15 NOVEMBER 1935, Page 6


y NOTICE that at the Lord Mayor's Banquet on Saturday I the Italian Ambassador was among the honoured guests, and it was mentioned in one report that he was given a particularly cordial reception. From one point of view I am not surprised at that. I knew Signor Grandi long before he came to England, and there is no foreign diplo- matist in London folk whom in his personal capacity I feel greater respect or warmer regard. He is a man not merely of great but of exceptional charm. But Signor Grandi was not at the Guildhall in his personal capacity. He was there as the accredited representative of a country which the British Government and fifty other States have had reluctantly to convict of treaty-breaking and un- lawful aggression and on which they have imposed drastic economic sanctions. It is quite true that the League States have not withdrawn their representations from Rome, though it had always been assumed that this would be the first step to be taken in applying Article XVI, and the Italian Ambassador in London therefore carries on his official duties as a matter of course. But the pro- priety of entertaining him as a guest of distinction at public functions is in the present circumstances open to serious question. The tendency to maintain " relations as usual," except for sanctions, inevitably provokes the impression of a lack of seriousness in the country's attitude. Less onerous but more visible sanctions than the exclusion of gorgonzola and macaroni have a necessary place in the scheme of things. * *