"Facing the New Pacific"
COLLECTIVE SECURITY ONLY GUARANTY AGAINST AGGRESSION
By HON. WALTER NASH, Minister of New Zealand
Delivered before the Foreign Policy Association, Boston, Mass., October 17, 1942
Vital Speeches of the Day, Vol. IX, pp. 176-182.
I SUPPOSE that long before this war most people in your country—and in mine—were vaguely conscious of the fact that during the last ten years or more there had been unleashed in that region we have thought of somewhat remotely as the Far East, forces which were bound to have the most profound repercussions throughout the Pacific and indeed throughout the world. Yet, if you had suggested to the average person back in 1931 that an incident atMukden was the opening stage of a second world war, a war in which British—American—Chinese—Russian—the people of every free nation—would be fighting desperately for their very existence, such a suggestion would have been facetiously or scornfully dismissed. If, back in 1937, you had told a countryman of mine that New Zealand's destiny was being fought out on the battlefields of China the odds are that he would not have been the least impressed. If, at any time up to December 7, 1941, you had ventured the opinion that the United States was in imminent danger of an attack against its most strongly fortified and heavily defended outpost, your opinion, in all probability, would have been received with derision. If, early in 1942, you had ventured to suggest that Hongkong and Singapore, Burma and the whole of the Netherlands Indies were in imminent and deadly peril, the chances are that you would have been criticised as an alarmist and your warning as mere defeatism.
There were indeed a few bold spirits in this country—in mine and in others—who did make such suggestions—who did express such opinions—who did utter such warnings. But we did not heed them in time. We did not make due allowance for the strength and the cleverness of our enemies. We did not appreciate sufficiently the calibre of our adversary. We did not properly understand the essential character of Japanese imperialism—its inherent causes—its insatiable ambition. We thought, perhaps, we might stall aggression by appeasement. And so when war flared up in the Pacific we were not by any means prepared for the immense responsibilities suddenly thrust upon us. We were one and all preoccupied with commitments elsewhere—in Europe—in the Middle East—in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. When I say "we" I am not referring to the United States or to New Zealand, or to any one country. I am referring rather to the attitudes and the policies with respect to the Far East which were typical in a general way of all the countries now known as the United Nations. We know now that mistakes—tragic mistakes—were made and that there are none of us who can avoid some measure of responsibility. It may be worthwhile, however, recalling for a moment or two, the foreign policy which New Zealand pursued (insofar as the term "foreign policy" can be applied to the external affairs of a small nation) during the years since 1936 when Japan was steadily preparing the vast Pacific offensive to which, as we now know, her present rulers are irrevocably committed. If, in the days before Munich, the attitude of the New Zealand Government on specific issues, differed from that of other Governments, it was simply because New Zealand firmly believed that for small and relatively defenceless nations collective security through the full and effective application of the League Covenant offered the best and only guarantee against aggression. If New Zealand opposed the policy of appeasement as it was pursued at the expense of Abyssinia—of Austria—of Albania—of Spain—of Czechoslovakia—of China—this was not done exclusively out of sympathy for the victims—though sympathy and moral indignation were by no means lacking—but because of a deep conviction that, in a shrinking world, the march of fascism, unless quickly checked, threatened to overwhelm the freedoms and the way of life to which New Zealanders are jealously attached. Mistakes were, no doubt, made; but it is true, nevertheless, that as early as 1936, New Zealand imposed an embargo on the export of scrap iron to Japan. It is true that at Geneva and elsewhere she gave her strong and unequivocal support to the appeals made by Abyssinia and Spain and China for enforcement of the covenant.
It is true that as late as May 1939, New Zealand formed one-half of a minority of two which favoured the principleof collective aid to China in her resistance to Japan and that still later in 1940, she protested vigorously at the closing of the Burma Road.
It is true, also, that as early as April, 1939, New Zealand was instrumental in arranging a Pacific Defence Conference at which important decisions were made for the strengthening of British defences in the Pacific Area in anticipation of early trouble with Japan. I might add, too, that from the moment war broke out in Europe, New Zealand's whole defence policy proceeded on the assumption that Japan would inevitably come in.
I have mentioned these facts not in any spirit of commendation of New Zealand's past actions and policies—her voice, of course, has been a very small voice in the councils of the nations. I mention them to illustrate this point—that small nations, equally with big nations, may often have something to say that is worth listening to—worth paying attention to—even, perhaps worth acting on. I believe these small voices—and there are many besides New Zealand—may well express useful ideas—progressive trends of thought that will prove valuable in the task of reconstruction which lies ahead. The magnitude of the task will be such as to tax the capacity and the ingenuity of the wisest leaders. Neither Britain nor America, or any other great Power, can claim a monopoly of wisdom and inspired leadership. New Zealand and Australia, China and India, the Philippines and the Netherlands, will each have a significant contribution to make and their contributions will be very much needed when the time comes for facing the problems of a "New Pacific."
There was for a time a tendency to look on the Pacific in this war as of rather secondary importance; but we quickly learnt that this was a dangerous attitude—that even if the war cannot be won in the Pacific, failure to halt the onrush of Japanese aggression would seriously weaken the Allies capacity to wage a successful offensive in other vital theatres—that failure to stem the Japanese would inevitably mean prolonging the conflict indefinitely. During the past months, therefore, the Pacific Front has come to assume its proper perspective from the point of United Nations' strategy. Truly amazing progress has been made in building up the reserves of manpower, naval and air forces in Australia—in New Zealand—in New Guinea—the Solomons—New Caledonia—Fiji and the other island outposts from which a gathering offensive is now fast taking shape. The record of successful action, beginning with the battle of the Coral Sea, is evidence of the determination with which the war against Japan is being prosecuted. But though we have cause for satisfaction with our achievements during these months, we have no cause whatever for complacency. The situation is still most critical. There is a long road ahead before we can say that the tide has definitely turned.
While our attention must continue to be focused on the Pacific theatre, it would be wrong to assume that we can risk any slackening of our efforts on other fronts. However vital the Pacific may be from the point of view of global strategy, the fact remains, and will always remain, that the prime object of this war must be to strike at the heart of the Axis powers and that heart is undoubtedly located in Berlin. Hitler, without the Japanese, might still manage to pull his chestnuts out of the fire if we failed to act with sufficient vigor where we can do him most damage. But it is extremely doubtful whether the Japanese without Hitler could ever achieve any permanent success, although let me again affirm they could do irreparable harm and add enormously to the price which United Nations would ultimately have to pay for total victory.
It is well to remember then that the Pacific area hasplayed a bigger role in the last ten years than is often realised. It was in Manchuria, in 1931, that the present war really started. It was in China that the first massive resistance to the Axis powers got under way. It was at Pearl Harbour and not on the continent of Europe that the first blow was struck against American forces. It is in the Solomons today that some of the most vigorous and important fighting has taken place—even though difficulties of supply and communication impose severe limitations on its scope and extent. It is in the Pacific, moreover, that forces are now at work, particularly in China and in India which are calculated to bring about political and economic changes of immense significance in the post-war world. Insofar as one can make any kind of predictions it seems safe to prophesy that both China and India, although the latter's development will necessarily be slower, are destined to emerge from this war assuming an Allied victory, as new world powers united politically and of imposing economic strength.
When one takes into consideration also the speed with which Canada and Australia are becoming powerful industrial nations, the impact which the war has had on New Zealand's economy, the new economic relationships which the United States is rapidly acquiring with the other countries of the Pacific area, the accelerated national aims and aspirations of the people of Southeast Asia, the inevitable far-reaching changes in status and economic control over rich, colonial territories—when all these considerations are reckoned with, it is evident that in the Pacific, more perhaps than anywhere else, this war is going to bring great transformations. It is going to bring also a lot of headaches for the Governments and peoples of the United Nations whose responsibility it will be to guide and control the conflicting forces that have been unloosed. It will be their responsibility to see that the New Pacific is patterned according to the promises we have given and the principles we uphold. If words mean anything we must first consider the statement made by President Roosevelt in his message to Congress on January 6, 1941*, outlining four essential HUMAN FREEDOMS which he suggested we should seek to make secure:
The first is freedom of speech and expression—everywhere in the world.
The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way—everywhere in the world.
The third is freedom from want—which, translated into terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peace-time life for its inhabitants, everywhere in the world.
The fourth is freedom from fear—which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbour—anywhere in the world. We, then, ask ourselves, what is this New Pacific to be?; but before we can decide very much we should turn our attention for a moment from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean and consider an event which took place there just over a year ago.
On the 14th of August, 1941, President Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, after consultation with the Governments of the British Commonwealth, issued the following statement:
"The President of the United States and the Prime Minister (Mr. Churchill), representing His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom, being met together, deem it right to make known certain common principles, in the national policies of their respective countries on which they base their hopes for a better future for the world.
1. Their countries seek no aggrandisement, territorial or other.
2. They desire to see no territorial changes that do not accord with the freely expressed wishes of the people concerned.
3. They respect the right of all peoples to choose the form of Government under which they will live; and they wish to see sovereign rights and self-government restored to those who have been forcibly deprived of them.
4. They will endeavor, with due respect for their existing obligations, to further enjoyment by all States, great or small, victor or vanquished, of access, on equal terms, to the trade and to the raw materials of the world, which are needed for their economic prosperity.
5. They desire to bring about the fullest collaboration between all nations in the economic field, with the object of securing for all improved labour standards, economic advancement and social security.
6. After the final destruction of Nazi tyranny, they hope to see established a peace which will afford to all nations the means of dwelling in safety within their own boundaries, and which will afford assurance that all the men in all the lands may live out their lives in freedom from fear and want.
7. Such a peace should enable all men to traverse the high seas and oceans without hindrance.
8. They believe all of the nations of the world, for realistic as well as spiritual reasons, must come to the abandonment of the use of force. Since no future peace can be maintained if land, sea, or air armaments continue to be employed by nations which threaten, or may threaten, aggression outside of their frontiers, they believe, pending the establishment of a wider and permanent system of general security, that the disarmament of such nations is essential. They will likewise aid and encourage all other practicable measures which will lighten for peace-loving peoples the crushing burden of armament.
You would not think it possible that people would disagree as to the meaning of that one word "Atlantic", but we all know that disagreement exists. It turns on the question—Is this charter called an "Atlantic Charter" because it is to apply primarily to the nations situated on continents whose shores are washed by the Atlantic Ocean, or does it mean simply that it is a charter affecting the whole course of the war and of the post-war world which was signed in the Atlantic?
To my mind there is no doubt about this issue. I have always interpreted the term "Atlantic" to signify the place where the charter was drawn up and signed and from where it was issued. This interpretation is supported by the statement made by Mr. Sumner Welles on May 30th last at Arlington, when he said:** "The principles of the Atlantic Charter must be guaranteed to the world as a whole—in all oceans and all continents." Indeed, one proof that limitations with regard to the Atlantic Charter cannot be sustained—is that the word "all" appears eight times in the Charter itself.
That, I think, should in general dispose of the demand for a Pacific Charter. We have one already—in the Atlantic for, if you prefer it, the Seven Seas and Seven Continents Charter.
Let us, therefore, with our minds made up that the Atlantic Charter does apply universally turn once more to the Pacific. For if we are agreed that this Charter has this Universal application we can go straight towards the problem of the post-war Pacific with, as it were, a compass in our hands to guide us through its difficulties. We can take this vast area, section by section, and see just how the principles of the charter should be applied there. This, to my mind, is what "Facing the New Pacific" means to-day.
Obviously, the principles of the charter which matter most in the Pacific area are Numbers 2—no territorial change without the peoples' consent, 3—peoples' right to choose their own government, 4—right to raw materials, and 5—right to social security—in other words, those principles aiming at providing people with independence, freedom and self-development. It is in terms of these principles that the future must be discussed—the future of our great ally China—of the Philippines—of the brave peoples of the Dutch East Indies—and even, I believe, of the peoples of Japan once Japanese militarism has been exterminated and she has given guarantees of her future peaceful intentions.
I do not, however, suggest that it would be either practical or wise to lay down now in any specific form the boundaries or the forms of government that are to operate throughout our new Pacific. That is a thing which must wait for the day of victory. But we can agree now on the lines along which those decisions are to be made. And one of the first things which we must in all honesty admit, or we will get nowhere with any reasonable solution of the problem, is that there cannot be any rigid uniformity in either forms of political and economic structure or methods of Government and administration; nor, in fact, should we attempt to secure anything even approximating uniformity. That does not mean there should not be the same goal for everyone. We must all strive—and we must assist every nation in the Pacific to strive—towards the goal laid down in the Atlantic Charter; but it is obvious that some countries are far more advanced than others—some will require a much greater degree of assistance in money, technical advice and education, than others. But there should be no exploitation of the people themselves or exploitation which greatly diminishes their resources.
Let us just look for one moment at the main countries with which those who plan this new Pacific will have to deal—
There is, first of all, the Eastern Provinces of the U.S.S.R., with a population (in 1939) of 16,500,000 people living under a communist form of government and controlled ultimately from remote Moscow.
Then Manchuria with a population (in 1939) including the area known as the Kwantung Leased Territory of 40,725,000, all overwhelmingly Chinese—growing immense quantities of grain, soya beans, millet, maize, cotton, hemp and tobacco. Manchuria, as you know has been controlled by Japan since 1932 as a puppet state under the Japanese given title of Manchukuo.
There is Japan itself, claiming a population of 105 millions in different parts of the world—of which 73 millions are in Japan proper—inhabiting the string of rich, volcanic islands where a modern, highly developed, though lopsided, industrial economy has been superimposed upon a medieval, feudal social structure;—a police state where the mass of the people are without political or judicial rights and where power is concentrated in the hands of military, financial ruling class endeavoring to stave off a radical solution of their own social maladjustments by a policy of permanent aggression. This after the war will be a new Japan, damaged and wounded by our victory.
There are territories at present under Japan whose fate would immediately have to be determined by any Peace Conference. I refer, in the first place, to Korea seized bythe Japanese from China in 1910, with a population of some 22 millions, who are to-day calling for self-government,—a fertile soil and many minerals, Korea is one of the most vulnerable of all Japan's territories. A long peninsula thrust out from China towards Japan it has been called a dagger pointed at Japan's heart.
There is also Formosa with a population of 5 1/2 millions—that great island off the Chinese Coast ceded by China to Japan in 1895 when China was still weak and divided and Japan already aggressive and expanding. Again with a population basically Chinese, the country has immense rice fields and is the principal source of the world's hemp supplies.
There is the immense country of China with a total area of approximately 4,300,000 square miles, and a phenomenal total population of 450,000,000 people, including outer Mongolia and Tibet. China, who has been at war with Japan since July 7, 1937, has written in the past five years its own claim to national independence and to a leading role in the New Pacific.
There is French Indo-China comprising Cochin China and the four Protectorates of Cambodia, Annam, Tonkin and Laos, with a population of 23,000,000 with great natural wealth and a strategic position, the value of which has been clearly realized by both ourselves and the Japanese in the bitter events of this year. It is, in effect, a French Colony with a French imposed city civilization, though the population is fundamentally Chinese.
From Indo-China we pass to the great areas of British Malaya, now under Japanese control, with a population of some 5,000,000. Here we find a variety of political organizations ranging from semi-independent States, like Johore ruled previously by native rulers with British advice, to British Colonies like the Straits Settlement. Of the natural wealth of this area, particularly rubber, oil and tin, I need say nothing. We know what is there only too well by what we have lost.
Then there is the so-called independent country of Thailand at war, since December 27, 1941, with Britain and U.S.A. Thailand has a population of some 15,000,000 closely allied to the Chinese in character, and, again, is a country of immense resources.
There are the Philippines with a native born population in 1940 close to 16,000,000. They had, of course, until the Japanese invasion, Commonwealth status with full local autonomy granted by the United States to the Philippines Government—a sort of Dominion status inside American influence.
Further to the South comes that great ring of islands— The Netherlands East Indies—a total area of 730,000 square miles with a population estimated at 53,000,000 people of whom more than 97% are native born.
These islands, though essentially a colony of the Dutch Government, have been steadily developing toward a degree of self-government and were in the process of acquiring a further substantial measure of autonomy at the time of the Japanese attack.
The people in the Indies—natives as well as Dutch—as foreign Minister Van Kleffens has pointed out, "succeeded remarkably well in looking after their own public affairs after the German invasion of the Netherlands had cut them off from the mother Country."
In 1941, the Queen herself announced that further constitutional reforms would be brought about as soon as possible.
Still further South there is, of course, Australia with its population of 7,000,000—New Zealand with its population of 1,640,000—and the multitudinous islands of thePacific ranging from New Guinea with a population of 500,000—Papua with a population of 280,000—Hawaii with a population close to 500,000—Fiji with a population of 200,000—the Marshal and Caroline Islands, now Japanese territories, population 120,000—down to tiny islands with populations mounting to only a few thousand.
One has only to glance at the different types of political organizations at present ruling in these islands to realise the complexity of the problem. They range from Mandated territories to Protectorates—to territories constitutionally part of the U.S.A.—colonial dependencies—areas under Free French jurisdiction—the Condominium of the New Hebrides, etc., etc., and that is only what we might call the Western Pacific.
On the Eastern side of the Pacific we have Alaska—Canada—U.S.A.—Mexico—Guatamala—El Salvador—Nicaragua—Costa Rica—Panama—Columbia—Equador—Peru—Chili—all with interests—economic or strategic—in the future of this vast area.
The problem, however, simplifies itself considerably if we look closely not at the numbers and divergencies which separate these countries but at the common goal we want them all to march towards. Without committing ourselves at this stage to any detailed scheme of post-war reconstruction in the Pacific we can at least make a start by agreeing on certain basic principles as determining our future policies towards the people and territories of this area. I suggest that the ideals implicit in the Atlantic Charter—the freedom and the security for which we are striving—will be realised, and will only be realised, if we are ready here and now to work towards the following objectives:
1. The re-establishment and general observance in the future of the rule of law. This will mean:—
(a) That territory, property and concessions acquired by force must be given up—that troops must be withdrawn from areas where they are illegally operating—that puppet governments must be abolished.
(b) That every government must guarantee the observance of constitutional rights to its citizens—there must be an end to Gestapo rule—to arbitrary arrest and intimidation. A bill of rights must be guaranteed to every one.
(c) That restraints on its absolute sovereignty must be accepted by every nation—state—particularly restraints on the right of so-called sovereign states to judge their own controversies and to arm without limit.
2. Acceptance of the principle of equality as between one nation and another and between one person and another irrespective of colour, race or creed. This means:—
(a) The termination as rapidly as possible of such privileges as extra-territorial jurisdictions, concessions, leaseholds, protectorates, etc., as legacies of the old "imperialist" or "exploitation" idea which can have no place in the modern world of national sentiment and economic interdependence.
(b) The gradual abolition of unreasonable discrimination against the migrants, commerce and treaty relations of certain Far Eastern countries insofar as such discriminations are inconsistent with those general principles of equity and reciprocity that we have agreed must prevail.
3. Recognition of the need for a change in the status and principles governing the control of colonial and semi-colonial territories. This means:—
(a) Equality of opportunity and equal access to the raw material resources of these areas.
(b) The creation of new machinery and methods for their administration in a spirit of trusteeship with a view to the well-being, education and development of the nativeinhabitants and their training in every possible way for the responsibilities of self-governments
4. Recognition of the fact that there are certain fundamental rights which must be guaranteed to every individual. This means:—
(a) That every person of every country is entitled to the freedom that comes from such inalienable rights as the right to say and think and express himself as he pleases, subject, only, to those legal limitations that operate within a constitutional democracy—the right to worship as he pleases—the right to combine in trade unions or other associations.
(b) That these fundamental individual rights must be guaranteed regardless of the particular form of government that may operate and that in the interests of world peace such guarantee must be an international collective responsibility.
5. The adoption by every nation of an economic policy which will serve both nationally and internationally to lift the living standards of those whose standards are unduly depressed with the object of achieving the maximum measure of economic equality and social justice between person and person and between nation and nation. This means:—
(a) That there can be no return to the philosophy of rugged individualism but that economic effort in future must be consciously guided to serve the highest ends of human welfare.
(b) That those nations who are more advanced in a material sense must be prepared to contribute generously in aiding the industrial development of the more "backward" nations, irrespective of the prospects of any immediate financial reward.
(c) That the first charge on goods and services produced must be the care of those who for any reason are unable to make proper provision for themselves—the old, and the young—the sick and the ailing—and, above all, those who have helped to fight and win the war and who have suffered in so doing. That after these charges have been met, those who render useful service are entitled to the full fruits of their labours.
6. The establishment of some form of international authority with subsidiary regional authorities with the power and the means at their disposal to facilitate the progressive realisation of these objectives and to enforce collective guarantees. This means:—
(a) That many of the principles and procedures accepted by the United Nations as essential for a total war effort—including particularly Lend-Lease and the pooling and allocation of combined production and resources, will need to be carried on into the era of peace.
(b) That some kind of World Reconstruction and Development Council will need to be established with subsidiary regional machinery charged with giving effect to measures for maximising the production of essential commodities and services and the assignment of materials, equipment and technical assistance to those countries whose need is greatest.
(c) That the aggressor nations must be completely and immediately disarmed once they have been defeated.
(d) That effective machinery must be created as soon as possible for international arbitration and for the application of collective economic sanctions, backed by an international police force for the purpose of restraining and, if necessary, forcibly resisting any future threat to the world's peace.
(e) That whatever international or regional authorities are created will be responsible for enforcing the guarantees
I have suggested as essential for a stable and expanding world society—namely, strict observance of:—
1. The Rule of Law.
2. The Principle of Equal Right to Develop and Progress.
3. The Trusteeship Control of "dependent" areas.
4. The Fundamental Rights of individuals.
5. The Shaping of Economic Policies to offer greater social security and a better life for all people.
I have laid down here merely general objectives that I believe we must always keep in view. I have not the time nor do I believe the time is yet ripe to make them more specific although that time is steadily approaching. While it is no use our saying in detail at this stage that we shall do this or we shall do that, we can at least start thinking and planning and preparing now for some of the problems which have already emerged and which we know will be there to challenge us immediately the war has finished. Let us, for example, consider for a moment what will be the position in three main areas of the Pacific assuming an Allied victory.
In China there will be an immense task of reconstruction which will more than tax the resources of the Chinese people themselves—devastated as their country will be after long years of continuous and bitter fighting. It will be a task towards the fulfillment of which every United Nation must be ready to make the fullest contribution. The fact, however, that China today is a new China with a political unity, a national spirit, a reformed and modernized economic structure, firmly launched upon a policy of social betterment to be pursued by democratic methods—these facts in themselves will greatly facilitate the work of reconstruction. Moreover, we all have a vital interest in aiding and in encouraging China along the paths of peaceful development for the simple reason that a strong, united progressive and democratic Chinese Republic will be the safest possible guarantee of the future peace and stability of the Pacific area.
I am happy to be able to say that China is one country in respect of which the declarations of the Atlantic Charter have been fully and unconditionally acted upon. As you very well know, the United States and the United Kingdom Governments on October 9 jointly announced their readiness to give up extra-territorial rights and privileges—relics of an outworn Imperialism—which have been enjoyed by these two Governments for nearly one hundred years. The continued existence of these privileges in the case of a country who has such a magnificent record of resistance to Axis aggression was clearly a complete anomaly and one which if our protestations meant anything at all had to be rectified at the first practicable moment. But there is another aspect to this declaration by Britain and the U.S.A. which is even more important. It represents a practical demonstration, which we hope will not pass unnoticed by other Asiatic peoples, that it is the sincere intention of the United Nations to afford to all peoples the freedom and independence they have been promised as rapidly as the circumstances of the war permit.
Clearly the attitude and views of our principal fighting ally in the Far East are of the greatest importance, not only in relation to the conduct of the war, but even more so, when it comes to a post-war settlement for the Far East. China's aspirations will command ready sympathy but it is well to realise that they may also raise considerations which will not admit of any simple straight-forward adjustment. There can be little doubt, however, that China's role in the affairs of East Asia is destined to be a tremendously influential and, therefore, tremendously responsible one by virtue of her own strength and potentialities and of the close relations she has long maintained with all neighbouring countries and the large number of her nationals resident throughout the Far East.
Perhaps the biggest single problem that will confront us will be that of deciding what is to be done about Japan once she is defeated and destroyed as a military power and a menace to her neighbours. We may take it as axiomatic, of course, that Japan must be completely disarmed—that the power and the influence of her militaristic rulers must be broken and broken permanently—that the possibility of further aggression must be effectively prevented—that she should make due recompense—insofar as this is economically feasible for the great harm she has done to China and the other areas which have suffered from her ruthless occupation. But the question still remains—"What role is Japan to play in the new Pacific—What further conditions should be required of her?".
There is what I consider an excellent reply to this question in an article which appeared in a recent issue of the Far Eastern Survey. The views expressed by the author of this article, who it seems to me goes right to the crux of the problem, may be summed up as follows:—
"It can reasonably be assumed that disarmament coupled with economic factors, will promptly cut down the enormous personnel, vast patronage and commanding political and financial influence which the militarists have gradually built up. Moreover, they will have lost special domains in Manchuria and Formosa where they have ruled longer and more completely than in Tokyo. If the disarmament of Japan is accomplished by due minimum of international policing at key points of the approaches to Japan, forces of occupation and interference with her internal affairs should be unnecessary during the formative years of new relationships.
But if Japan is not to be coerced in her internal organisation, how is control to pass from the present rulers to a better group? That must be primarily a Japanese procedure. The solution of their own internal maladjustments is and can be carried out only by the Japanese themselves; and perhaps they may manage it better than we think.
But the United Nations might well assist by challenging the Japanese people to claim economic opportunity and a prospective share in regional and world organisation—provided such claims are validated by their inaugurating a constitution and a Government programme which would be convincing evidence that military rulers no longer controlled the State, nor could easily regain control; that economic effort would be directed toward broadening internal welfare in a developed home market; that policies of education and information would be compatible with international peace.
The desideratum is a Japan no longer a menace to her neighbours and to world peace, devoting to the welfare of her people the skills and resources recently consumed in aggressive pursuit of power; contributing to intenational order and to the world's economic and cultural life.
In endorsing these views, I am not for a moment suggesting that Japan should be relieved of the obligation which she must be compelled to meet of making just retribution for the crimes she has committed—for the cruelty she has inflicted on innocent people. The guilty men of Japan with the guilty men of Europe cannot and should not escape the just wrath which will descend upon them. But we can be firm and just without being vindictive—without being vicious. Wanton destruction—excessive privation—economic strangulation—these should have no place in our post-war relations with a Japan defeated and disarmed. No permanent peace and stable international order can be built on such a basis. We must avoid past mistakes. We mustrealise that the problem of redefining our relationship to the new Japan—of permitting her to assume her rightful place in the new Pacific—will present difficulties enough without our adding to them needlessly.
When we turn from China and Japan to consider the third main area of Far Eastern conflict—that huge conglomeration of continental territories, island masses and scattered atolls—from Indo-China to Singapore—from the Philippines to the Indies—from Timor to the Solomons—it is then that the problems of the new Pacific are revealed in all their complexity.
Are French interests in Indo-China to be respected? What of Thailand's future? Are the Netherlands Indies ready to assume a fuller measure of autonomy? What charges will be necessary in the mandate system with reference particularly to the Japanese and Australian mandated territory in this area? How are we to avoid the dangerous instability that might so easily arise if the effect of our reconstruction policy in this area was merely to create a kind of Balkanized East Asia? To what extent should independence be combined with federation? What specific guarantees will be needed to ensure equal access to the rich resources of territories that hitherto have been the exclusive preserves of colonial powers? How are the interests of more "backward" peoples to be safe-guarded and their development cooperatively aided?
Sooner or later—and it is to be hoped sooner than later—we will be compelled to find answers to these questions and many others. All I intend to say, for the moment, is that our broad policy must be determined in accordance with the principles of the Atlantic Charter and the specific objectives I have given. That policy I would define here as independence wherever possible and where full independence is not yet possible, trusteeship with an education policy which will enable the native inhabitants ultimately to take over the government of their own areas at the first possible opportunity. That first possible opportunity may not come for some time but it must be the objective at which we aim.
I have not the time here to go into the possible ways in which the trusteeship should be applied in dependent areas and who should have the right to carry out that trusteeship, or, rather, who should have the duty of carrying out that trusteeship. All we can do now is to lay down the principle and lay down the lines along which that trusteeship principle must work. There must be the fullest possible development of all natural resources not to provide wealth for a few but the best possible standard of living for all.
There must be no qualifications to this rule. I do not say that everyone should have the same real income. A South Sea Islander could not absorb at once the same standard of living as we have here to-day but I do say that we who already have a good standard of living should endeavour, rather than improve our own, to raise that of those on the lower levels. If we refuse to do so—the penalty will be another war, perhaps within another generation.
There will always be, I know, that group which hides its selfishness under the cloak of "realism"—who will decry this principle of trusteeship as academic and impracticable. But it is a principle which many men and women are already putting into very effective practice. Look, for a moment, at the case of a man from the country which I represent—New Zealand. I refer to Rewi Alley. He is, as many of you no doubt know, a New Zealander who, for the past fifteen years, has been head of the Chinese Industrial Cooperatives. Under his leadership, countless small workshops have been set up in the interior of China, working not for profit but on a cooperative basis. Not only are these workshops maintaining today tens of thousands of Chinese refugee families—they are providing essential materials of war for the armies of Chiang Kai-shek. Alley is a straight forward New Zealander whose mind was filled with the horror of destruction in the last war in which he fought as a private in the New Zealand Division in France. He has been labouring ever since then at this work of construction and he has done this in China with no thought of personal monetary rewards—asking instead the satisfaction of seeing something worthwhile created rather than destroyed. I believe that when this war ends, countless men of the mentality of Rewi Alley will pour out from the armed forces asking only for that type of work. They will provide the type of new director and educator who will come forward to build up in these countries of the Pacific that kind of expanding and developing civilisation which is not only desirable from the moral and physical standpoint, but which is essential if we are all to travel together along the road we have set our feet upon. It is essential if we are to divert the energies of mankind from finding expression in the struggle of one man against another—of one country against another—into a struggle of all men against nature for the purpose of securing a fuller and a better life. For that alone can entitle us to say with honesty that we are really Facing the New Pacific and not simply allowing the war to drift on and finish some day finding us unprepared to build any real civilisation from the ruins of the present.
* Vital Speeches, January 15, 1941, Vol. 7, No. 7.
** Vital Speeches, June 15, 1942, Vol. 8, No. 17.