The Extraordinary Meeting of the Council of the League of Nations closed on Saturday night. To appraise the results achieved, let us bear in mind (1) that Mussolini had refused to be a party to anything, except a continuation of the Hague arbitration committee regurding the Wal-Wal incident; (2) that Mr. Eden had wished to settle the whole of the halo'Abyssinian differences. and at all costs to prevent an outbreak of war.
In the event, the council passed two resolutions, and three powers (Italy, Great Britain and France) issued a communique.
The first resolution strikes one at once as very involved and lengthy. :t goes out of its way to emphasise Muasolini's point of view and to adopt it. Thus, for inStance. it states that " the competence of the Council derives from the consent of the two parties," that " an examination of the question of frontiers falls outside of the competence of the Arbitration Committee," that the said committee must not " prejudge by its decision regarding the Wal-Wal incident the circumstance of Wal-Wal being either under Italian or Ethiopian sovereignty."
A Fifth Atembar • It merely • takes note of a declaration of the two parties. that the Arbitration Committeewill proceedto -elect a lifta member." and hopes that the committee. thus happily completed. will be able " to compose the difference before September I it therefore " invites the two govern *lima to inform the Counsil of the results b!, September 4 at the latest."
As \vitt be seen, this resolution complies. almost anaiously. with al: that Mussolini could demand no wonder then that Baron Aloisi 4 Italy's reoresentativel voted for it. What then for the British contention?
Resolution two seems to do it full justice. " The Council decides to meet in any case." so tt runs. " Co submit the relations between Italy ard Ethiopia in their different aspects to a general scrutiny." Very satisfactory as far as it goes, but Mr. Eden had meant it to go very much further. He had proposed two further points: that the four powers (Italy, Ethiopia, Great Britain and France) should at once engage in negotiation to settle all Italo-Ethiopian differences: and secondly. that pending these negotiations. Italy and Ethiopia should undertake not to engage in warfare.
This latter undertaking—the most important of all—has completely dropped out. As for the first of the two additional points, it has become a communique of three powers (with Ethiopia ignominious!) left out) " to engage amongst them in negotiations, to facilitate a settlement of the Italo-Ethiopian differences."
Thus these negotiations cease to be a League affair and concern the diplomacy of the three povvers alone, though, Mr. Eden in his concluding speech said that the Council ssould be kept informed ol the course of these negotiations."
Thus, shorn of two of its most important features, resolution two was passed: yet, even so. Italy abstained from voting on it.
Signor Mussolini. having fixed the beginning of the Italian campaign against Abyssinia in the latter half of September,
adheres frank!:, to at he has said. Cynically he repeats that ha will act. as he has said—with Cienesa, without Geneva, or against Geneva.