chapter  7
17 Pages

The Sanctions Legend 1. Later Versions

NOTWITHSTANDING the facts known at the time, and the views then expressed, the British Government was subjected to a growing volume of criticism, on both sides of the Atlantic, based upon one or the other or both of the two incidents we have been discussing. In regard to the second of them, pride of place must surely go to Mr. Konni Zilliacus (later to be M.P. for Gateshead), one of the most active Left critics of the British Government, whose Inquest on Peace (published under the pen-name “Vigilantes”) was written for the General Election of 1935. His account of the Sino-Japanese dispute, chronologically muddled, and full of inaccuracies and unsubstantiated assertions, contained the following remarkable passage:

Sir John Simon successfully prevented the Assembly in March 1932 adopting a Resolution which would have definitely associated the League with the American policy, adopted in the previous January, of nonrecognition of Japan’s puppet State; this policy had been warmly urged on the League delegates by Mr. Stimson, the United States Secretary of State, who was present in Geneva at the time, ostensibly in connection with the Disarmament Conference. But our Foreign Secretary could not prevent the Assembly laying down the general principle of non-recognition of territorial changes brought about by aggression and treaty-breaking.1