Stresa Conference of 1935

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Stresa Conference of 1935


a conference held Apr. 11–14, 1935, in Stresa, Italy, to discuss Germany’s violations of the Treaty of Versailles of 1919. The countries represented were Great Britain (R. MacDonald, prime minister, and J. Simon, foreign secretary), France (P. Flandin, prime minister, P. Laval, foreign minister, and A. Léger, secretary general of the French Foreign Office), and Italy (B. Mussolini, F. Suvich, undersecretary for foreign affairs, and P. Aloisi, chef de cabinet for the Foreign Ministry).

The Stresa Conference discussed the French memorandum on Germany’s violations of the military clauses of the Treaty of Versailles: in March 1935 the Hitlerite government announced its refusal to abide by the prohibition against the creation of an air force and subsequently took steps to raise an army by means of universal consciption. The participants condemned the Hitlerite government’s actions and adopted a declaration against unilateral abrogation of international agreements, affirming the Three Powers’ support of the Locarno treaties of 1925, which guaranteed the inviolability of the Belgian-German and Franco-German borders. Simon’s simultaneous announcement that Great Britain would oppose any sanctions against Germany undermined this declaration.

The proposed conclusion of the Eastern Pact and a Franco-Soviet agreement on mutual aid were also put before the conference. The participants asked Hitler whether these agreements would hinder Germany’s participation in a multilateral nonaggression pact and, despite his evasive answer, announced their satisfaction with his reply. During the conference, MacDonald and Simon “unofficially” gave Mussolini to understand that they would not oppose his aggressive designs on Ethiopia. The conference marked a stage in the policy of “appeasement,” despite the assertions of the bourgeois press that a “peace front” (the Stresa Front) had been established.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.