NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN (ALMOST)
2nd May, 1938 : A “new era” in Britain’s relations with Italy was promised by Mr Chamberlain tonight when he won House of Commons approval for the recently negotiated Anglo-Italian Agreement. He talked warmly about Italy’s new vigour and efficiency under the stimulus of Signor Benito Mussolini’s personality. The Prime Minister said that the pact removes a danger spot in Europe and paves the way for the future cooperation in peacekeeping. “The clouds of mistrust and suspicion have been cleared away,” he told MPs. The deal includes British recognition of Italy’s annexation of Abyssinia and an Italian promise to withdraw troops from Spain.
[We know now that Franco was so impressed by the fighting spirit of the Italians that he spent sleepless nights wondering how to get rid of them without insulting Mussolini. He also wanted to keep the Italian military equipment, which was of high quality. It is not know whether Franco sent a “Thank you” telegram to Chamberlain.
It seems that Obama learnt his appeasement rhetoric from Chamberlain.]