10 MAY 1935, Page 1

,§Ignor Mussolini and Abyssinia .

The Italo-Abyssinian situation becomes' increasingly disquieting. Each country, of course, claims to have the right on its side. The reflection that strikes the detached observer is that if Signor Mussolini were in fast templating operations against Abyssinia, when the weather becomes suitable, either as an ()aid for the martial spirit of his country or for the • sake of prestige or expansion of suzerainty in Africa, he would dilate on the defenceless condition of Italy's African colonies, the Emperor of Abyssinia's incapacity to control his aggressive underlings and Abyssinia's .imports of arms and munitions from Europe, and on those grounds would proceed to build strategic roads and continue to despatch troops in large numbers to the Abyssinian frontier. That actually is what is happening. More than One explanation is possible. Signor Mussolini's fears may all be genuine fears and not pretexts, but Italy's military activity is laying sonic strain on the faith of those who have viewed with appreciation the pacific role she aspires to play in Europe. Abyssinia's appeal comes before the League of Nations Council this month, and both Italy's attitude and that of other European Great Powers from whom disinterested pressure for a peaceful settle- ment may properly be expected will be closely scrutinized. Attempts to narrow unreasonably the scope of the proposed arbitration will inevitably arouse suspicion: * *