13 DECEMBER 1935, Page 1

The War at a Standstill The. stagnation into which the

campaign in Ethiopia - seerris to have lapsed is as puzzling' as' it must be dis- appointing: to the Italian- ublic It almost seems as though 'the Itaiian forces had. found the task of dragging: their own weight across country to be beyond their' power. Certainly it• is • due to no military opposition by the Abyssinians, whose armies remain almost intact and must be considerably encouraged by it. It may be a. Case of muter pour rizieur • Sauter, and Marshal . 136-doglio• May have some tremendous project 'Up his sleeve, but. that the necessity. for any recoil, no matter how teiTiparary, should arise can hardly have been expected by the Italian General Staff and certainly not by the Italian people. Meanwhile, things on the ground 'having pr0yed so difficult; recourse has . been had .to intensified—activity in the .air. :.Flights of . un- doubted merit from the standpoint of aviation have • been made, but their effect on Ethiopian morale is as doubtful as the indignation aroused in Europe and America by the bombing of . the Red Cross hospital at Bessie is sure, In justice to the Italian aviators the possibility of this bombing being due to a mistake , must be allowed, but that such a mistake shtiniti have been made is proof of-a lack of either care or efficiency. In spite of Italy's territorial gains, the first round -must be considered as a -draw ; and since time fights on the side of Ethiopia the Military prospects of Italy are today very much less favourable than they were six weeks ago.