No. 594 NAI DFA 27/18

Letter from Seán Lester to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin) enclosing a draft statement on the situation in Manchuria
(S.7/11/29) (Urgent - By air mail)

Geneva, 13 November 1931

I propose, subject to circumstances, to ask at the opening Council meeting on Monday afternoon, 16th instant, that a map be prepared showing the position of Japanese troops on 30th September, 24th October and 16th November. I shall probably follow the lines of the enclosed draft statement.

Your telegram No. 62 of today.1 I have now replied to the Chinese Notes. The use of the representatives at Geneva for communication with countries where we have no diplomatic representatives is an interesting precedent, and will have been noted by you.

Seán Lester

Proposed Statement

For the purpose of clarifying the mass of information regarding the situation in Manchuria I venture to suggest that a map, prepared by the Secretariat on the following lines, would be useful.

    In the Council's efforts to deal with this grave crisis there are three outstanding dates. The first is 30th September when a resolution was passed in which the Japanese Representative gave a solemn undertaking that his Government would continue as rapidly as possible the withdrawal of its troops in proportion as the safety of lives and property of Japanese nationals was assured.

    The second date was October 24, when the Council, with the exception of the Japanese Representative, called upon the Japanese Government to begin immediately and proceed progressively with the withdrawal of its troops so that the total withdrawal might be effected before the next meeting of the Council.

    The third date is today when the Council has again met to consider the situation caused by the continued and extended occupation of Chinese territory.

    Now I suggest that a map be prepared by the Secretariat, on as large a scale as possible, showing the position of the Japanese forces on these three dates, 30th September, 24th October and 16th November. It would also be well that an index be provided showing the distance from the railway zone of each point. I would myself be perfectly satisfied, in cases where the information is contradictory, to accept for the purpose of this map, the Japanese official reports to the Council. It would also be well if there were indicated on the map places which have not been occupied but have been bombarded from the air or otherwise subjected to military action, whatever the cause may have been.

    I venture to think that the preparation of a map of the kind I have suggested would be useful in dealing with a situation, so long-drawn-out and so distant from the meeting place of the Council.

1 Not printed.

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