16 AUGUST 1935, Page 1


THE talks now in progress in Paris have, or should have, two objects. The first, and by far the more important, is for France and Britain to make it clear to Italy beyond all possibility of misunderstanding that however. the dispute between Italy and Abyssinia is settled it shall not be settled by war. No. question of m threats arises, but manifestly. this country must indicate to France, and sooner or later to other leading members of the League and to the United States, whether and how far it considers that the prOcedure laid down in the Covenant and accepted by all its signatories should be followed in this concrete case. Lord Cecil was perfectly right in his contention regarding that, and it is hard to see why The Times should have taken him so severely to task for it. This initial point—settlement without war, and observance by Italy of her Covenant and Kellogg Pact obligations—once gained, the second aim, settlement by agreement and compromise, can be pursued with real hope of success. There are, of course, obvious dangers. Even Mr. Eden, admirably firm as he has shown himself throughout, will be under some temptation, for the sake of peace, to stretch the idea of League co-operation in Abyssinian administration in the direction of a disguised Italian mandate.- That will not do. Abyssinia is a member of the League of Nations, and her rights as such must be .respected.