The Ambassador in France (Straus) to the Secretary of State
[Received June 5—11:45 a.m.]
460. With reference to the expected meeting of the Assembly of the League about the 29th of this month as a result of the Argentine initiative, we were told at the Foreign Office today that they feel that while there may be a majority at [of] the states represented at the Assembly in favor of lifting sanctions, there certainly will be no serious move for recognition of Italian sovereignty over Ethiopia and that a debate on this latter question in which representatives of some 50 nations may take part “will only complicate the matter”.
With regard to the Argentine initiative, views have been expressed in the press here to the effect that this step may have been taken at the instigation of other powers. It is the view of the Foreign Office, however, that it was dictated solely by motives arising out of Argentina’s continental policy reinforced by Saavedra Lamas’ well-known desire to play a great role on the international scene.
Referring to the conversations which are reported to be taking place looking to a possible understanding between Germany and Italy, the Foreign Office believes “that there is something in it” but feels that Mussolini will not commit himself to anything at least until after he has had an opportunity to judge the results of the Assembly’s action on the question of Ethiopia and that of sanctions.
Cipher copies to London, Berlin, Rome, Geneva.