Who was responsible for the League of Nations’ failure to take effective action in response to Italy’s invasion of Abyssinia?
Reasons why was France was responsible:
France was showed “a marked lack of enthusiasm for effective action against Italy.” as they were against harsh action towards Italy. They wished to maintain an alliance with Italy and feared that too harsh of an action imposed on Italy “could weaken a united front against the German peril.”
Since the League was formed in 1919, France had continued to push national security measures as part of the Foreign Policy. For example, as part of the Treaty, new nations were created as allies for France, such as Poland, and the Rhineland was demilitarised with the aim of making the French more secure. However, when the time came for France to follow their own agreements, they were reluctant as they focused too heavily on their empire during the Manchurian crisis and their alliance with Italy during the Abyssinian crisis. Evidently, France did not want to support other nations of the League and only wanted to use it as part of their own national security policy to keep them safe.
France was reluctant to be involved in the Abyssinian crisis as they did not want to face military casualties, or the threat of an attack from Italy as a result of French action towards them. This is because France was concerned about and relied on Italian assistance in the event of a German invasion.
Reasons why was Britain was responsible:
Britain opposed closing the Suez Canal. Britain owned the canal, so they could have closed it if they wished. However, they feared an attack on the British Navy. Closing the canal would have prevented Italy from supplying their army in Abyssinia.
During the Abyssinian crisis, it was already evident that Britain would follow a policy of appeasement. A book about the League of Nations published in 1996 stated: "The British government was desperate to avoid a crisis either by offering Mussolini territorial compensation elsewhere or by helping to negotiate an arrangement which would give Italy effective control of Abyssinia. " This was demonstrated when Hoare (British Foreign Minister) and Laval (French Foreign Minister) planned to give into Mussolini's demands.
Reasons why was both countries were responsible: