IHE terms of the Agreement and Military Convention between Great 3ritain and Ethiopia have now been published.
Important clauses safeguard the Italian civil population still resident in the country and provide for the protec. tion of Italian property. These pro visions are in accordance with International Law.
It was typical of the hysterical state of mind engendered among irresponsible critics by war that in the House of Lords Lord Wedgwood in particular should make himself conspicuous by declaring that the arrangements arrived at were due to a " Roman clique in Cairo." That is how Hansard reports his criticism. The Daily Express in reporting his statement gives the phrase as " a Roman Catholic clique."
Nothing could be more absurd than to suggest that clauses of vital importance to our own interests were the result of politico-religious intrigue.
As Lord Hailey asserted, these terms are in accord with the International Code, and he added: " We should set an example to others who were taking over considerable territories where we had much private property."
Quite apart from the morality of the question, it would indeed be madness for us, at a moment when Japan happens to hold immense quantities of British-owned property, to break the international tradition and give the world a precedent for the seizing of what belongs to others.
This. no doubt, is not the last word, and we hope that after the war the nations will agree to a convention in regard to property in the colonies—a convention in which the interests of those who really belong to those territories will have the tifst consideration. Meanwhile let us set an example, for our own good as well as for the good of the world, of maintaining the existing law.