FROM JUNE 4 TO JULY 3
ANTI-WAR TREATY SUBMITTED TO POWERS
Secretary Kellogg’s Note.— On June 24, Secretary Kellogg sent to fourteen governments a revised form of his draft treaty renouncing war as an instrument of national policy. A covering note accompanied it expressing the willingness of the United States to sign the treaty “without qualifications or reservations.” The text of the revised treaty differs but slightly from that originally proposed (published in the July issue of the Proceedings), the only real change being a modification of the preamble to state definitely that “any signatory power which shall hereafter seek to further its national interests by resort to war shall be denied the benefits furnished under this treaty.”
The countries to whom the note was sent were Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Canada, the Irish Free State, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, Belgium, Poland, and Czechoslovakia. Other nations will be free to join. The last favorable reply from the governments named above came from South Africa, which expressed agreement, on the definite conditions that the treaty should not impair the right of self defense, interfere with obligations under the League Covenant, or hold as regards a signatory nation violating its provisions.
In his covering note Secretary Kellogg repeated the interpretation of the treaty which he gave on April 28 before the American Society of International Law. This treated six possible difficulties: (1) Self Defense—this right in no way impaired; (2) The League Covenant—nations not obligated to use force in support of the Covenant without their own consent; (3) Treaties of Locarno—if all parties to the Locarno Treaties became parties also to the Renunciation of War Treaty, then a breach of the Locarno Treaties will also be a breach of the other, and will deprive the treatybreaking nation of any protection under it; (4) Treaties of neutrality—allies of France will be invited to become parties to the new treaty; (5) Relations with a treaty-breaking state—-as a matter of law, violation of the treaty by a member will automatically release all the other members from their obligations to the treaty-breaking state; (6) universality—preferable not to postpone the coming into force of the treaty until all the nations of the world agree.
The covering note added that all the nations to whom the treaty had first been submitted, except France, had replied without the least disapproval of the principle of the treaty, or suggestions for modification of the text. The letter closed with a request that the nations addressed reply stating whether they were willing to sign the treaty in the form presented. The revised paragraphs of the preamble now read as follows:
Deeply sensible of their solemn duty to promote the welfare of mankind;
Persuaded that the time has come when a frank renunciation of war as an instrument of national policy should be made to the end that the peaceful and friendly relations now existing between their peoples may be perpetuated;
Convinced that all changes in their relations with one another should be sought only by pacific means and be the result of a peaceful and orderly process, and that any signatory Power which shall hereafter seek to promote its national interests by resort to war should be denied the benefits furnished by this treaty;
Hopeful that, encouraged By their example, all the other nations of the world will join in this humane endeavor and by adhering to the present treaty as soon as it comes into force bring their peoples within the scope of its beneficent provisions, thus uniting the civilized nations of the world in a common renunciation of war as an instrument of their national policy;
Have decided to conclude a treaty and for that purpose have appointed as their respective Plenipotentiaries. . . . .
New Prayer Book Rejected.—On June 14, by a vote of 266 to 220 the House of Commons again rejected the revised prayer book proposed by leaders of the English Church. The new prayer book is an effort to reconcile by compromise the differences of ritual between High and Low Churchmen which have increased in recent years, and makes some concessions to the High Church party. Like most compromises, it is acceptable to neither extreme. The bill for its adoption was defeated in the commons with the aid of non-Anglicans who feared a drift of the established church toward Roman Catholicism.
ITALY AND THE BALKANS
Violence in Jugoslavia.—Fierce opposition in the Jugoslav Parliament against the government program, and especially against ratification of the Nettuna conventions with Italy, culminated on June 20 when a deputy of the government party named Ratchitch drew a pistol and fired all six rounds into the opposition group, wounding the opposition leader Stefan Raditch and killing his nephew. Four other deputies were wounded. The assassin surrendered to the police. It was believed that the tragedy ended all prospect of ratification of the agreements with Italy.
Mussolini in Pacific Mood.—In a speech before the Italian Senate on June 5, Premier Mussolini made what was described as one of his most sober and pacific addresses. Referring to naturalized Italians in the United States, he recognized that they were foreigners so far as the mother country was concerned. He expressed a desire for an understanding with France, and a sincere wish for peaceful relations with Jugoslavia.
Franc Fixed Near Four Cents.—On June 26 the French Chamber and Senate by large majorities approved the standardizing of the franc at exactly one-fifth its former value, or 3.93 cents, 25.52 to the dollar, and 124.1 to the pound sterling. Prewar investments in government and private securities will be repaid, on this basis, at the rate of four cents for every twenty cents put in. Five and ten franc pieces will be coined which will correspond in value to the old pieces of one and two francs. Although the Poincare cabinet was somewhat divided over the stabilization issue, it has thus far remained unchanged since the election of last May.
New Cabinet.—Following the resignation of the Marx Cabinet on June 12, Hermann Mueller, leader of the German Socialists, was appointed chancellor with the task of organizing a new ministry based on a coalition of the Socialists with the Democrats, Centrists, and German and Bavarian People’s parties. Dr. Stresemann remained in charge of foreign affairs. Considerable difficulty was experienced by Chancellor Mueller in building his new cabinet, but he was aided by a message on June 25 from Dr. Stresemann strongly supporting the “Big Coalition” indicated above. The cabinet was to be one of “dominant personalities” rather than of men strictly representing their parties.
Germany Can Make War Payments. —In a report on June 7 Agent General Parker Gilbert made the definite statement that there could be no question of the ability of Germany to make the required payments under the Dawes Plan for the fiscal year beginning September 1. The payment for next year amounts to 2,500,000,000 marks, an increase of 750,000,000 over this year. The agent general repeated his appeal for a final definition of Germany’s total reparations liabilities by mutual agreement, “as soon as circumstances should make it possible.”
LEAGUE COUNCIL SESSION
Lithuania Defies Council.—Neither a sharp scolding from Foreign Minister Chamberlain nor appeals from other council members, .at the fiftieth session of the Council in the first week of June, could persuade Premier Augustin Voldemaras, of Lithuania, to speed the process of making peace with Poland. Nothing toward this end has been accomplished since the Council brought Premier Voldemaras and Marshal Pilsudski together last December and made them shake hands. Finally, and as usual, an extension of time was granted for the two nations to come to terms. In his remarks to the Lithuanian Premier, Foreign Minister Chamberlain chided him for trading on the sympathies of the major powers, and called upon him not to throw that sympathy away. He declared the naming of Vilna as the capital of Lithuania, in the new Constitution, “an act of ill will and provocation.”
Other Work of Council.—At the fiftieth session of the Council the long standing dispute between Hungary and Rumania over land in Rumania taken from Hungarian owners was at last removed from the Council calendar. No settlement was reached, but the Council contented itself with a final recommendation that the two countries come to an agreement along lines suggested by the council.
The Council also went ahead with plans for an independent League of Nations radio station at Geneva, to insure immediate notice of ruptures anywhere in Europe.
UNITED STATES AND LATIN AMERICA
Arbitration Conference Called.— Following out a resolution adopted at the Havana Conference last February, Secretary Kellogg on June 20 issued a call for a conference of delegates from the twenty- one American republics to meet in Washington on December 10 for the purpose of drawing up a convention for obligatory arbitration of their international differences of a juridical character. Each nation was asked to send two delegates with the usual staff of experts. Secretary Kellogg and ex-Secretary Hughes were named as the United States representatives.
The resolution of the Havana Conference under which the present conference is called is the one containing the now familiar clause, “Whereas the American republics desire to express that they condemn war as an instrument of national policy in their mutual relations ”
Son Succeeds Chang Tso-lin.—Although not officially announced until June 21, it became definitely known considerably earlier that Chang Tso-lin, long-time dictator of Manchuria and leader of the Northern opposition to the Nationalists, had been killed when his train was wrecked by a bomb on June 4 as it crossed a bridge near Mukden. Responsibility for the bombing was not fixed, but Chinese leaders in Manchuria were inclined to accuse the Japanese of connivance, since the railway line was guarded by Japanese troops. General Chang Hsueh-liang, son of Chang Tso-lin and a capable youth of twenty-seven years, on June 19 assumed his father’s powers as governor of Fengtien and Manchurian dictator. The Japanese accepted this arrangement, although it was believed that they were dissatisfied over their relations with the elder Chang, and would hesitate to shift their support to his son, especially if he should fail to come to terms with the southern Nationalists.
In his statement of policy Chang declared that he would welcome foreign capital in Manchuria, but foreign corporations must agree on half Chinese control. His aims included abolition of unequal treaties and negotiations with the Nationalists for a peaceful settlement.
Japanese Policy.—In view of improved conditions in the Yangste Valley the Japanese Government on June 21 ordered the withdrawal of twenty-seven destroyers and two cruisers sent there in May. Other signs indicated that the Nanking and Tokio Governments were inclined to come to amicable terms, and that, for the present at least, as Foreign Minister Wang stated, Nanking would recognize the special position of Japan in Manchuria.
The Tokio Foreign Office in June took pains to deny a widespread report that Tsingtan and Tsinan-fu were to be placed under foreign administration like Shanghai. The fact remained, however, that Japanese military occupation of these cities and the railway line between had placed them for the time being outside Nationalist control, and freed them from the burdensome taxation imposed elsewhere. Abolition of nine classes of illegal taxes was announced at Tsingtau on May 30 by the government organized there by the Chinese Chamber of Commerce.
As for Manchuria, Vice-President Matsuka of the Southern Manchuria railway, in an interview published in the New York Times of June 17, said, "Call it a protectorate if you like, there must be peace in Manchuria at any cost and Japan will fight to prevent Southern military operations in the province.” Manchuria, he added, was Japan’s first line of defense.
Peking Held by Nationalists.—After having been occupied for several days by only a small protectionary force of 1,200 Northern troops, Peking was quietly taken over by the Nationalists on June 8. According to arrangements made among themselves by the Nationalist leaders, the entering troops were from Shansi province under the “model governor,” Yen Hsi-shan, who was appointed Defense Commissioner of Peking and entered the city on June 11.
At the request of the foreign diplomatic corps at Peking, the protectionary troops were given a safe conduct through the Nationalist lines, but through some misunderstanding they were halted after their departure from Peking by troops of Feng Yu- hsiang, forced to return to Peking, and there disarmed. This occasioned a protest from the dean of the Peking diplomats, and apologies from Nanking.
It was generally believed that the Nationalists would favor shifting the capital from Peking to Nanking and early in June there were reports of the transfer of the Directorate of Posts and the Salt Administration to the southern capital.
Clash Over Tientsin.—Tientsin fell peacefully under control of the Nationalists on June 12, the evacuation of Northerners and entry of Southern troops being effected without disorder, while by mutual agreement 3,000 Shansi men out of uniform policed the city. On the night of June 13, however, there was a good deal of disorder and looting in the native city, and on June 14 there was a fight between the Shansi police and a band of 400 Northerners who broke loose in the central railway station. Order was restored on June 15 upon the arrival of 10,000 reinforcements from Peking.
Demand Exit of Foreign Troops.—On June 11, it was announced by the Nanking official news agency that the Nanking Government had prepared a manifesto calling upon all the treaty powers to withdraw their military forces from Chinese territory, on the ground that fighting was over, the reconstruction period begun, and that its effective carrying out required not only the removal of foreign troops but the revision of treaties. Similar requests were made in a note to United States Minister MacMur- ray, made public June 6.
Declaring the military phase of the revolution ended, and his services no longer needed, General Chang Kai-shek, Chairman of the Nationalist Military Council and leader of the Southern forces, resigned from his military duties on June 10. Rumors at the time attributed his withdrawal to difficulties with General Feng Yu-hsiang, who was believed to be gaining ascendancy in Nationalist Councils. Dr. C. T. Wang, who took control of Foreign Affairs on June 11, was spoken of as Feng’s appointee.
An Asiatic Cordon.—The following explanation of present Soviet policy in Asia appeared in a dispatch from Walter Duranty to the New York Times of June 22:
At last there has come forth an explanation of the motives underlying the Afghan King’s journey in relation to the Soviet Union and the two other “Eastern limit ropes,” Persia and Turkey. An editorial in Isvestia, organ of the Soviet Government, reveals the secret (perhaps more openly than was intended) in a couple of phrases.
The Soviet has succeeded, says the writer, in establishing a vertical line of connection between it and each of these three States, and now has supplemented that by a horizontal line linking the three States together with a network of guarantee compacts, non-aggression treaties, and cooperation treaties. During Amanullah’s visit to Moscow, while the British press was filled with rumors about an alleged Soviet project for a Russo- Afghan treaty of alliance, dispatches to the New York Times emphasized that the real Soviet desire was first to coordinate the interrelations of Russia’s three smaller neighbors, and then regulate relations with them on a uniform basis. Bilateral treaties just signed at Teheran and Angora with the Afghans show that the first stage of this far-sighted policy has been accomplished. As the matter now stands the Soviet has lined up three countries which form a buffer between British and Russian possessions on the one hand and a barrier between the British Mediterranean and India on the other into a new Asiatic bloc, which is the basis of Tchitcherin’s policy under the slogan “Asia for the Asiatics.”
That policy, it must be remembered, had a startling success in China until vitiated by the ignorant and hot-headed meddling of the Third International, which, as often has been stated, had no connection with the Soviet Government.