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Press Releases, vol. XVII, p. 399

 

Declaration Adopted by the Conference at Brussels On November 24, 1937 [36a]

 

The Nine Power Treaty is a conspicuous example of numerous international instruments by which the nations of the world enunciate certain principles and accept certain self denunciatory rules in their conduct with each other solemnly undertaking to respect the sovereignty of other nations, to refrain from seeking political or economic domination of other nations, and to abstain from interference in their internal affairs.

These international instruments constitute a framework within which international security and international peace are intended to be safeguarded without resort to arms and within which international relationships should subsist on the basis of mutual trust, good will and beneficial trade and financial relations.

It must be recognized that whenever armed force is employed in disregard of these principles the whole structure of international relations based upon the safeguards provided by treaties is disturbed. Nations are then compelled to seek security in ever in creasing armaments. There is created everywhere a feeling of uncertainty and insecurity. The validity of these principles cannot be destroyed by force, their universal applicability cannot be denied and indispensability to civilization and progress cannot be gainsaid.

It was in accordance with these principles that this Conference I was called in Brussels for the purpose, as set forth in the terms of I the invitation issued by the Belgian Government "of examining in conformity with article seven of the Nine Power Treaty, the situation in the Far East and of studying peaceable means of hastening an end of the regrettable conflict which prevails there."

Since its opening session on November 3rd the Conference has continuously striven to promote conciliation and has endeavored to secure the cooperation of the Japanese Government in the hope ofarresting hostilities and bringing about a settlement.

 

[36a] Other documents relating to the proceedings are contained in Department of State Conference Series 37 (pub. 1232), The Conference of Brussels, November 3-24, 1937, Convened in Virtue of Article 7 of the Nine-Power Treaty of Washington of 1922 (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1938).

 

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DOCUMENTS

 

The Conference is convinced that force can provide not just and lasting solution for disputes between nations. It continues to believe that it would be to the immediate and the ultimate interest of both parties to the present dispute to avail themselves of the assistance of others in an effort to bring hostilities to an early end as a necessary preliminary to the achievement of a general and lasting settlement. It further believes that a satisfactory settlement cannot be achieved by direct negotiation between the parties to the conflict alone and that only by consultation with other powers principally concerned can there be achieved an agreement the terms of which will be just, generally acceptable and likely to endure.

This Conference strongly reaffirms the principles of the Nine Power Treaty as being among the basic principles which are essential to world peace and orderly progressive development of national and international life.

The Conference believes that a prompt suspension of hostilities in the Far East would be in the best interests not only of China and Japan but of all nations. With each day's continuance of the conflict the loss in lives and property increases and the ultimate solution of the conflict becomes more difficult.

The Conference therefore strongly urges that hostilities be suspended and resort be had to peaceful processes.

The Conference believes that no possible step to bring about by peaceful processes a just settlement of the conflict should be overlooked or omitted.

In order to allow time for participating governments to exchange views and further explore all peaceful methods by which a just settlement of the dispute may be attained consistently with the principles of the Nine Power Treaty and in conformity with the objectives of that treaty the Conference deems it advisable temporarily to suspend its sittings. The conflict in the Far East remains, however, a matter of concern to all of the powers assembled at Brusselsóby virtue of commitments in the Nine Power Treaty or of special interest in the Far Eastóand especially to those most immediately and directly affected by conditions and events in the Far East. Those of them that are parties to the Nine Power Treaty have expressly adopted a policy designed to stabilize conditions in the Far East and, to that end, are bound by the provisions of that treaty, outstanding among which are those of articles 1 and 7.

The Conference will be called together again whenever its chairman or any two of its members shall have reported that they consider that its deliberations can be advantageously resumed.

 

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