227 Mr J. A. Lyons, Prime Minister, to Sir Earle Page, Minister for Commerce (in London)

Cablegram unnumbered 6 July 1938,

PERSONAL AND SECRET

Information recently received from despatches and cablegrams indicates a deterioration in Anglo-Italian relations which is causing grave concern to the Commonwealth Government. We feel that implementation of Anglo-Italian Agreement [1] is of paramount importance in the present international situation, and we would like you to urge the United Kingdom Government that everything should be done to bring it into effect at earliest possible moment especially as it appears to us that slow progress in negotiations over Sudeten question may lead at any moment to a crisis.

LYONS

1 The British Government stipulated that 'a settlement of the Spanish question' was a pre-requisite for the coming into force of the Anglo-Italian Agreement of 16 April 1938. In June 1938 the Italian Government sought the immediate implementation of the Agreement but showed no willingness to withdraw Italian troops and material assisting General Franco in the Spanish Civil War.

[AA : A981, ITALY 30, ii]