chapter  8
23 Pages

Shanghai and Sanctions—1 1. In the House of Commons

AS in the 1931 phase, so in the first three months of 1932, the proceedings in the House of Commons relative to the Far East present superficially a striking contrast to the treatment of the matter in the Press. Whereas events at Shanghai were “front page news” for more than a fortnight, and editorial comments were frequent (almost daily in the Manchester Guardian and the Times), there was no major debate in the House of Commons devoted wholly to the Far East. But that way of putting it is rather misleading. When the House of Commons met on February 2nd, five days after the initial Japanese attack on Chapei, the Leader of the Opposition asked for a debate, which the Prime Minister urged would be most inopportune. At the close of questions, Lansbury attempted in vain to secure leave to adjourn the House under Standing Order No. 8. Although he then gave notice of his intention to raise the question on the adjournment of the House that night, he did not do so; and the next day explained that he had refrained “in deference to a special request” made by the Prime Minister.1