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65 Mr J. A. Lyons, Prime Minister, to Mr S. M. Bruce, High Commissioner in London

Cablegram unnumbered 24 September 1937,

Your telegram of 22nd September, Advisory Committee Sino-Japanese
dispute. [1]

Your proposal made in course of Assembly speech was to my mind a
reasonable and practical proposal to bring about a settlement of
the dispute. It, however, was unfortunately not accepted by the
League, and steps cannot now be retraced as invitations have
already been issued for the League Committee.

As I see it we cannot avoid acceptance of the invitation, and
indeed must indicate our willingness to co-operate in any proposal
advanced because any qualification or reservation of acceptance of
invitation along lines that your proposal would be more
efficacious or that other methods would be more practicable would
tend to bring Committee into disrepute and nullify its efforts at
the outset.

You assume that Italy and Germany will refuse invitation and that
United States will not fully co-operate on ostensible ground that
it is a League Committee but it seems probable to me that first
two Powers would refuse to attend Conference of Powers along lines
of your proposal whether called under aegis of League or by, say,
Great Britain and France, while Japan would certainly reject
either proposal. The Powers calling conference would moreover be
suspect and if any invitations were refused, as is likely, then
Conference probably would be no more productive of concrete
results than League Committee.

In circumstances it is felt you should accept the invitation on
behalf of Commonwealth Government without qualification and act as
its representative unless the situation further develops or new
considerations arise which might necessitate reconsideration of
the whole matter.


1 Document 64.

[AA : A981, CHINA 114, ix]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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