Various circumstances here and abroad have given great importance to the discussion of a new neutrality policy for the United States. The Italo-Ethiopian situation in 1935 was a leading factor influencing the adoption, on August 24, 1935, of a new temporary neutrality measure, to serve until after the reassembling of Congress in the current session, when it was hoped to adopt a permanent measure. The wide-spread interest of prominent leaders in international law and affairs, the recurring precarious political situations in the Far East and Europe, with forebodings of new wars, the investigations of the Nye Committee in Congress. with its continual revelations of factors that tended to involve us in the World war; these and other circumstances have kept prominently before the public the question of neutrality.
It is widely felt that, in case of a new war of general extent, the United States should maintain peaceful relations with the warring countries, and not become involved. On this desire to keep out of war the discussion of neutrality is primarily based. The discussion of provisions for attaining this end, however, give rise to endless divisions, ranging thru all shades of opinion from isolation to international cooperation in its most complete sense, and at times even bringing the same arguments to bear in support of neutrality or the reverse. The relative merits of mandatory neutrality, or an air-tight policy which would be automatically operative and immune from chance, and a discretionary neutrality the application of which, in whole or in part, would depend upon the judgment of the executive branch of the government, has been one of the major points at issue. In