11 FEBRUARY 1938, Page 1

War on the Pirates The vigorous action decided on against

so-called piracy in the Mediterranean has been greeted with rather surprising acrimony in Germany and rather surprising acquiescence in Italy. Signor Mussolini has indeed fallen in at once with the Anglo-French proposals, which provide that to the commanders of all units of the Nyon patrol shall be given in effect the historic instruction " Do not hesitate to shoot." Any submerged submarines which may be detected by listening-apparatus or other devices in the areas allotted to the British, French and Italian patrolling squadrons will at once be attacked with depth-charges or any other means that offer. At the same time provision is being made for dealing with possible attacks by aircraft on neutral merchant vessels. It was stated by Mr. Eden in the House of Commons on Monday that General Franco's submarines (one of which sank the Endymion ') were believed to be based on Majorca. They are unlikely to be able to get far from there if the new plans of the Nyon patrol are made effective. Italian readiness to co-operate in this new anti-piracy campaign is gratifying, and if, as is hoped, Signor Mussolini shows himself friendly to the British proposals for withdrawing all foreign troops from Spain, Anglo-Italian relations may be considerably eased, to the benefit of both ccuntrics.

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