26 NOVEMBER 1937, Page 1

Brussels and the Far East The Far Eastern Conference in

Brussels has come to an end without being able to exert any influence on the course of events in the Far East ; and the opposition of Dr. Wellington Koo, the Chinese delegate, could not prevent the adoption of the non-committal declaration that was finnlly agreed on. The failure is due above all to the reluctance of either Great Britain or the United States to take any step in advance of each other, and this difficulty was increased by the pressure of isolationist sentiment at home upon President Roosevelt. His Chicago speech, with its denuncia- tion of international law-breakers, aroused hopes, however slight, which the President cannot fulfil. Some further excuse, perhaps, can be found in the possibility of mediation which is left to the members of the Conference. There are several indications that Japan will be willing to accept media- tion by Great Britain and the United States, with a preference probably for the latter ; such willingness would certainly not have survived an attitude of uncompromising hostility at Brussels or an offer of aid to China. And whatever the course of the war, the situation in Shanghai already appears to invite diplomatic intervention by Great Britain or the United States, as their support will be needed if the Muni- cipal Council of the International Settlement is to resist excessive demands put forward by the Japanese Consul- General.