It is with great regret that I cannot support this pact, because I fully recognise, like everyone else in this House, the great reasons, historical, cultural and strategic, why it would be great for us to be fairer with Italy. But I do not think that a lasting agreement can be reached with a country because of the insecurity of 609 countries, and I believe that this pact proposes to abandon another country which, already in a struggle for its national independence and freedom for its life and freedom, by imperfections in a system of control within the framework of the policy of non-interference , for which we were one of the sponsors, was severely disabled. I have the impression that the question of whether the proposals on Spain in this pact, which are in some way the linchpin of the whole agreement, can be implemented satisfactorily depends on the answer to two questions: whether the conditions set by the Prime Minister and which Italy had to respect during the negotiations were indeed respected. and whether the pact itself complies with these conditions and the policy of non-interference to which we have committed. The second question is: will it bear the burden of war? One can say, “Why are you talking about war?” You would not spend $2,000,000, 000 in five years, unless you thought that an eventuality in 591 would be imminent, risky and not impossible. Why are we talking about the accumulation of these preparations if we cannot talk about the possibility of war in the world? Suppose that happens. Suppose you have a great war and you don`t have enough planes, not enough guns. What about ammunition and food? It is quite right to ask these questions. I will ask whether this agreement, as part of this strategic position, will be dependent for 24 hours after proclaiming such a war? What`s its value? The whole question in this case would be whether Mussolini and Hitler would act together.
Who would sell Mussolini? Would he be in favour of Hitler or would he stick to the Rome Pact? Indeed, there is this for him to say that there is nothing in the Rome Pact that binds him to neutrality in the event of war. I have no doubt that Mussolini and Hitler have a total understanding; but when the Prime Minister spoke of his oral agreements, he never said whether, in the event of war, for example, on Czechoslovakia – which he himself discussed last week with French ministers as an opportunity and whose French press is full – there was even an oral agreement for Mussolini to remain neutral.