September 18. A section of the South Manchurian railway north of Mukden dynamited.

"According to the Chinese version, the Japanese attack on the Barracks (Peitaying} was entirely unprovoked and came as a complete surprise. On the night of September 18th, all the soldiers of the 7th Brigade, numbering about 10,000, were in the North Barracks. As instructions had been received . . . that special care was to be taken to avoid any clash with the Japanese troops in the tense state of feeling existing at the time, the sentries at the walls of the Barracks were only armed with dummy rifles. . ." League of Nations, Appeal by the Chinese Government: Report of the Commission of Enquiry, October 1, 1932, p. 69.

"An explosion undoubtedly occurred on or near the railroad between 10 and 10:30 p.m. on September 18th, but the damage, if any, to the railroad did not in fact prevent the punctual arrival of the south-bound train from Changchun, and was not in itself sufficient to justify military action. The military operations of the Japanese troops during this night, . . . cannot be regarded as measures of legitimate self-defence . . ." [Opinion of Com- mission of Enquiry.] Ibid., p. 71. ,

". . . a detachment of Chinese troops destroyed the tracks. of the South Manchuria Railway in the vicinity of Mukden and attacked our railway guards at midnight on September 18; a clash between the Japanese and Chinese troops then took place." [Statement by the Japanese Government, ,Sept. 24, 1931.] Doc. Int. Affairs, 1932, p. 245.

September 19. Mukden and Changchun bombed and occupied by the Japanese. ("According to all information available to me here; I am driven to the conclusion that the forceful occupation of all strategic points in South Manchuria, including the taking over and operation of public utilities, banks, and in Mukden at least the functions of civil government, is an aggressive act by Japan apparently long planned and when decided upon most carefully and systematically put into effect. I find no evidence that these events were the result of accident nor were they the acts of minor and irresponsible officials." Telegram from U. S. Minister in China, Johnson, Sept. 22, 1931, Japan, vol. J, p. 5.) ". . . the Japanese troops, since the beginning of the present events, have been careful to act only within the limits necessary to ensure their own safety, the protection of the railway, and the safety of Japanese nationals . . . only a few troops are, as a precautionary measure, quartered in the town of Mukden and at Kirin, and a small number of soldiers have been placed at certain points. . . . The Japanese forces are being withdrawn to the fullest extent which is at present allowed by the maintenance of the safety of Japanese nationals and the protection of the railway." [Reply of the Japanese Government, Sept. 24, 1931.] Ibid., pp. 244-245.



EVENTS LEADING UP TO WORLD WAR II                                  5


September 21. England and India went off the gold standard. (Insubordination in the Atlantic fleet Sept. 15 over proposed naval pay cuts led to withdrawal of funds by foreigners; caused suspension of the export of gold, Sept. 20; on advice of the Bank of England. Survey 1931, p. 110; flight from the pound sterling. Ibid.,  p. 123.)

China appealed to the League of Nations Council. (". . . beginning from ten o'clock of the night of September 18, regular troops of Japanese soldiers, without provocation of any kind, opened rifle and artillery fire upon Chinese soldiers at or near the city of Mukden, bombarded the arsenal and barracks of the Chinese soldiers, set fire to the ammunition depot, disarmed the Chinese troops in Changchun, Kwanchengtse, and other places, and later took military occupation of the, cities of Mukden and Antung and other places and of public buildings therein, and are now in such occupation. Lines of communication have also been seized by Japanese troops. . . . In view of the foregoing facts, the Republic of China, a member of the League of Nations, asserts that a situation has arisen which calls for action under the terms of Article 11 of the Covenant." [Appeal of the Chinese Government to the League Council, Sept. 21, 1931.] Doc. Int. Affairs 1932, p. 242.)

September 22. Export of gold suspended in Denmark. (Denmark was peculiarly susceptible to a fall in sterling exchange because it had deliberately and systematically organized its national economic life to supply dairy products to Great Britain. Survey 1931, p. 121.)

Secretary of State Stimson told Japan Manchurian coup raised question of the Nine Power Treaty and the Kellogg Pact.   (Japan, vol. I, pp. 5-8; Survey 1931, p.484. Cf. Peace, p. 156.)

September 23. Secretary of State Stimson opposed a League Commission of Inquiry for the Manchurian incident. (Ambassador Katouji Debuchi had convinced him that any pressure would only weaken the civilians in the Japanese cabinet. Fleming, p. 398,)

Secretary of State Stimson expressed sympathy with the League effort in the Manchurian matter. (The League Council had sent minutes of its meeting and documents relating to the matter for the information of the United States in accordance with its resolution of September 22, 1931. Doc. Int. Affairs 1932, p. ,247.)

September 24. The United States sent notes to China and Japan about Manchurian incident, ("In view of the sincere desire of the people of this country that principles and methods of peace shall prevail in international relations, and of the existence of treaties, to several of which the United States is a party, the provisions of which are intended to regulate the adjustment of controversies between nations without resort to use of force, the American government feels warranted in expressing to the Chinese and the Japanese Governments its hope that they will cause their military forces to refrain from any further hostilities, will so dis-

6                      EVENTS LEADING UP TO WORLD WAR II


pose respectively of their armed forces as to satisfy the requirements of international law and international agreements, and will refrain from activities which may prejudice the attainment by amicable methods of an adjustment of their differences." Japan, Vol. I, p. 9.)

September 24. Secretary of State Stimson authorized Consul Prentiss Gilbert to sit with the League Council in a consultative capacity. (Fleming, p. 403)

Bolivia abandoned gold standard, and Colombia prohibited export of gold. (Repercussion of British action, Sept. 21, supra. Survey 1931, p. 121.)


September 25. Argentina went off gold basis to a dollar basis. (See Sept. 24, supra.)


September 27. Norway and Sweden abandoned gold standard, and export of gold from Egypt prohibited. (See Sept. 24, supra; also ". . . since Great Britain stopped its gold export, extraordinary demands for gold and foreign gold values were made on the Bank of Sweden, and it was found necessary to take the above mentioned measures. The reasons for the decision are only the abnormal financial situation in the world. . . ." State Release 1931, No. 105, p. 268.)


September 29. Denmark went off gold standard. (". . . due to pressure from agriculturists and to the decision of Norway and Sweden. . . ." Ibid., p. 262.)


September 30. League Council passed resolution noting Japanese intention of withdrawal of its troops as rapidly as possible and disclaimer of territorial designs in Manchuria. (To put Japanese protestations on record. Japan, vol. I, p. 13.)


October 1. China asked Council members to send observers to Manchuria. (To collect information on evacuation and relevant circumstances. Survey 1931, p. 487.)


October 5. China asked withdrawal of Japanese troops before the next Council meeting. (See Oct. 1, supra.)


October 7. Finland forbade purchase of foreign exchange except authorized by Bank of Finland. ("With a view to the maintenance of the gold standard and the stabilization of the mark." State Release 1931, No. 106, p. 286.)


October 9. The United States urged the League "to assert all pressure and authority within its competence toward regulating the action of China and Japan," and said it "acting independently through its diplomatic representatives will endeavor to reinforce what the League does. . . . (To "avoid any danger of embarrassing the League in the course to which it is now committed." Fleming, p. 401; Doc. Int. Affairs 1932, p. 249; State Release 1931, No. 107, p. 296. Cf. Peace, p. 158.)


EVENTS LEADING UP TO WORLD WAR II                                  7


October 9. Japan rejected Chinese request of Oct. 5 and asked direct negotiation on fundamental points; protested anti-Japanese movement in China. (Boycott was not spontaneous but "instrument of national policy under direction of Nationalist Party, which, in view of peculiar political organization in China, is inseparable in function from government." Survey 1931, p, 488.)

China asked immediate Council meeting. (In view of "serious information regarding further aggressive military operations upon the part of Japanese armed forces in Manchuria." Ibid., p. 488.)

Latvia concentrated all foreign exchange transactions in the Bank of Latvia. (See Oct. 7, supra, ibid., p. 293.)


October 10. United. States made oral representations to Japan and China urging pacific policy and utmost restraint in keeping with League resolution of September 30. Concern was expressed over bombing of Chinchow by Japanese. Japan, vol. I, pp. 18-20. Survey, 1931, p. 489.


October 11. Secretary of State Stimson protested to Japanese. (He was disturbed that their commitments of the League resolution of Sept, 30 were not being carried out. See Oct. 10, supra., also their explanation of Chinchow bombing was quite inadequate. Fleming, p. 402.)


October 13. Finland abandoned the gold standard. (See Sept. 24, supra.)


October 15. Japan objected to invitation to American representative to attend Council meetings on the Manchurian matter. (On legal grounds: that only members of the League could sit with the Council on matters affecting their interests; that nonmembers could sit with the Council on matters in which they had a direct interest only under Art. 17; that the interest of the League as a whole in the preservation of peace was not an interest peculiar to any member, much less a non-member; that if the United States sat as a signatory to the Kellogg Pact, there were other signatories; that to extend such an invitation required a unanimous vote. Survey 1931, p. 491; Japan feared the political effect of a united front of opposition. Fleming, p. 403; Japan, vol. I, p.20.)


October 16. League Council invited the United States "to be associated with our efforts by sending a representative to sit at the Council table so as to be in a position to express an opinion as to how, either in view of the present situation or of its future development, effect can best be given to the provisions of the Pact." (The Manchurian question concerned the fulfillment of obligations of the Pact of Paris and "Foremost among the signatories . . . appear the United States." State Release 1931, No. 107, p. 297.)

Consul Prentiss Gilbert attended as official United States representative to "participate in your [Council] discussions in so far as the Pact of Paris . . . is concerned." (Statement of American Consul at Geneva. Ibid., p. 298.)


8                      EVENTS LEADING UP TO WORLD WAR II


October 17. Most of League Council members sent identic notes to China and Japan invoking the Kellogg Pact. Fleming, p. 404.)


October 19. Canada licensed export of gold. (Canadian dollar depreciated heavily on New York exchange. Survey 1931, p.234.)


October 20. The United States invoked the Kellogg Pact because of Japanese invasion of Manchuria. (After Britain, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain had done so. State Release 1931, No. 108, pp. 352 f. See. Oct. 17, supra, "A threat of war, wherever it may arise, is of profound concern , to the whole world . . ." Peace, p. 159.)


October 24. League Council invoked Art. 10 of the Covenant, to apply to the Manchurian situation. (Because Japan would not accept a draft resolution setting a definite date for troop withdrawal and explain "the fundamental principles governing normal relations" which she wished to discuss with China previously. Survey 1931, pp. 495 f.)


November 4-6. Japanese battled for Nonni River Bridge. (It had been destroyed in a Chinese civil war and was important strategically and economically; Japanese protection had been sought by Japanese management during repairs. Fleming, p. 407.)


November 5. Secretary of State Stimson sent note to Japan urging, peaceful solution of Manchurian issue in spirit of Council resolutions. (America "noted with regret and concern" Japan's desire to settle broader matters before troop withdrawal. Fleming, p.406. Cf. Japan, Vol. I, p. 35.)


November 11. Secretary. of State Stimson asked General Charles G. Dawes, American Ambassador to Britain, to go to Paris during League Council meeting. ("Inasmuch as this meeting will consider the present situation in Manchuria and questions may arise which will affect the interests or treaty obligations of the United States . . . he will be in a position to confer with the representatives of the other nations present in Paris in case such conference should seem desirable." State Release 1931, No. 111; p.452.)


November 12. Japanese sent ultimatum to General Ma Chan-shan to begin to withdraw from Tsitsihar by Nov. 15 and disperse his forces. (To bring about the overthrow of Ma in Heilungklang. Survey 1931, pp. 450-453.)


November 19. Japan occupied Tsitsihar. (As "purely defensive" action "aimed. at striking a decisive blow against the Ma Chan-shan army." Fleming, p. 409. Cf. Japan, Vol. I,  pp. 44 f.)


November 21. Japan proposed the League send a commission of inquiry to Manchuria. (Japan thought it would give a clear view of the "realities" in Manchuria and China and hoped commission could be induced to approve the Japanese occupation. Fleming, p. 411.)


EVENTS LEADING UP TO WORLD WAR II                                  9


November 24. Japan assured America there was nothing in report of Japanese advance on Chinchow. ("The Foreign Secretary, the Secretary of War, and the Chief of Staff were all of them agreed there should be no hostile operations toward Chinchow and that military orders to that effect had been issued." [Statement by the Secretary of State.] State Release 1931, No. 113, p. 503.)


November 25. Secretary of State Stimson approved idea of neutral commission for Manchuria. (To support the Council action. Survey 1931, p. 505.)

China appealed for establishment of neutral zone between Japanese and Chinese forces. (Japanese were advancing on Chinchow. Fleming, p. 409.)


November 26. Council notified China and Japan that Council members proposed to send observers to Chinchow area. (To establish a neutral zone, Ibid., p. 410, See Nov. 25, supra.)


November 27. Japan refused to accept the good offices of neutral observers to establish zone between the opposing armies. ("The policy which the Japanese Government had so far consistently pursued in the true interest of good relations between China and Japan had been not to resort, in disputes capable of direct settlement with China, to the interposition of third parties." Survey 1931, p. 457)


November 28. Japanese troops withdrew from Chinchow. (To await adjournment of the League Council. Fleming, p. 410.)


December 10. League Council voted commission of inquiry for Manchurian affair. ("Desiring, in view of the special circumstances of the case; to contribute towards a final and fundamental solution by the two governments of the questions at issue between them . . ." Doc. Int. Affairs 1932, p. 259.)

Secretary of State Stimson issued statement expressing gratification of the United States Government. Japan, vol. I, p. 60.


December 11. Britain passed the Statute of Westminster regularizing the legal position of the self-governing dominions. (Practical application of the report of the Imperial Conference of 1926 stating that the United Kingdom and the dominions "are autonomous communities within the British Empire, equal in status, in no way subordinate one to another in any aspect of their domestic or external affairs, though united by a common allegiance to the Crown, and freely associated as members of the British Commonwealth of Nations." 22 Geo. 5, C. 4.)

Fall of Japanese Cabinet. (Revival of movement for a super-party cabinet; incumbent cabinet fatally compromised by its inveterate liberalism and no longer able to justify itself in hostile public eye as buffer between League Council and Japanese high command. Survey 1931, p. 459.)


10                    EVENTS LEADING UP TO WORLD WAR II



December 13. New Seiyukai Cabinet prohibited export of gold from Japan. (Vote of censure, on policy of Japanese Arm. Ibid., p.459.)

Japan suspended the gold standard. (Because of the weakness of her balance of payments, the depreciation of the pound sterling and the rupee, which seriously handicapped her in some of her most important overseas markets; and because of the direct injury to her trade through the Manchurian incident, and the fears of investors as to the political and economic future of the country . . . Ibid., p. 236.)


December 15. General Chiang Kai-shek resigned as President of Nanking Government. ("But realizing . . . that a successful safeguard against foreign invasion depends upon the cessation of civil trouble and the unification of the country, I decided temporarily to leave my duties. . . . I therefore request the Central Government to accept my resignation from my offices so as to enhance the realization of unification and accomplish the purpose of national salvation. . . ." [Circular telegram of Chiang, Kai-shek.] State Release 1931, No. 116, p. 585.)

Canton leaders planned to go to Nanking. (". . . so that a National Government might be established at an early date for the solution of the national crisis." [Statement from Shanghai.] Ibid., p. 586.)


December 21. "Large scale anti-bandit operations" begun by Japanese in Manchuria. (Ultimatum announced to force Chinese from Chinchow. Survey 1931, p. 460. Cf. Japan, Vol. I, p. 71.)


December 24. Britain, France, and America protested Japanese military moves. (No evidence of any offensive intent on part of Chinese there. Fleming, p. 421; Survey 1931, p.460. Cf. Japan, Vol. I, pp. 66, 69.)


December 28. New national government formed in China. (All members of the old Nanking government resigned Sept. 22. Survey 1931, p. 416.)