Keywords: Labour party; Italo-Ethiopian War; Fascism
This article is concerned with the reactions of the Labour party to the Italo-Ethiopian dispute and war by considering three different issues: in the first place, it focuses on the impact of the event on Party’s line and leadership as well as on its position towards the League of Nations. The main argument is that the conflict significantly contributed to a shift away from the old pacifist leadership and line towards a more moderate and pro-League one. Secondly, the article stresses the influence of the crisis in the development of an anti-fascist conscience within the Party, which – it is argued – was also supported by the connections established with Italian anti-fascists and exiled as well as by the increasing Nazi threat. Thirdly, it explores the emergence of colonial and imperial issues as well as Labour’s reform proposals in these field, characterised by a strong ambiguity and a certain racist streak.