CHAPTER XL
"COMPARATIVELY MILD ECONOMIC
SANCTIONS"
The list of sanctions was drawn up by the Geneva Committee between October 11 and 19, and the Governments were asked to approve or reject them before October 28.The prohibitions were divided into four groups:
1. Export into Italy of transport animals, rubber, bauxite, aluminium, chromium, manganese, nickel, tungsten, tin, and other minerals, but not of cotton, copper, iron, steel, or oil.

"The export of aluminium into Italy was strictly forbidden; but aluminium was almost the only metal that Italy produced in quantities beyond her own needs. The importation of scrap iron and iron ore into Italy was sternly vetoed in the name of public justice. But as the Italian metallurgical industry made but little use of them, and as steel billets and pig iron were not interfered with, Italy suffered no hindrance."1

The Committee imposed an embargo on mules, donkeys, and camels, and not on automobiles, trucks, and oil. The Committee and its chairman, Eden, were not without a sense of humour. Lloyd George described this farce as follows:

"First of all there was a great pretence that they were going to take strong action against Italy—I was taken in myself for twenty-four hours (laughter). Then there were elaborate arrangements to deprive Italy of those things she could do without—(laughter)—and then arrangements were made to sell her all those things indispensable for her to carry on the war—cotton, glycerine, and coal. ('Shame.') We were even selling oil for their bombing aeroplanes. Ineffective sanctions are like sending a policeman to face gunmen with a birch rod (laughter)" ( MG. 13. xi).

____________________
1
Churchill, The Gathering Storm, p. 176. When he speaks of Eden's activity to rally the Assembly to a policy of "sanctions", Churchill (ibid., pp. 172-3, 176) ignores the agreement of September to not to enact military sanctions. He only writes:

"Sanctions meant the cutting-off from Italy of all financial aid and of economic supplies, and the giving (?) of all such assistance to Abyssinia. To a country like Italy, dependent for so many commodities needed in war upon unhampered imports from overseas, was indeed a formidable deterrent. Eden's zeal and address and the principles which he proclaimed dominated the Assembly."

But the sanctions pressed by the League of Nations' Committee were "not real sanctions to paralyze the aggressor, but merely such half-hearted sanctions as the aggressor would tolerate". Why, then, such admiration for Eden's zeal and address and principles?

-339-

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