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4066N THE TWENTIETH CENTURY-RECONSTRUCTION PERIOD,

Cabinet must attend the funeral of the

victims. The terms were so drastic that by

Greeks and by many neutral observers it

was asserted that Premier Mussolini was

purposely demanding the impossible of

Greece in order to obtain a pretext for

seizing Corfu and other strategic points in

the Adriatic.

In reply Greece tendered regrets, apologies, and honorary salutes, accepted, with

reservations, the collaboration of the Italian

attache in the investigation of the crime,

and promised a just compensation to the

families of the victims, but declared the

payment of 50,000,000 lire in five days

impossible. The reply was promptly rejected by Premier Mussolini, and an Italian

fleet bombarded and seized Corfu. In the

bombardment a number of Greek and

Armenian refugees from Turkey were killed.

A large force of troops was landed on

Corfu, other adjacent islands were seized,

and another fleet was ordered to the Piraeus.

Thereupon the Greek Government appealed to the League of Nations to intervene under Article 15 of the League Covenant. The League Council hesitated to

intervene and adjourned to examine the

question, but adopted a resolution expressing the hope that in the meantime the two

parties would refrain from any act tending

to aggravate the situation.

On September 4, Premier Mussolini

issued a statement defying the League in

the following words:

"If the League of Nations persists in its

intention to interfere in Italy's personal

affair of honor with Greece, Italy may be

forced to leave the League. I respect the

aims of the League, but deny that there is

anything in the pact providing for intervention in such cases as the present, which

touches the honor of Italy. The pact speaks

only of the 'danger of war.' There is no

danger of war now. It is a question merely

of the simple execution of justice. If an

Englishman had been in my place he would

have done the same thing. When French

sailors were slain in Athens in 1916, France

imposed similar severe conditions on Greece

such as Italy imposes now. I shall hold

Corfu until Greece obeys without qualification all of our demands. If Greece commits

further outrages on Italian subjects, I shall

commence repressive military measures immediately."

On the same day the delegate of the

Greek Government made proposals to the

League Council for the appointment of one

or more neutral representatives to assist in

reaching a settlement of the dispute and

agreed that the Greek Government would

deposit with a Swiss bank 50,000,000 lire as

a guarantee for the immediate payment of

whatever indemnities might be decided

upon. Next day Signor Salandra, head of

the Italian delegation, amplified Mussolini's

declaration that the League must not intervene and called attention to the fact that

the Council of Ambassadors was dealing

with the case, that the boundary commission

of which the murdered Italians were members had been working under the Council of

Ambassadors, and that that body, on August 30, had ordered Greece immediately to

investigate the murders.

Differences of opinion developed in the

League Council as to what action should be

taken. Some delegates contended that the

League should intervene, while others maintained the negative. Ultimately the matter

was left to the Council of Ambassadors, and

Premier Mussolini agreed to accept the

Ambassadors as arbiters.

On September 7, the Council of Ambassadors announced a decision satisfactory

to Italy. Its decree embodied almost the

same terms as those contained in Italy's

original demands. Instead of asking for

immediate payment by Greece of 50,000,000

lire, however, that sum was to be deposited

in a bank as a guarantee, and the inquiry

into the circumstances of the crime was to

be conducted by Allied officers under the

chairmanship of the Japanese delegate.

Both Italy and Greece accepted these

terms. On September II, the Greek

Government arrested eight persons who

were suspected of the crime. Two days

later, at a session of the Council of Ambassadors, Italy agreed to evacuate the Greek

islands before October 1.

The outcome was interpreted in some

circles as a great victory for the League of