The Washington Conference and After: A Historical Survey

The Washington Conference and After: A Historical Survey

The Washington Conference and After: A Historical Survey

The Washington Conference and After: A Historical Survey

Excerpt

The purpose of this work is to present a historical survey of matters discussed and achievements made by the Washington Conference. In addition post-conference events of international importance in the Far Eastern and the Pacific region are summarized.

The aims of the conference were twofold: first, to bring about a limitation of armaments on the part of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers; and, second, to solve Pacific and Far Eastern problems by a concerted effort on the part of nine nations, including the United States, the British Empire, France, Italy, Japan, Belgium, China, the Netherlands, and Portugal. Thus, in reality, the Washington Conference was composed of two distinct conferences each with its special tasks.

The Five-Power Arms Conference constitutes the subject-matter of Part I of the book. At the outset an attempt is made to trace the origin of the conference; this is followed by a description of its organization, procedure, and personnel. The work of the conference began with the presentation, by the United States, on November 12, 1921, of a plan for a limitation of naval armament. The more salient aspects of this plan are analyzed. The story is then told of the trying task of the "Big Three" (Balfour, Hughes, and Kato), in effecting a provisional agreement on capital-ship ratio, which was the first and foremost achievement of this conference. Then follows an account of the opposition of France to America's proposed capital-ship ratio plan; of the British-French conflict over the question of submarines; of Japan's demand for the maintenance of the status quo on certain naval bases and fortifications in the Pacific, and of the French . . .

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