Skip to main content

Historical documents

302 Mr S. M. Bruce, High Commissioner in London, to Mr J. A. Lyons, Prime Minister

Cablegram 198 LONDON, 21 October 1938


Relations with Italy. Understand Cabinet here will be asked at its
next meeting on 26th October to take decision on question of
bringing into force Anglo-Italian agreement. [1] Prime Minister
[2] himself is in favour of application of agreement without
further delay as is also Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
[3], but in view of opposition which is certain in Parliament
mainly on grounds of continued Italian intervention in Spain
notwithstanding recent substantial reduction in such intervention
by withdrawal of ten thousand troops, Cabinet may hesitate. In my
view question must be considered from much broader aspect than
that of Spain. As you pointed out in your telegram to United
Kingdom Government, No. 8 of 2nd February last [4], closer Anglo-
Italian relations are of utmost importance in the light of general
international situation and this consideration was presented to
Commonwealth Ministers who attended to question here in July. In
my view an Anglo-Italian understanding and improved relations
between two countries is even more important today in view of
existing situation which requires that British interests in South-
Eastern Europe and Near East should be strengthened in every
possible way. To bring this about it is essential that Anglo-
Italian agreement should be brought into operation without delay.

Great value would attach to views of Commonwealth Government and I
suggest an indication would be most desirable from you as soon as
possible to the effect that the Commonwealth Government would, on
broadest grounds and having particular regard to present state of
international relations, welcome early application of Anglo-
Italian Agreement.


1 See Document 228.

2 Neville Chamberlain.

3 Viscount Halifax.

4 Document 122.

[AA : A981, ITALY 30, ii]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
Back to top