The Nyon Conference was held in September 1937 to address attacks on international shipping in the Mediterranean Sea during the Spanish Civil War. The United Kingdom and France led the conference, which was also attended by Bulgaria, Egypt, Greece, Romania, Turkey, the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. Italy and Germany did not attend, although the former took up naval patrols in November. The conference succeeded in preventing attacks by submarines.
About Nyon Conference in brief
The Nyon Conference was held in September 1937 to address attacks on international shipping in the Mediterranean Sea during the Spanish Civil War. The conference was convened in part because Italy had been carrying out unrestricted submarine warfare. The United Kingdom and France led the conference, which was also attended by Bulgaria, Egypt, Greece, Romania, Turkey, the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. Italy and Germany did not attend, although the former took up naval patrols in November. In marked contrast to the actions of the Non-Intervention Committee and the League of Nations, this conference succeeded in preventing attacks by submarines. The fiction that attacks on merchant shipping was the fault of ‘pirates unknown’ was fully indulged. The British Admiralty proposed four plans in response to attacks on British shipping, favouring sending significant naval resources to the Mediterranean as the best solution. As suspected by the other powers, Italy was behind some of these attacks. For the United Kingdom, it formed part of the policy of appeasement towards Germany and Italy and aimed at preventing a proxy war from escalating into a major pan-European conflict. In May 1937, Neville Chamberlain succeeded Stanley Baldwin as British Prime Minister, and adopted a new policy of dealing directly with Germany and Italian. He believed they could convince Italy to abandon Germany throughappeasement. Under a Non-intervention Committee plan, neutral observers were posted to Spanish ports and borders. The plan also assigned zones of patrol to the United UK, France, Germany andItaly, and patrols began in April.
Following attacks on the German cruiser Leipzig on 15 and 18 June, Germany, Italy and Italy withdrew from the patrols. The U.K. and France offered to replace Germany and. Italy in patrols of their sections, but the latter powers believed these patrols would be too partial. This request was opposed by the U.S. and the British House of Lords. It was an important issue during Anglo-Italian discussions in August 1937, with Lord Halifax, Leader of the Lords and influential politician, recognising any Italian sovereignty over Abyssinia following the Second-alo-Italian War. In January 1937, Italy had made a declaration that it would stop fighting fighting in Spain on 7 January 1937. On the 25th, Italy agreed to support limitations on the number of belligerent volunteers. It also agreed to give the Nationalists the right to search vessels for contraband, thus removing the need for naval patrols. This was the first time that Italy had given up belligerent rights to belligerents. The Non- Intervention Committee had attempted to restrict the flow of weapons to the parties of the Spanish civil War. It had also put a moratorium on fighting by Spain on January 7, 1937, and on January 25th 1937, it agreed to limit the numbers of Italian volunteers to 60,000. In April 1937, Italian volunteers continued to fight in Spain, and the number was reduced to 50,000, with the number reduced to 40,000 by the end of the month.
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