The HOARE–LAVAL PACT was an initially secret December 1935 proposal
by British Foreign Secretary Samuel Hoare and French Prime Minister
The proposal ignited a firestorm of hostile reaction in Britain and France and never went into effect. Hoare lost his position.
* 1 Background
* 2 Reaction
* 2.1 Britain * 2.2 France
* 3 Outcome * 4 Historiography * 5 See also * 6 Notes * 7 References
In 1935 the
Abyssinian Crisis and
Second Italo-Ethiopian War
On 8 December 1935, British Foreign Minister Samuel Hoare, 1st Viscount Templewood discussed with his French counterpart Pierre Laval how to end the war. On 9 December British newspapers revealed leaked details of an agreement by the two men to give much of Ethiopia to Italy to end the war. The British Cabinet had not approved the preliminary plan, but decided to support it to not embarrass Hoare.
The Pact was met with a wave of moral indignation in Britain. On 10 December the Opposition Labour Party claimed if the reports in the press of the contents of the Pact were true, the government contradicted the pro-League policy on which it had just won the 1935 election.
The Conservatives dominated the government and cared little for
opinion on the left. They paid attention, however, when attacks came
from the right. In an editorial titled ‘A Corridor for Camels’,
The Times on 16 December denounced the Pact and said there never was
"the slightest doubt that British public opinion would recommend them
for approval by the League as a fair and reasonable basis of
negotiations". The Archbishop of Canterbury,
But before the Duce had had time to declare himself there arose a howl of indignation from the people of Great Britain. During my experience of politics I have never witnessed so devastating a wave of public opinion. Even the easy-going constituents of the St. George\'s division were profoundly moved. The post-bag was full and the letters I received were not written by ignorant or emotional people but by responsible citizens who had given sober thought to the matter.
The Conservative Chief Whip told Baldwin: "Our men won't stand for
When the Chamber of Deputies debated the Pact on 27 and 28 December,
the Popular Front condemned it, with
The British government withdrew the plan, and Hoare resigned. In
early 1936 Italy began a new, larger advance using poison gas , and
A. J. P. Taylor
The military historian Correlli Barnett has argued that if Britain alienated Italy, Italy "would be a potential enemy astride England's main line of imperial communication at a time when she was already under threat from two existing potential enemies at opposite ends of the line . If – worse – Italy were to fight in a future war as an ally of Germany or Japan, or both, the British would be forced to abandon the Mediterranean for the first time since 1798". Therefore, in Barnett's view, it was "highly dangerous nonsense to provoke Italy" due to Britain's military and naval weakness and that therefore the pact was a sensible option.
* ^ A B C D Gunther, John (1940). Inside Europe. New York: Harper &
Brothers. pp. 273–280.
Keith Middlemas and John Barnes, Baldwin. A Biography (London:
Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1969), pp. 887-889.
* ^ Ernst L. Presseisen, "Foreign Policy and British Public
Opinion: The Hoare-Laval Pact Of 1935," World Affairs Quarterly (1958)
29#3 pp 256-277.
* ^ The Times (16 December 1935), p. 15.
* ^ Middlemas and Barnes, p. 890.
* ^ Duff Cooper, Old Men Forget (London: Rupert Hart-Davis, 1953),
* ^ Middlemas and Barnes, p. 890.
* ^ Harold Macmillan, Winds of Change (London: Macmillan, 1966),
* ^ Macmillan, pp. 411-412.
* ^ Geoffrey Warner,
* Henderson B. Braddick," The Hoare-Laval Plan: A Study in International Politics," Review of Politics (1962) 24#3 pp. 342–364 in JSTOR * Holt, Andrew. "'No more Hoares to Paris’: British foreign policymaking and the Abyssinian Crisis, 1935," Review of International Studies (2011) 37#3 pp 1383–1401 * Robertson James C. "The Hoare-Laval Plan," Journal of Contemporary History (1975) 10#3 pp. 433-4