26 DECEMBER 1931, Page 3

A Bargain Denied In the article he contributed to the

Spectator last week on the Manchurian question M. William Martin observed that " it appears that Great Britain and the United States at the time of the London Naval Conference promised Japan to leave her hands free in Manchuria in exchange for a reduction of her fleet." M. Martin is much too responsible a journalist to make that charge in anything but complete good faith, and as it has appeared in at least one foreign paper it is as well that it should have been repeated in this country, where its accuracy could be tested. Inquiries made in authoritative official quarters have in fact elicited an unequivocal denial. There is, according to the Foreign Oflice, no ground whatever for the suggestion that such a compact, formal or informal, was ever made. Investigations in less official but equally well-informed circles yield the same result.