The League of Nations
[Our New. York correspondent sends us this interesting account of the recent meeting of the Institute of Pacific Relations at Kyoto. He was also present at the last meeting in Honolulu in 1927. The "new idea" of which he speaks in the second paragraph is, of course, no other than that of international co-operation which is being put into practice in the day-to-day work at Geneva.—ED.
Spectator.] THE presence of Lord Hailsham and a British delegation containing such personalities as Lionel Curtis, Canon Streeter, Professor Toynbee, Dame Edith Lyttleton and Malcolm MacDonald, son of the Prime Minister, gave unusual dis- tinction to this year's conference of the Institute of Pacific Relations. This followed hard upon the establishment of direct diplomatic relations between Japan and Canada. Australia and New Zealand were there with representative personalities. The League of Nations, France and Russia sent observers. The Philippines came as part of the United States iSip, as did Hawaii. The United States delegation included bankers, educators, publicists and representatives of Labour.
The Institute of Pacific Relations represents a new idea : not to take the management of international relations out of the hands of Governments, but so to aid in the creation of good will among peoples that intervention by Governments will be unnecessary. Governments usually do not act concerning issues between nations until crises arise. The aim of the Institute of Pacific Relations is that, in so far as countries in the Pacific area are concerned, crises shall not emerge. The danger will have been seen from afar off, studied, analysed, resolved into its component parts in an atmosphere of good will, and dispelled before it becomes real.
No one may be a member of the Conference who is an official of the Government of his country. The essential idea is that the Conference is unofficial and binds no one. No member attends as the representative of any organization.• He is invited because of his personal position at home, his competence to discuss international subjects, and his probable value in disseminating at home the results of his impressions. It is of the very essence of the meeting that no resolutions shall be passed, and no attempt be made to formulate agree- ment. The sole effort is to find out what is wrong, upon the assumption that if the fair solution of a problem is made clear, the very fairness of it can be trusted to do its own work. A FRANK DISCUSSION.
This year the outstanding fact was the contact of influential Chinese and Japanese. It was the first time that there had been a frank discussion in Japan of such critical issues as Manchuria, the treaties of 1915, and the Twenty-one Demands. So anxious were the Japanese over the possi- bilities that the Conference merely marked time the first few days talking of cultural matters, the impact of the machine age upon the East, and similar uncontroversial subjects, while the delegates had a chance to get acquainted. And then came the fireworks.
The Japanese delegation was highly distinguished. It was led by Dr. Nazi) Nitobe, sometime Japan's representative at the League of Nations. Assisting him were men like Mr. Matsuaka, formerly Vice-President of the South Man- churian Railway, Baron Sakatani, Minister of Finance during the Russo-Japanese War, and others of equal importance —a delegation of forty.
It was clear at the outset of the Conference that the Chinese came in a rather truculent attitude toward the Japanese. Stimulated by extremists in Nanking and Mukden, many of them evidently felt that here was the opportunity for China to arraign Japan before the public opinion of the world. The Chinese spokesman, Dr. Hsu-Shu-Hsi, author of China and Her Political Entity, did lay before the Conference China's chief grievances against Japan : (1) That Japan should have forced the treaties of 1915 arising out of the Twenty-one Demands ; (2) That Japan maintains military guards along the South Manchurian Railway ; (8) That Japan maintains consular police wherever Japanese interests - are active, even off the line of the railway. Japanese policy was set forth as distinctly imperialistic and unfriendly to China.
The Japanese case was presented with great frankness and reasonableness by Mr. Matsuaka, whose experience placed him in a position to speak as one having authority.
His outstanding utterance was, in substance, this : Japan had saved Manchuria for China. For that effort Japan
obtained the right to operate the South Manchurian Railway, and secured lease of a small part of the Liaotung Peninsula. Japan did not know until the Washington Conference that China had in 1896 made a secret alliance with Russia, virtually against Japan. If Japan had known at Portsmouth of that treaty, Manchuria would have been seized outright. But Japan's attitude toward China is absolutely friendly. Chinese sovereignty over Manchuria is recognized. But Japan has economic rights in Manchuria which must be recognized.
Her existence depends upon them. Besides, Japan cannot
forget the possibility of a Russian menace. " Who knows but what another Li Thing Chang may make another secret
treaty with Russia ? " Until the Russian menace is for ever disposed of, until China is able to maintain peace and order in Manchuria, protecting Japan's economic interests, and the safety of her people there, China cannot but expect Japan to pursue her present policy.
The issue between China and Japan was thus clearly drawn. At one moment the situation was so tense that the Conference seemed about to break up. But here was where the great
prestige and tact of Lord Hailsham brought the whole influence of the Anglo-American atmosphere into action. Influential
members of the Chinese and Japanese delegations began to confer privately, long secret sessions were held and every point discussed to the limit. It was clear that no agreement was possible which could be recommended to the two Governments. But one important result did emerge : several of the Chinese established real friendship with several influential Japanese. Relations of personal confidence developed.
No SEPARATE PACIFIC LEAGUE.
The Chinese found in the Conference as a whole a disposition to be reasonable to both sides. They found in
the Japanese a disposition to keep the door toward reconciliation open. They also found that the Japanese, While perforce standing upon practical considerations, were none the less disposed to consider the emotional reactions of the Chinese. On the last evening of the Conference the Chinese and Japanese delegations dined together alone, sang songs, and played as good fellows together. Here was, indeed, a result worth while. The Conference which had opened in an atmosphere of despair over Sino-Japanese relations ended in an atmosphere of hope.
Next in importance to questions relating to Manchuria came the ever-present problem of extra-territoriality in China. There was no disagreement between anybody that " extra-territoriality " should be abolished. To the criticism that China was the prey of military leaders each seeking to put the other out, one of the Chinese delegates remarked that this was " but an inexperienced method of parliamentary change," and that fundamentals were steadily improving. Then came
the proposal by Prof. Shotwell of a plan which would involve the substitution for extra-territoriality of a system of law administered by a panel of jurists from which judges should be selected by the World Court, the tenure of office of which would also be assured by the same tribunal.
Considerations of Soviet Russia's policy were also involved in the discussion, and much attention was given to the diplomatic machinery for dealing with Pacific problems.
There seemed to be general agreement upon the idea that the utmost possible diplomatic contact with Russia and personal contact with Russians were essential if the
best of understanding were to be promoted. It was likewise quite obviously the general sentiment that there should be
no separate headquarters of or subsidiary organization of the League of Nations in Asia or on the Pacific. Incidentally, there were numerous occasions when delegates from the other
countries pointed out to the United States group the importance to world peace of America's becoming a member
of the League at the earliest possible moment. IVY LEE.