‘Upholding the Covenant and the Public Law of Europe’

Peter J. Yearwood

in Guarantee of Peace

Published in print January 2009 | ISBN: 9780199226733
Published online May 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191710308 | DOI:
 ‘Upholding the Covenant and the Public Law of Europe’

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London was outraged by Mussolini's bombardment and occupation of Corfu following the murder of the Italian president of the commission delimiting the Graeco‐Albanian border. Curzon and the Foreign Office were particularly concerned to back the League and reaffirm the principles of decent international conduct. Cecil at Geneva was more concerned to work with the French in finding a diplomatic solution. He largely devised the procedure whereby the Allied Conference of Ambassadors took responsibility for the outcome. Although criticized by the press barons Rothermere and Beaverbrook and by Lloyd George, London's support for the League was clearly popular, even if the result appeared disappointing. As a moderate compared to Curzon in this crisis, Cecil could not use the League as an issue against his colleagues. He became politically marginalized, while the 1923 election made support for Geneva essential for all major British statesmen.

Keywords: Corfu crisis; Mussolini; Conference of Ambassadors; press barons; British public opinion; 1923 election

Chapter.  17284 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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