The Liberals took a very similar stance to Labour, choosing to actively oppose any further policies of appeasement. Archie Sinclair spoke for the Liberals, and in much the same fashion as he did in the debates on the Anglo-Italian Agreement, systematically laid out his case. He pointed out that, yet again, the Italians violated the terms of the agreements they had signed, and this violation made a certain truth evident. This truth was that the English were “faced [with] an active conspiracy between the Powers of the Axis to undermine the liberties of Europe and acquire world domination.” To Sinclair and the Liberals, Mussolini and the Italians presented a credible to the stability of international order as bed-fellows with the Germans.
The Conservative defense of appeasement and the Prime Minister was far more tempered than it was the previous fall and spring. Churchill acknowledged that the agreement, “ha[d] been ...
... middle of paper ...
...ize a new set of strategic priorities, and to recommend policy for the British delegation to the Anglo-French Staff talks.” When its meeting was finished in late April 1939, the SAC recommended that England and France should crush Italy and control the Mediterranean from the outset of the war. This was a distinct departure from the previous strategic plans, which had ignored the area. Churchill also endorsed the “Mediterranean First” strategy in his “Memorandum on Sea Power, 1939” which was circulated throughout the government. In it, he called for the Royal Navy to “drive the Italian ships from the sea, and secure complete command of the Mediterranean, certainly within two months.” After the invasion of Albania on April 7th and the signing of the Pact of Steel on May 22nd, the British navy placed their strategic emphasis on removing Italy first in the event of war.
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