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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 1, No. 19 September 6, 1938

British Foreign Policy

British Foreign Policy.

Now see what light this throws on British foreign policy. Take first the strategic aspect of the Abyssinian and Spanish wars. One of the strategic factors involved is the control of the Mediterranean. Although Italy is now a powerful nation, although she controls Tunis, Libya, most of Spain and part of Abyssinia, the British navy can keep Italian shipping bottled up in the Mediterranean for the duration of the next war. It is true that British shipping could not pass through the narrow straits that separate Italy from the African coast; but for the duration of the next war (and longer) Italy could close these straits even if she had no colonies and possessed only a dozen submarines and a hundred bombers. So we see that Britain's strategic position in the Mediterranean has not been changed by Italy's growth to power and her conquests in Abyssinia and Spain.

Another strategic consideration is the "encirclement" of France. In a geographical sense a fascist victory in Spain will mean encirclement, but it will have little military significance, for in an attack on France, neither Italy nor Germany will need Spanish air bases. Similarly, London is much nearer to Germany than 'to Spain and is actually nearer to Italy than to Spain. (If that amazes you, consult your atlas).

War-mongers on the left, point out that fascist aggression is giving Italy and Germany access to the raw materials they would need for a long war. But the Foreign Office knows how long the next war will last and knows that this is no strategic gain.