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60 Mr M. MacDonald, U.K. Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs, to Mr J. A. Lyons, Prime Minister

Circular Dispatch B94 LONDON, 24 August 1937

With reference to my Confidential Circular despatch B No. 79 of
the 23rd July [1], I have the honour to transmit the accompanying
copy of a despatch to His Majesty's Representative at Tokyo,
Washington and Peking reporting upon a further conversation with a
representative of the United States Embassy in London, in regard
to the proposals for a Pacific non-aggression pact.

2. In this connection I also enclose a copy of a despatch from His
Majesty's Representative at Tokyo on the subject. [2]


1 Document 56.

2 Not printed. It was on the Davis proposal for neutralisation of
the Pacific, not the Lyons Pacific Pact proposal.


Viscount Halifax, U.K. Acting Secretary of State for Foreign
Affairs, to U.K. Representatives at Tokyo, Washington, Peking

Dispatch 400, 770, 460 resp. LONDON, 11 August 1937

With reference to the Secretary of State's despatch NO.

302/540/313 of the 19th June [1], I desire to inform Your
Excellency/you that Mr Herschel Johnson [2] of the United States
Embassy called on Sir Robert Vansittart [3]to continue the
conversation which Sir Alexander Cadogan had with Mr Ray Atherton
on the 16th June [4] on the subject of a non-aggression pact for
the Pacific area. He informed Sir Robert that he had been
authorised to convey the views of his government on the matter to
him informally and orally.

2. He said that the ideas underlying the proposed pact as outlined
to Mr Atherton by Sir Alexander Cadogan, would appear to include
the principles both of a nine-power pact of non-aggression in the
Pacific containing a consultative provision and providing for the
outlawing of war, and an extension of the present four-power
treaty [5] between the United States, Great Britain, France and
Japan, relating to their insular possessions in the Pacific. In
the absence of information to the contrary, the Department of
State would assume that these ideas still formed the basis of the
pact which His Majesty's Government have under consideration.

3. Mr Johnson said that the State Department concurred in the view
that in any such pact the attitude of the Japanese Government
constituted the most vital factor. They thought that as His
Majesty's Government had the matter under consideration and in
view of the projected Anglo-Japanese conversations, it would be
best for those two governments to continue their discussions until
they reached some conclusion without any expression from the
United States Government of their views on the subject. The
Japanese would thus not be given the impression that there was any
form of collusion between the British and United States
Governments in the matter. In view of the wellknown opinions of
the United States Government on the subject of peace and political
and economic stabilisation, it would appear most useful for that
government to adopt a watchful attitude, without as yet expressing
any views on the question. When His Majesty's Government had
ascertained the Japanese views on the proposed Pacific pact and
had communicated them to the Department of State, the Department
would probably be able to give His Majesty's Government an
indication of its views on the matter.

4. The views of the Department as above outlined were, said Mr
Johnson, based on a desire not to obstruct and be as helpful as
practicable toward furthering principles of policy in which the
United States Government believed and which they constantly sought
to have translated into practice.

5. A despatch in similar terms is being addressed to His Majesty's
Representatives at Washington and Peking/Peking and
Tokyo/Washington and Tokyo.

(for Lord Halifax)

[AA : A981, PACIFIC 23]

1 Not printed. It surnmarised the conversation between Cadogan and
Atherton referred to below.

2 Counsellor, U.S. Embassy in London.

3 Permanent Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.

4 See enclosure to Document 56.

5 See Document 33, note 9.

[AA : A981, PACIFIC 23]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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