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The FRANCO-ITALIAN AGREEMENT (called often Mussolini-Laval accord) of 7 January 1935 was signed in Rome
Rome
by the French Foreign Minister Pierre Laval
Pierre Laval
and Italian Prime Minister
Prime Minister
Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
.

CONTENTS

* 1 History * 2 Main agreements * 3 Note * 4 Bibliography * 5 See also

HISTORY

After the victory in World War I
World War I
it was agreed that Italy
Italy
was not going to receive territories from the defeated German colonial empire (that was divided between France
France
and Great Britain
Great Britain
) but later would be rewarded some bordering areas from the British and French empires. This was felt by the Italians to be very little compensation for their sacrifices in the bloody war and was one of the reasons of the rise to power in Italy
Italy
of Mussolini's fascism . The British ceded Oltre Giuba from Kenya
Kenya
to Italian Somalia
Italian Somalia
in 1925, but the French delayed some years until the mid 1930s: they agreed only in 1935, under Foreign Minister Laval's leadership, to give only a small amount of territory in eastern Africa and a desert area in the French Sahara.

Pierre Laval
Pierre Laval
had succeeded Louis Barthou
Louis Barthou
as Foreign Minister after the latter's assassination in Marseilles
Marseilles
on October 9, 1934, at the side of the Alexander I King of Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia
. He borrowed from his predecessor the idea of a system of collective security intended to contain the threat of Hitler
Hitler
in Europe. On January 4, 1935, Pierre Laval went to Rome, capital of Fascist Italy
Italy
, to meet Mussolini. It was the beginning of a diplomatic offensive intended to enclose Adolf Hitler
Hitler
's Germany
Germany
in a network of alliances.

He proposed a treaty to Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
that defined disputed parts of French Somaliland
French Somaliland
(now Djibouti
Djibouti
) as part of Eritrea
Eritrea
, redefined the official status of Italians in French-held Tunisia
Tunisia
, and essentially gave the Italians a free hand in dealing with the Abyssinia Crisis with Ethiopia
Ethiopia
.

Italy
Italy
was also to receive the Aouzou strip which was to be moved from French-ruled Chad
Chad
to Italian-ruled Libya
Libya
(this issue would have some implications in World War II
World War II
and in post-colonial Libya- Chad
Chad
relations ).

In exchange for all these concessions, France
France
hoped (in vain, as it turned out) for Italian support against German aggression. Map showing the new Italian Eritrea- French Somaliland
French Somaliland
border as per the Laval-Mussolini Accord of January 1935. The coast of French Somalia was reduced south until the Bab-el-Mandeb strait

The Mussolini-Laval accord was signed as a "law" by the French National Parliament on March 26, 1935 but was never accepted by the Italian Parliament because it was judged as too "minimal", not including anything from French Tunisia
Tunisia
, Corsica
Corsica
and Nizza .

MAIN AGREEMENTS

The Mussolini-Laval accord had the following main agreements:

* A small territory in French Somaliland
French Somaliland
south of Eritrean Rahayta was to be given to Italian Eritrea
Eritrea
. * The village of Aozou and the surrounding Aozou strip
Aozou strip
in French Africa Chad
Chad
was to be given to Italian Libya
Libya
. * Italy
Italy
was allowed (by the French government) to occupy Ethiopia without interferences.

NOTE

* ^ 7 janvier 1935 - Accord franco-italien (Laval-Mussolini) (extrait in french) * ^ XXIX Legislatura del Regno d\'Italia (in Italian)

BIBLIOGRAPHY

* G. Bruce Strang: Imperial Dreams: The Mussolini-Laval Accords of January 1935. In: The Historical Journal 44, September 2001, 3, ISSN 0018-246X, pp. 799–809. * R. Festorazzi Laval Mussolini. L'impossibile Asse, Milano: Mursia, ISBN 9788842530817 * Langer, William L. ed., An Encyclopaedia of World History, (1948), Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. Pg. 990.

SEE ALSO

* St

.