NOTES ON INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS FROM NOVEMBER 10 TO DECEMBER 10
Prepared by Professor Allan Westcott, U. S. Naval Academy
WORK OF WASHINGTON CONFERENCE
Naval Proposals.—Under Professional Notes in this issue appears in full Secretary Hughes' proposal of November 12, for the cessation of naval construction for 10 years and the reduction of the United States, British, and Japanese navies on a ratio respectively of 5-5-3. On the basis of this plan the American navy would be reduced to 500,650 tons; the British, to 604,450 tons; and the Japanese to 299,700 tons. On the following day Mr. Balfour for Great Britain and Baron Kato for Japan signified "acceptance in principle" of this proposal. Mr. Balfour suggested two modifications: (1) That the submarine tonnage for each nation should be much further reduced and seagoing types for offensive warfare eliminated; (2) that replacement should be gradual year by year in order to maintain naval construction plants. Subsequently Japan urged that she be allowed a proportion of 7 to 10 instead of 6 to 10, and equal tonnage in airplane carriers. When this demand was resisted, she sought compensation in the form of assurances in the Far East. While the French and Italian navies were not at first considered, prospective difficulties appeared in view of the French demand for capital ship tonnage equal to that of Japan and submarine tonnage equal to that of Great Britain. It appeared that Italy would demand a navy equal to that of France, whereas Great Britain would oppose these increases at a time when her own navy was being reduced.
Four-Power Agreement for Pacific Islands.—It was announced in a plenary session of the Washington Conference on December 10, that the following treaty had been agreed to by Great Britain, the United States, France, and Japan:
Article I.—The high contracting parties agree as between themselves to respect their rights in relation to their insular possessions and insular dominions in the regions of the Pacific Ocean.
If there should develop between any of the high contracting parties a controversy arising out of any Pacific question and involving their said rights which is not satisfactorily settled by diplomacy and is likely to affect the harmonious accord now happily existing between them, they shall invite the high contracting parties to a joint conference to which the whole subject will be referred for consideration and adjustment.
Article II.—If the said rights are threatened by the aggressive action of any other power the high contracting parties shall communicate with one another fully and frankly in order to arrive at an understanding as to the most efficient measures to be taken, jointly and separately, to meet the exigencies of the situation.
Article III.—This agreement shall remain in force for 10 years from the time it shall take effect, and after the expiration of said period it shall continue to be in force subject to the right of any of the high contracting parties to terminate it upon 12 months' notice.
Article IV.—This agreement shall be ratified as soon as possible in accordance with the constitutional methods of the high contracting parties and shall take effect on the deposit of ratification, which shall take place at Washington, and thereupon the agreement between Great Britain and Japan, which was concluded at London on July 13, 191 1, shall terminate.
AGREEMENTS REGARDING CHINA
Principles Adopted by Powers.—The text of the agreement on general principles to be observed in the investigation regarding China, as subscribed to by the representatives of eight powers in the Committee on Pacific and Far Eastern Questions, was made public on Nov. 21, by Secretary Hughes. It was drafted by Elihu Root, discussed and amended. The text as adopted follows:
It is the firm intention of the powers attending this conference hereinafter mentioned, to wit, the United States of America, Belgium, the British Empire, France, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands and Portugal:
- To respect the sovereignty, the independence and the territorial and administrative integrity of China.
- To provide the fullest and most unembarrassed opportunity to China to develop and maintain for herself effective and stable government.
- To use their influence for the purpose of effectually establishing and maintaining the principle of equal opportunity for the commerce and industry of all nations throughout the territory of China.
- To refrain from taking advantage of the present conditions in order to seek special rights or privileges which would abridge the rights of the subjects or citizens of friendly states and from countenancing action inimical to the security of such states.
Chinese Demands.—At the opening sessions of the Conference Committee on Far Eastern Affairs the Chinese delegates proposed the following principles to be applied in the determination of questions relating to China:
"1. The powers engage to respect and observe the territorial integrity and political and administrative independence of the Chinese Republic. China upon her part is prepared to give an undertaking not to alienate or lease any portion of her territory or littoral to any power.
"2. China, being in full accord with the principle of the so-called open door or equal opportunity for the commerce and industry of all the nations having treaty relations with China is prepared to accept and apply it in all parts of the Chinese Republic without exception.
"3. With a view to strengthening mutual confidence and maintaining peace in the Pacific and the Far East, the powers agree not to conclude between themselves any treaty or agreement directly affecting China or the general peace in these regions without previously notifying China and giving to her an opportunity to participate.
"4. All special rights, privilege, immunities or commitments, whatever their character or contractural basis claimed by any of the powers in or relating to China are to be declared, and all such or future claims not so made known are to be deemed null and void. The rights, privileges, immunities and commitments now known or to be declared are to be examined with a view to determining their scope and validity, and, if valid, to harmonizing them with one another and with the principles declared by this conference.
"5. Immediately or as soon as circumstances will permit, existing limitations upon China's political, jurisdictional and administrative freedom of action are to be removed.
"6. Reasonable, definite terms of duration are to be attached to China's present commitments which are without time limits.
"7. In the interpretation of instruments granting special rights or privileges, the well-established principle of construction that such grant shall be strictly construed in favor of the grantors is to be observes.
"8. China's rights as a neutral are to be fully respected in future wars to which she is not a party.
"9. Provision is to be made for the peaceful settlement of international disputes in the Pacific and the Far East.
"10. Provision is to be made for future conferences to be held from time to time for the discussion of international questions relative to the Pacific and the Far East, as a basis for the determination of common policies of the signatory powers in relation thereto."
Concessions to China.—The Conference Committee on Far Eastern Affairs took the following action in the course of committee meetings up to December 10:
Alien Post Offices Withdrawn.—On November 28, the committee adopted the following resolution:
Recognizing the justice of the desire expressed by the Chinese Government to secure the abolition of foreign postal agencies in China, save or except in leased territories or as otherwise specifically provided by treaty, it is resolved:
"1. The four powers having such postal agencies agree to their abandonment, subject to the following conditions:
"a. That an efficient Chinese postal service is maintained.
"b. That an assurance is given by the Chinese Government that they contemplate no change in the present postal administration so far as the status of the foreign Co-Director General is concerned.
"2. To enable China and the powers concerned to make the necessary dispositions, this arrangement shall come into force and effect not later than (January 1, 1923).
Withdrawal of Foreign Troops Discussed.—In the discussion of the withdrawal of foreign troops it was stated that there were about 5000 foreign troops in China exclusive of Manchuria and Shantung, including about 15CO American, 1000 British, 1200 French, and 1100 Japanese. Japan also had 2800 men in Shantung and her usual forces along the Manchurian railway. Japan declared that she could not consider the removal of these latter troops, since the whole question of Manchuria was determined by the Treaty of Peking in 1905. As regarded forces in China proper, she was willing to withdraw only when conditions warranted. No action was taken by the committee at this time.
Committee to Investigate Judicial System.—On November 29, the committee adopted a resolution to the effect that the powers were willing that political, jurisdictional, and administrative limitations upon China should be removed as soon as circumstances would permit; and that to this end a commission should be created to investigate China's judicial system and report within a year's time, each of the powers being then free to adopt or reject the committee's recommendations in whole or in part.
China's Neutrality to be Respected.—On December 7 a resolution was adopted, that "China's rights as a neutral are to be fully respected in future wars to which she is not a party." China had called attention to violations in the Russo-Japanese War and in the Japanese capture of Kiao-Chau.
Wireless Stations.—On December 7 it was agreed that legation wireless stations in China should send only official messages, and that China should be permitted to purchase all wireless stations established in her territory without her consent.
Treaties to Respect Chinese Sovereignty.—On December 8 the committee took up point 3 of the Chinese proposals to the effect that China should be notified of and allowed to participate in any treaty or agreement affecting her. After some discussion the following resolution was adopted:
That the powers attending this conference, hereinafter mentioned, to wit, the United States of America, Belgium, the British Empire, China, France, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands and Portugal declare that it is their intention not to enter into any treaty, agreement, arrangement or understanding, either with one another or individually or collectively with any power or powers, which would infringe or impair the principles which have been declared by the resolution adopted November 21 by this committee."
Chinese Finances.—The question of China's finances was referred to a sub-committee. China requested that she be allowed to raise to 12 ½ per cent the import tariff of 5 per cent to which she has been hitherto limited by international agreement. She also requested removal of the restrictions which required the deposit of most of her revenues in foreign banks, to insure payment on loans. Sir Robert Borden made the proposal that a duty of 7 ½ per cent ad valorem be permitted. Japan, however, objected to an immediate decision, declaring that the tariff question was too intricate for off-hand settlement, and pointing out that one third of her foreign trade was with China.
Evacuation of Leased Territory.—Regarding the evacuation of Chinese territory held by foreign powers, France made and later withdrew a conditional offer to give up the unimproved harbor on the coast of Kwangtung which she acquired in 1899. England offered to turn over Wei-hai-Wei, but insisted on the retention of the Kowloon territory as a protection for Hong Kong. Japan repeated her previous offers regarding Shantung, but indicated her intention to retain her holdings in Manchuria. The question of leased territories was left for further discussion.
Separate Negotiations on Shantung.—Acting upon the suggestion of the United States and Great Britain, Japan and China on November 30 agreed to begin direct conversations on the Shantung question, Secretary Hughes and Mr. Balfour offering their good offices in the effort to reach a solution. After meeting on the following day, the delegates of both powers issued statements presenting their respective views of the question. The Japanese statement read in part:
We are not unmindful of the difficulties with which the Chinese Government is being confronted in entering into direct negotiations on the subject. We are, however, confident that, if approached from a broader perspective, the question should be susceptible of a speedy solution. The true and vital interests of the two nations are in no way conflicting.
It is unfortunate that the real issues involved have been very largely misunderstood in the popular mind. The term "Shantung Question" is itself a misnomer. The question is not one which affects the whole Province of Shantung. The important points now awaiting adjustment relate only to the manner of restoring to China an area of territory, less than one-half of 1 per cent of the Shantung Province, and also to the disposition of a railway 290 miles long, and its appurtenant mines, formerly under exclusive possession and management of the Germans. There is absolutely no question of full territorial sovereignty; that is being exercised by China throughout the length and breadth of the Province.
Free Irish State.—Following the refusal of the Ulster Government in November to accept union with Southern Ireland on the basis of an all Ireland Parliament and other terms proposed by the Sinn Fein, the British Government renewed its efforts to secure modified terms from the Sinn Fein delegates in London. On December 6 an agreement was reached, signed, and published, to go into effect in Southern Ireland upon ratification by the British and by the Southern Irish parliaments. These parliaments were at once called into special session for the purpose of considering the treaty. The Irish Cabinet disagreed over its adoption, Mr. de Valera and two other members declaring themselves opposed.
Unless the Ulster Government makes objection within a month's time, the agreement would also go into effect for Northern Ireland. But the latter retained the right to remain a separate government under the terms of the Government of Ireland Act of 1921, and it appeared likely that this would be Ulster's choice. The text of the treaty follows:
Article I.—Ireland shall have the same constitutional status in the community of nations known as the British Empire as the Dominion of Canada, the Commonwealth of Australia, the Dominion of New Zealand and the Union of South Africa, with a Parliament having powers to make laws for peace and order and good government in Ireland, and an executive responsible to that Parliament, and shall be styled and known as the Irish Free State.
Article II.—Subject to provisions hereinafter set out, the position of the Irish Free State in relation to the Imperial Parliament, the Government and otherwise shall be that of the Dominion of Canada, and the law, practice and constitutional usage governing the relationship of the Crown or representative of the Crown and the Imperial Parliament to the Dominion of Canada shall govern their relationship to the Irish Free State.
Article III.—A representative of the Crown in Ireland shall be appointed in like manner as the Governor General of Canada and in accordance with the practice observed in making such appointments.
Article IV.—The oath to be taken by the members of the Parliament of the Irish Free State shall be in the following form:
"I do solemnly swear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the Irish Free State as by law established, and that I will be faithful to his Majesty King George V, and his heirs and successors by law, in virtue of the common citizenship of Ireland with Great Britain and her adherence to and membership of the group of nations forming the British Commonwealth of Nations."
Article V.—The Irish Free State shall assume liability for service of the public debt of the United Kingdom as existing at the date thereof and toward the payment of war pensions as existing on that date in such proportion as may be fair and equitable, having regard for any just claims on the part of Ireland by way of set-off or counter-claim, the amount of such sums being determined, in default of agreement, by the arbitration of one or more independent persons being citizens of the British Empire.
Article VI.—Until an arrangement has been made between the British and Irish Governments whereby the Irish Free State undertakes her own coastal defense, defense by sea of Great Britain and Ireland shall be undertaken by his Majesty's imperial forces, but this shall not prevent the construction or maintenance by the Government of the Irish Free State of such vessels as are necessary for the protection of the revenue or the fisheries. The foregoing provisions of this article shall be reviewed at a conference of representatives of the British and Irish Governments to be held at the expiration of five years from the date hereof with a view to the undertaking by Ireland of a share in her own coastal defense.
Article VII.—The Government of the Irish Free State shall afford to his Majesty's imperial force (a) in time of peace such harbor and other facilities as are indicated in the annex hereto, or such other facilities as may from time to time be agreed between the British Government and the Government of the Irish Free State, and (b) in time of war or of strained relations with a foreign power such harbor and other facilities as the British Government may require for the purposes of such defense, as aforesaid.
Article VIII.—With a view to securing observance of the principle of international limitation of armaments, if the Government of the Irish Free State establishes and maintains a military defense force, the establishment thereof shall not exceed in size such proportion of the military establishments maintained in Great Britain as that which the population of Ireland bears to the population of Great Britain.
Article IX.—The ports of Great Britain and the Irish Free State shall be freely open to the ships of the other country on the payment of the customary port and other dues.
Article X.—[This merely provides compensation by Great Britain or Ireland for discharged officials and constabulary.]
Article XI.—Until the expiration of one month from the passing of the Act of Parliament for the ratification of this instrument, the powers of the Parliament and Government of the Irish Free State shall not be exercisable as respects Northern Ireland, and the provisions of the Government of Ireland Act of 1920 shall, so far as they relate to Northern Ireland; remain of full force and effect, and no election shall be held for the return of members to serve in the Parliament of the Irish Free State for the constituencies of Northern Ireland unless a resolution is passed by both houses of Parliament of Northern Ireland in favor of holding such elections before the end of the said month.
Article XII.—If before the expiration of said month an address is presented to his Majesty by both houses of Parliament of Northern Ireland to that effect, the powers of the Parliament and Government of the Irish Free State shall no longer extend to Northern Ireland, and the provisions of the Government of Ireland Act of 1920 (including those relating to the Council of Ireland) shall, so far as they relate to Northern Ireland, continue to be of full force and effect, and this instrument shall have effect, subject to the necessary modifications;
Provided, that if such an address is so presented, a commission consisting of three persons, one to be appointed by the Government of the Irish Free State, one to be appointed by the Government of Northern Ireland, and one, who shall be chairman, to be appointed by the British Government, shall determine in accordance with the wishes of the inhabitants, so far as may be compatible with economic and geographic conditions, the boundaries between Northern Ireland and the rest of Ireland, and for the purposes of the Government of Ireland Act of 1920, and of this instrument the boundary of Northern Ireland shall be such as may be determined by such commission.
Article XIII.—For the purpose of the last foregoing article the powers of the Parliament of Southern Ireland under the Government of Ireland Act of 1920, to elect members of the Council of Ireland, shall after the Parliament of the Irish Free State is constituted, be exercised by that Parliament.
Article XIV.—After the expiration of said month, if no such address as mentioned in Article XII, hereof is presented, the Parliament of the Government of Northern Ireland shall continue to exercise as respects Northern Ireland the powers conferred upon them by the Government of Ireland Act of 1920, but the Parliament of the Government of the Irish Free State shall in Northern Ireland have in relation to matters, in respect of which the Parliament of Northern Ireland has not the power to make laws under that act (including matters which, under said act, are within the jurisdiction of the Council of Ireland), the same powers as in the rest of Ireland, subject to such other provisions as may be agreed to in the manner hereinafter appearing.
Article XV.—At any time after the date hereof the Government of Northern Ireland and the Provisional Government of Southern Ireland, hereinafter constituted, may meet for the purpose of discussing provisions, subject to which the last of the foregoing article is to operate in the event of no such address as is therein mentioned being presented, and those provisions may include: (a) Safeguards with regard to patronage in Northern Ireland; (b) safeguards with regard to the collection of revenue in Northern Ireland; (c) safeguards with regard to import and export duties affecting the trade and industry of Northern Ireland; (d) safeguards for the minorities in Northern Ireland; (e) settlement of financial relations between Northern Ireland and the Irish Free State; (f) establishment and powers of a local militia in Northern Ireland and the relation of the defense forces of the Irish Free State and of Northern Ireland, respectively, and if at any such meeting provisions are agreed to the same shall have effect as if they were included among the provisions subject to which the powers of Parliament and of the Government of the Irish Free State are to be exercisable in Northern Ireland under Article XIV, hereof.
Article XVI.—Neither the Parliament of the Irish Free State nor the Parliament of Southern Ireland shall make any law so as either directly or indirectly to endow any religion, or prohibit or restrict the free exercise thereof, or give any preference or impose any disability on the account of religious belief or religious status, or affect prejudicially the right of any child to attend school receiving public money without attending the religious instruction of the school, or make any discrimination as respects state aid between schools under the management of the different religious denominations, or divert from any religious denomination or any educational institution any of its property except for public utility purposes and on the payment of compensation.
Article XVII.—By way of provisional arrangement for the administration of Southern Ireland during the interval which must elapse between the date hereof and the constitution of a Parliament and a Government of the Irish Free State in accordance therewith, steps shall be taken forthwith for summoning a meeting of the members of Parliament elected for the constituencies in Southern Ireland since the passing of the Government of Ireland Act in 1920 and for constituting a provisional government. And the British Government shall take steps necessary to transfer to such provisional government the powers and machinery requisite for the discharge of its duties, provided that every member of such provisional government shall have signified in writing his or her acceptance of this instrument. But this arrangement shall not continue in force beyond the expiration of twelve months from the date hereof.
Article XVIII.—This instrument shall be submitted forthwith by his Majesty's government for the approval of Parliament and by the Irish signatories to a meeting summoned for the purpose of members elected to sit in the House of Commons of Southern Ireland, and, if approved, it shall be ratified by the necessary legislation.
Signed on behalf of the British delegation: Lloyd George, Austen Chamberlain, Birkenhead, Winston Churchill, Worthington-Evans, Hamar Greenwood, Gordon Hewart.
On behalf of the Irish delegation: Art of Griohhtha (Arthur Griffith), Michael O.O. Sileain (Michael Collins), Riobard Bartun (Robert C. Barton), E.S. Dugan (Eamon J. Duggan), Seorsa Ghabgain Ui Dhubhthaigh (George Gavan Duffy).
Dated the 6th of December, 1921.
An annex is attached to the treaty. Clause 1 specifies that Admiralty property and rights at the dockyard port of Bellehaven are to be retained as at present date and the harbor defenses and facilities for costal defense by air at Queenstown, Belfast, Lough and Loughswilly to remain under British care, provision also being made for oil, fuel and storage.
Clause 2 provides that a convention shall be made between the two governments, to give effect to the following conditions: That submarine cables shall not be landed or wireless stations for communication with places outside of Ireland established, except by agreement with the British Government, that existing cable rights and wireless concessions shall not be withdrawn except by agreement with the British Government, and that the British Government shall be entitled to land additional submarine cables or establish additional wireless stations for communication with places outside of Ireland, that lighthouses, buoys, beacons, etc., shall be maintained by the Irish Government and not be removed or added to except by agreement with the British Government, that war signal stations shall be closed down and left in charge of care and maintenance parties, the government of the Irish Free State being offered the option of taking them over and working them for commercial purposes, subject to Admiralty inspection, and guaranteeing the upkeep of existing telegraphic communication therewith.
Clause 3 provides that a convention shall be made between the two governments for the regulation of civil communication by air.
Egypt Objects to British Terms.—Negotiations in London for the freeing of Egypt along the lines suggested by the Milner Commission, were held up by the refusal of the Egyptian Premier, Sir Adly Yeghen Pasha, to accept the British proposals. The objections were chiefly: (1) That Egypt was not permitted to enter into agreement with foreign nations without British approval; (2) that British troops were not to be confined to the zone of the Suez Canal.
In his report of the negotiations, published in November, the British High Commissioner, Lord Allenby, called attention to the great importance of Egypt on the main line of communications with the East. The immunity of Egypt from the dominant influence of any other great power he therefore declared to be of primary importance to India, Australia, New Zealand, and all other British eastern colonies, affecting the safety of nearly 350,000,000 British subjects.
Anglo-Afghan Treaty.—Negotiations by Sir Henry Dobbs in Kabul, which had continued since January, 1921, were concluded in November by a treaty, signed but not finally ratified, covering the following points:
(1) Britain recognizes the complete independence of Afghanistan. (2) Both countries accept the existing Anglo-Afghan frontiers, and each agrees to notify the other before entering upon military operations necessary for maintaining order among border tribes. (3) There is no mention of the former British subsidy to the Ameer of Afghanistan, but Afghanistan is given the privilege of importing arms and munitions through India without duties or other hindrance. (4) Russian consulates are abolished in the three Afghan districts on the India frontier.
The last point will in some measure protect India against Soviet intrigue, though the Soviet mission remains at Kabul and the Russian subsidy is presumably continued. Together with the recantation of Mahatma Gandhi, the Indian agitator, and the visit of the Prince of Wales, the Afghan pact is expected to lighten British problems in India.
Lord Northcliffe on Australia's Dangers.—"One can almost smell the East on your northern winds, and yet I have met scarcely a score of men and women in Australia with any sense of the imminent danger in which their country stands," declared Lord Northcliffe, the English newspaper owner, in an interview given to the daily press before his departure from Australia. He warned Australia that only numbers could save her.
"This great empty continent is set in a world which (natural) science and engineering make every day smaller. Australia's magnitude and riches and the weakness of its garrison are known to all the overcrowded, ambitious nations in the near north. Probably governments which circumstance may one day make hostile to the Commonwealth, know more about the possibilities of this country as a home for scores of millions of people than is known by most Australians. Australians do not seem properly awake to the fact that they live in an age which has lately proved itself to be not distinguished by respect for international rights. To-day moral right to territory is in itself no right at all. Moral right must be based upon capacity in arms. Among people of relatively equal individual fighting strength, capacity in arms is measured by numbers, and by this standard Australia's present position and immediate future are precarious.
"I am deeply impressed by your magnificent natural riches," continued Lord Northcliffe, "but I leave lovely Australia haunted and saddened by thoughts of your weakness. I am amazed at your indifference to events and portents in the outside world and especially in Asia. Within a fortnight's steam of your Commonwealth you have thousands of millions of people, all of whom are crowded and restless and some of whom are ambitious and powerful. Yet you go about your work and play as though lust for territory had not all down the centuries been the cause of war, and as though the history of the world had not been the story of the overthrow of the weak by the strong."
"The key to your White Australia ideal—the sure parent of all your ideals—is population. You must increase your slender garrison by the multiplication of your people. Only numbers will save you. The world will not tolerate an empty and idle Australia. This continent must, like the other continents, carry its full quota of people and do its full share of production. You must take immigrants—the right kind of immigrants, immigrants not for the towns, but for the empty spaces. You have no option. Tens of millions will come to you whether you wish it or not. You cannot hold up a human flood by a restriction clause in an act of Parliament."
On the one hand there was "the one sure parent of all the future greatness of Australia," immigration, almost entirely neglected; on the other hand the public mind was filled with the proposed convention to consider amendments to the Constitution, with the standardization of the railway gauge, improved communications, the revision of the tariff, a basic wage, fair prices courts, the promotion of state lotteries, and the control of pedestrian traffic in the streets. A bold, constructive immigration policy, establishing within two or three years a flow of at least 100,000 people a year to the Commonwealth, with a rapid increase to 250,000, was urged by Lord Northcliffe, who said that the outstanding facts to-day were: Australia must have the people; the people are available: Australia can absorb and prosper them, and their coming will profit all classes in the country. Immigration was a "nightmare to public men in Australia" only because it was being conducted on tinkering feeble lines.
"What is clearly and urgently needed," Lord Northcliffe sums up, "is a great development scheme, which will insure over, say 25 years:
"1. More work than can be done by workers already in Australia
"2. More land available for settlement by new farmers than can be taken up by land seekers already in Australia;
"3. Greatly increased production, which will mean more work, more prosperity."
Reparations Discussions in London.—The Allied Reparations Commission in November sent a note to the German Government requesting that measures be taken at once to assure the reparations payments due in January and February.
Following the much-discussed visit to London of the German financier Stiness, the former German Reconstruction Minister Herr Rathenau spent several days there in December. It was stated that he had gained no material concessions regarding reparations, but had paved the way for the resumption of banking transactions between England and Germany. A meeting of Allied Premiers for consideration of the reparations question was planned for the near future.
January Payments Assured.—Berlin, December 9.—Germany's reparation riddle is nearing a solution. It is certain tonight that Germany can and will meet the next reparation payment of 500,000,000 gold marks on January 15. Thereby a new factor of stability will have been injected into the critical financial situation.
Germany is still short 270,000,000 gold marks to make up the 500,000,000 of the January quota. In other words the Reichsbank has in hand approximately 230,000,000 gold marks worth of dollars and other foreign exchange available for turning over to the Allies. The Reichsbank must now scratch around to try to raise the balance of 270,000,000 gold marks by January 14, but if the worst came to worst, the Reichsbank could still tap its gold reserve to make the January reparation payments which is thus assured, even if Germany is unsuccessful in floating loans between now and January 15.
While the centre of gravity in the reparation problem still lies in Paris important decisions are shaping here. There is an absolute determination not to fall down on the January and February payments, the determination being inspired by a wholesome fear that the French would seize the opportunity offered by default to occupy the Ruhr region.—N.Y. Times, 10/12.
BALKANS AND NEAR EAST
Protection for Albania.—At the request of Great Britain, the hostilities along the Albanian frontier between Albanian and Jugoslavia were taken up by the Council of the League of Nations as a menace to international peace. At the hearing representatives of both nations pledged their governments to accept and respect the frontier laid down by the Allied Powers. A protocol to this effect was signed on November 18.
British Object to Franco-Turkish Pact.—During November there was further exchange of notes between France and Great Britain regarding the agreement between France and the Turkish Nationalists. The French evacuation of Cilicia, provided for in this agreement, not only opened the right flank of the Greek army to Turkish attack and turned over to the Turks the French materiel and munitions, but also placed the Armenians and Greek Christians of the district at the mercy of the Turks.
In a note dated November 29, the British Government made inquiries regarding the provisions made for protection of minorities in the territory surrendered by France, and signified its intention to send a naval vessel to Mersina for the protection of British residents. Following the interchange of notes there was a prospect that the Near Eastern question would again be taken up by the Allied Powers, with the object of mediating between Greeks and Turks and reaching a general settlement in Asia Minor.
France Against Relations With Soviets.—Paris, France, November 23.—A French note has been sent to London on the subject of Russian pre-war debts. It recalls that France has already explained why it appears to her vain and dangerous to renew relations, even economic, with the Bolsheviki. This attitude is in conformity with that of America as defined in January, 1921.
In Mr. Tchitcherin's note, the recognition of debts is taken as a basis for bargaining and France refuses to admit such a proceeding. Moreover, Mr. Tchitcherin does not speak of war debts, nor of loans to societies whose possessions the Soviets have confiscated. Fundamental guarantees which would justify any kind of recognition of the Moscow Government, are not furnished. Only when they are, can France examine the possibility of pourparlers.—Chris. Sci. Monitor, 23/11.
Aland Islands Division Protested.—Stockholm, Sweden, Nov. 22.—George Tchitcherin, the Soviet Foreign Minister, has addressed a note to Hjalmar Branting, the Swedish Premier, stating that the Soviet Government cannot recognize the agreement of October 20, regarding the Aland Islands as, owing to the importance of the islands to Russia on account of their geographical position, no change in their juridical status can be countenanced.
The note continues that the action of the Swedish Government in taking part in said agreement will be considered a hostile action against Russia's interests.
JAPAN AND FAR EAST
Changes in Government.—On November 12 Baron Koreldyo Takahashi, Minister of Finance in the Hara Cabinet, was named premier to succeed former Premier Hara. Baron Takahashi was a close friend and political adherent if his predecessor, and is one of Japan's most prominent financiers. There were no other cabinet changes, Baron Takahashi retaining his post as Minister of Finance, Uchido of Foreign Affairs, and Kato of the Marine.
On November 25 the Emperor Yoshito of Japan withdrew from official duties owing to protracted illness, and named Crown Prince Hirohito to assume the duties of regent.
Japan and Far Eastern Republic.—Peking, China.—The conference now in session at Dairen between representatives of Japan and of the Chita Government attracts more public interest here than the previous negotiations between Mr. Yourin and the Chinese Foreign Office. It has become known that the most delicate point in the negotiations is the question of the Japanese occupation of Northern Saghalien. Japan bases her extensive occupation of the northern portion of this land upon military necessity growing out of the Nikolaivsk incident. It is understood that the Chita representative is insisting that Japanese occupation preceded that incident and that after it the Japanese extended their authority and seized other valuable assets.
As a matter of fact the wholesale massacre of the Japanese garrison at Nikolaivsk in the spring of 1920 was carried out by an irresponsible mob of aggrieved Russians who found their means of livelihood threatened by the Japanese occupation of the valuable fisheries at the mouth of the Amur river, where Nikolaivsk is located, as well as by the Japanese seizure of all the fishery rights north of Vladivostok.
It is known here that it was not until after the incident that formal possession was taken although previous to it the Japanese had assumed the role of domination. The formal declaration of seizure was followed by the setting up of a Japanese municipality, the changing of the names of the streets to Japanese names, the exploitation of mines and forests and the importation of such a large number of Japanese workmen that it resulted in a congestion of labor. At the time of the occupation Japan announced that its object was to hold the area until Japan's honor and dignity could be satisfied by satisfactory settlement of the Nikolaivsk affair.
When the Chita Government asked that the Japanese troops should be withdrawn from Siberia as a preliminary to the signing of a trade agreement, Japan hesitated to act under a poorly concealed threat. It countered the claim by insisting that the Chita Government should render satisfaction to Japan for the Nikolaivsk incident but Chita replied that its government was not in existence at the time of the Nikolaivsk massacre and that it could not therefore be held responsible for incidents which occurred before its organization. Chita further stated that under no circumstances can consent be given to the occupation or annexation of Russian soil by Japan.—Christian Science Monitor, 25/11.
Guatemala Revolution.—Guatemala City, Guatemala, Dec. 8 (Associated Press).—General Orellana, Chief of Staff of the Guatemalan Army, to-day was elected Provisional President of the Republic to take the place of Carlos Herrera, who was overthrown early in the week.
The National Assembly convened this afternoon, despite the protest of Representative Silva Pera against the constitutionality of such action.
The French, Spanish and Mexican Ministers to-day paid a visit to the de facto Government officials. They then visited former President Herrera and former Minister of Foreign Affairs Luis Aguirre, who are under detention. The de facto Government has promised to treat the prisoners with every consideration and to accord them judicial trials.
Benton McMillin, the American Minister, in an interview to-day, declared that he had declined to join the other ministers in their visit to the de facto government. He added that, according to custom, he would take no steps of any kind toward the de facto Government that might be construed as recognition of it until he was instructed so to do by the government at Washington.
Twenty-five persons were killed inside the city on Tuesday morning during the overthrow of the government. According to an official report, ten of the killed were city police.