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103 Mr S. M. Bruce, High Commissioner in London, to Prime Minister's Department

Cablegram unnumbered BRUSSELS, 12 November 1937, 10.02 p.m.

MOST SECRET

Japanese reply [1] has been fully considered in private
discussions to-day between the United Kingdom, United States,
France and the Dominions.

The probable procedure when the Conference meets tomorrow at the
morning meeting will be speeches by the United Kingdom, United
States and France which will be given to the Press stressing the
importance of rules of law in international relations and peaceful
methods of settling disputes, and deploring the Japanese action as
a blow to these principles. The Italian attitude uncertain, but
probably out of line with the rest of the Conference. After these
speeches an attempt will be made to obtain the agreement of the
Conference to a Press communique refuting certain contentions of
Japan, embodying some points from the speeches and indicating an
adjournment for a week to enable the Governments to consider and
consult with regard to the situation created by the Japanese
reply.

1 The Japanese reply was presented to the Brussels Conference in a
memorandum dated 12 November 1937, which stated in part:

'The Imperial Government adheres strictly to the view that its
present action, being one of self defence and forced upon Japan by
the challenge of China, lies outside the scope of the Nine-Power
Treaty. It is certainly impossible for it to accept an invitation
to a conference convened in accordance with the stipulations of
the treaty, after Japan has been accused of having violated its
terms.'
For the full text of this note see Keesing's Contemporary
Archives, 1937-40, 2817F.

[AA : A981, CHINA 116] BRUCE
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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