Stresa Agreement

In October 1936 Mussolini concluded an agreement with Hitler and the Rome-Berlin axis was born. Germany signed the anti-international pact with Japan and Italy joined the pact in November 1937, polarizing international relations. However, British politicians did not want to attack or occupy Germany, preferring to make deals with it to maintain peace in Central Europe. Anti-war sentiment was also very strong in British public opinion. In February 1935, a summit between French Prime Minister Pierre Laval and British Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald in London resulted in an Anglo-French communiqué proposing discussions with the Germans on arms control, an air part and security pacts for Eastern Europe and the nations bordering the Danube. [4] Coordinates: 45-53`47.1`N 8-31`33.6`E / 45.896417 N 8.526000 E / 45.896417; 8.526000 The Stresa Front was an agreement reached on 14 April 1935 in Stresa, a town on the shores of Lake Maggiore in Italy, between French Prime Minister Pierre-Etienne Flandin (with Pierre Laval), British Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald and Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini. Formally described as the final declaration of the Stresa conference, its aim was to reaffirm the Locarno Treaties and to declare that Austria`s independence “will continue to inspire its common policy”. The signatories also expressed their readiness to oppose any future attempt by Germany to amend the Treaty of Versailles. The Stresa Front began to collapse after the United Kingdom signed the Anglo-German naval agreement in June 1935, in which Germany obtained permission to increase the size of its navy. It completely collapsed within two or three months of the initial agreement, shortly after the Italian invasion of Abyssinia.

[2] The proposal for the Eastern Pact and a Franco-Soviet mutual aid agreement were also submitted to the conference. Participants asked Hitler whether these agreements would hinder Germany`s participation in a multilateral non-aggression pact and, despite his evasive response, they expressed satisfaction with his response. During the conference, MacDonald and Simon Mussolini “unofficially” stated that they would not oppose his aggressive plans against Ethiopia.

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