|Description||Letters from Samuel Hoare [Hoare, Samuel John Gurney (1880-1959) 1st Viscount Templewood, statesman], Foreign Office to Neville Chamberlain. See also NC7/11/29/32 for another letter from Hoare which dates to 1935.|
These letters relate to the crisis over Mussolini's threat to invade Abyssinia [Ethiopia; these letters date to the period before the invasion began in October 1935].
The file contains the following items:
/24: Letter regarding 'the Abyssinian controversy' [Italy's threatened invasion of Abyssinia]; Hoare's expectation that 'the Italians will be entirely unreasonable and as a result there will be a first-class crisis in the League [of Nations] at the beginning of September'; says it is 'urgent for the Cabinet to consider what preparations should be made to meet a possible mad dog act by the Italians'; says he had little or no help from Stanley Baldwin, who had an 'attitude of indifference', or Ramsay MacDonald, who had an attitude of an 'alarmist and pusillanimous surrender to the Italians', over the matter; says that 'public opinion has been greatly hardening against Italy' and as a result he can 'see the making of a first-class crisis in which the Government will lose heavily if we appear to be repudiating the [League of Nations] Covenant'. 18 August.
/25: Letter regarding a committee meeting having gone well coming to the conclusion 'that now that an isolated act [by Italy] against us seems almost inconceivable the more strength that we show in the Mediterranean the better'; regarding Britain's reply to the French and says 'as long as there is now answer, L[loyd] G[eorge] will stir up trouble by spreading rumours that we are doing a military deal with the French, and the Italians will make propaganda on the line that I was only talking platitudes last week'. 17 September.