Page 9, 4th June 1937

4th June 1937
Page 9
Page 9, 4th June 1937 — ITALY'S CHOICE BETWEEN GERMANY AND FRANCE
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Organisations: Italian Government
People: Hitler
Locations: Berlin, London, Rome, Vatican

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ITALY'S CHOICE BETWEEN GERMANY AND FRANCE

War Minister in Rome

From Our Own Correspondent

ROME.

The official visit to Rome of Marshal von Blomberg who arrived on Wednesday was the chief subject of discussion in Rome this week, until the Spanish flareup.

The official visit of a foreign War Minister has in the past generally meant a military alliance or something very close to it. But the Italian press states that " no hidden aim is to be sought in the present talks with the Duce.

If this is true, the visit may stand as a gesture of disagreement on the part of Germany with the Anglo-French view that Italy's alleged failure in Spain has caused doubts about the military value of Italy at the German General Staff. And in any case it makes it clear that there is no weakening of the Rome-Berlin axis, as it is called.

The Ordinary Italian's View

The ordinary Italian's views do not get into the newspapers, but the Italians have felt instinctively that the Rome-Berlin axis was designed, particularly from Italy's point of view, to make other nations, and especially France, " sit up and take notice."

The Italian Government, backed up by public opinion, has always wanted an alliance with France; but France has had other views.

At the present moment the bulk of the Italians are still not favourable to military alliance with Germany.

1 understand that conversations in London during the Coronation with English and foreign diplomats and high military representatives form one of the chief topics for the present talks in Rome and may be instrumental, through the agency of Germany, in improving the relations between Great Britain and Italy.

Everything, however, has been put back by the burning question of Spain, which has again flared up through the bombing of the Deutschland and the Germa,n reprisals. Germany's attitude to the new situation will certainly be one of the points

to be discussed with Marshal von Blomberg.

Hitler and the Vatican Last but not least in the Berlin-Rome talks comes the vital question of religion. Are diplomatic relations between the Vatican and Berlin to be broken off? Hitler's religious policy has met with the most open disapproval in Italy, and the struggle for a more conciliatory attitude from Germany will.certainly be maintained.




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