The Consul General at Geneva ( Tittmann ) to the Secretary of State
[Received January 16, 1940.]
Sir: I have the honor to submit as a matter of record the following report of a declaration made by the Chinese delegate at a private meeting of the Council of the League of Nations on December 14:
Mr. Wellington Koo recalled that he had intended to make a declaration on the situation of his country. He had to call attention to the fact that the armed aggression against China, which had begun in 1931 and in 1937 had assumed the character of a war of invasion, continued to rage in all its brutality. The Council had dealt with the problem at each of its sessions during the last two and a half years. Since its last session, the fighting had withdrawn from the coastal regions towards the interior, thus favoring the Chinese resistance. The morale of the Japanese forces was not, moreover, any longer so high, and the Chinese armies had achieved real successes. Japan had also continued to prejudice foreign interests, to such an extent that the United States had been obliged to denounce their commercial treaty with that country. In order to defend the principles of civilization, [Page 348] China would, as soon as a favorable moment arrived, ask the Council to take the necessary steps to adjust the situation. China considered, therefore, that the Council remained seized of the Chinese Government’s appeal. The President of the Council, Mr. Costa du Rels (Bolivia), took note of the Chinese delegate’s declaration.
As the Department was informed in the Consulate’s telegram No. 324 of December 14, 9 p.m.,56 the Chinese delegate, Mr. Wellington Koo, abstained from voting both in the Assembly and in the Council on the resolutions submitted in connection with the Finnish appeal.57 In the Assembly Dr. Koo stated simply that “Under the circumstances which you all know, the Chinese delegation will abstain from taking part in the vote and in any phase of the report.” In a subsequent Council meeting he reaffirmed this position.
In accordance with the resolution adopted by the Assembly and approved by the Council China was reelected to fill one of the two provisional non-permanent seats on the Council. China has occupied a provisional non-permanent seat on the Council since 1936 and will now continue to occupy such a seat until 1942.
- Foreign Relations, The Soviet Union, 1933–1939, p. 804.↩
- See vol. i , section entitled “Concern of the United States Over Soviet Demands on Finland …”↩