–1934, vol. i, p. 209.