Ref NoLSE2220
Alt Ref NoLSE2220
Artist or CreatorDavid Low (1891-1963)
Title or CaptionOil on the Troubled Waters
Extent1 item
Published byEvening Standard
Date04 Sep 1935
Embedded text or transcriptS.S. Vulture Oil League Abyssinia
Person DepictedEden; Anthony, (1897-1977); Earl of Avon,
Hoare; Samuel John Gurney (1880-1959); Sir
Implied textSayings: To pour oil on troubled water - to make things worse.
NotesAlongside Britain, France and Japan, Italy had been a permanent member of the Council
of the League of Nations since the League was established. Despite this, in late 1934
Mussolini attacked Abyssinia (modern day Ethiopia). This was arguably in retalliation for
the Italian defeat at Adowa in 1896, or a bid to expand Italian Imperial possessions in
Africa. Mussolini used the pretext of a (staged) incident at WalWal to send in troops
already stationed in Somaliland and Eritrea. A further invasion was later launched in
October 1935. Mussolini's actions sounded the death knell for the League as a credible
peace keeping force, principally because of the League's failure to respond appropriately.
The League had 3 weapons at its disposal - moral condemnation, arbitration and economic
sanctions. Clearly only the latter was viable in this case. The League ordered its members
to impose sanctions. These sanctions were fundamentally ineffective as they excluded an oil
embargo - the only true sanction to halt the Italian war effort. Extract from "Journal of
Negro History": "Oil has been revealed as one of the chief villains of the Ethiopian drama.
Mussolini is not fighting for a desert waste. On August 31, 1935, the public was astounded
by the news of the Rickett concession, whereby vast oil areas were sold to Anglo-American
interests by Ethiopia. Francis M. Rickett, a British promoter, communicated to the
Associated Press that Emperor Haile Selassie, seeking to stop an expected Italian advance
into Ethiopia, deeded more than half his empite to Anglo-American interests for
exploitation and development. The grant embraced an area of 150,000 square miles to the
Standard Oil Company and British industrial interests under a 75-year charter....." [p.168]
International relations
League of Nations 1919
Proverbs and sayings
foreign policy
rowing boats
Copyright contact detailsNorthcliffe House, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TT
Fax: 02075660388
Relates to cartoonDL1002

Show related Persons records.

GB/BCA/216Eden; Anthony, (1897-1977); Earl of Avon1897-1977   
GB/BCA/395Hoare; Samuel John Gurney (1880-1959); Sir1880-1959   
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