An authentic hero of British-American action in Spain was Sir Samuel Hoare, who had served in Neville Chamberlain's war cabinet and whom many Washington officials (and perhaps a majority of British subjects) regarded as an appeaser. As Britain's foreign secretary, Hoare, in December, 1935, agreed to a proposal by Pierre Laval, prime minister of France, that a portion of Abyssinia's territory be ceded to Italy which, under Mussolini, was endeavoring to establish a colonial empire in East Africa. News of the agreement created a furor in Britain where it was considered a betrayal of the League of Nations and an act of appeasement of an aggressive Italy. Hoare resigned and was succeeded by Anthony Eden. Hoare did not act like an appeaser in Spain, however.
When Hoare arrived in Madrid, on June 1, 1940, the German Army had already spread over much of France, and many in the British government considered Spain, and possibly Gibraltar, as good as lost. It was during this early period of his mission, when Britain was on the edge of defeat, that Hoare