12 DECEMBER 1931, Page 2

The League and Manchuria The League of Nations Council, in

the absence of some eleventh-hour hitch, will by this time have ended this phase of its labours regarding Manchuria by adopting a resolution from which every word that might cause the smallest discomfort to Japan has been excised. The only action to be taken is the despatch to Manchuria of a commission of League observers, and much more stress is laid on what the commission may not do than on what it may. A commission composed of men determined to make the most of their opportunities will no doubt find some useful service to perform, but it is necessary to observe that China asked for the appointment of such a commission on September 22nd, and that it has taken two months and a half to decide to send it ; that the valuable and necessary expedient of the delimitation of a neutral zone between the armies has been abandoned owing to Japanese objections ; and that since, on September 22nd, the Chinese delegate appealed for the restoration of the status quo, ante, and Lord Cecil insisted that the Japanese troops outside the railway zone ought to be withdrawn without delay, Japan has sytematically placed all but a small corner of Manchuria under military occupation. The adjournment of Parliament will unfortunately prevent the handling of the Manchurian question by the League Council from being discussed as it should he in the House of Commons. It may still be necessary to return to it in February.