House Resolution N




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1940
January 2. The United States protested British interference with mails. ("It cannot admit the right of the British authorities to interfere with American mails on American or other neutral ships on the high seas nor can it admit the right of the British Govern­ment to censor mail on ships which have involuntarily entered British ports. . . ." Bulletin, Vol. II, No. 28, p. 3.)
January 14. The Netherlands canceled army leaves and Belgium mobilized. (Fear German spring offensive. Times, Jan. 15, 1940, p. 1.)

Britain rejected protest of twenty one republics of December 23, 1939. (". . . the proposal, involving as it does the abandon­ment by the belligerents of certain legitimate belligerent rights, is not one which, on any basis of International Law can be im­posed upon them by unilateral action, and . . . its adoption re­quires their specific assent.. . . . Moreover the acceptance of the zone proposals would have to be on the basis that it should not constitute a precedent for a far reaching alteration in the existing laws of maritime neutrality. Up to the present it does not appear that means have been found by which the dis­advantages of the zone proposal could be eliminated. . . ." Bulletin, Vol. II, No. 35, p. 200.)


January 20. Winston Churchill, First Lord of British Admiralty, warned European neutrals and asked them to join Allies. ("At present their plight is lamentable and it will become much worse. They bow humbly and in fear to German threats of violence, com­forting themselves meanwhile with the thought that the Allies will win, that Britain and France will strictly observe all the rules and conventions and that breaches of these laws are only to be expected from the German side. Each one hopes that if he feeds the crocodile enough, the crocodile will eat him last. All of them hope that the storm will pass before their turn comes to be de­voured. "Times, Jan. 21, 1940, p. 30.)
January 23. France rejected protest of twenty one republics. (". . . it is the strict right of France and Great Britain to oppose this in good time by a counter attack and . . . they cannot be asked to renounce this right." Bulletin, Vol. II, No. 35, p. 202. Cf. Dec. 23, 1939, Jan. 14, supra.)
January 24. Prime Minister Chamberlain renewed British pledge to Belgium. (Because of German invasion rumors. Times, Jan. 25, 1940, p. 5. Cf. Nov. 20, 1936, supra.)
January 26. United States Japanese commercial treaty expired. (Denounced July 26, 1939, supra. Ibid., Jan. 26, 1940, p. 8.)
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EVENTS LEADING UP TO WORLD WAR II 231


February 1. Foreign Minister Hachiro Arita in statement on foreign policy invited active participation of third powers in the construc­tion of the new order in East Asia. (": . . although there are some who suspect Japan of the intention to eliminate the rights and interests of third powers in China. . . . We are, in fact, anxious to see the development of China's trade with other powers and welcome foreign investments in China as long as they are of a purely economic character. And that I am confident, is also the wish of the new Central Government of China that is about to be established." Ibid., Feb. 1, 1940, p. 12.)
February 6. The United States appointed a minister to Saudi Arabia. ("Whereas 10 years ago there were no more than a score of Americans in the whole extent of the Arabian Peninsula, today Americans number approximately 500, including some 273 Americans in Saudi Arabia alone." Bulletin, Vol. II, No. 33, p. 159.)
February 9. Under Secretary of State Sumner Welles sent by President Roosevelt to confer with Britain, France, Germany, and Italy: ("This visit is solely for the purpose of advising the President and the Secretary of State as to present conditions in Europe." Ibid., p. 155.)
February 12. Russia and Germany signed trade treaty. (For in­creased supplies. Times, Feb. 13, 1940, p. 14. Cf. Aug, 19, 1939, supra.)
February 16. Germany rejected protests of twenty one republics. (". . . the German Government cannot recognize the right of the Governments of the American Republics to decide unilater­ally upon measures in a manner deviating from the rules hitherto in effect,. . . ." Bulletin, Vol. II, No. 35, p. 204. Cf. Dec. 23, 1939, Jan. 17, 23, supra.)
February 19. Secretary of State Hull announced that the moral embargo of December 20, 1939, had been extended to Russia. (Ibid., p. 195.)
February 24. German Italian trade agreement signed. (Coal ship­ments to Italy. Times, Feb. 25, 1940, p. 27.)
March 6. France and Italy signed trade agreement. (To increase trade volume. Ibid., Mar. 7, 1940, p. 3.)
March 11. Allies offered full aid to Finland. ("If asked." Ibid., Mar. 12, 1940, p. 1. Cf. Dec. 10, 11, 14, 1939, supra.)
March 12. Russian Finnish peace treaty signed at Moscow. ("Being desirous of bringing to an end the hostilities which have broken out between the two states and of creating permanent peaceful relations between them,

"And being convinced that the creation of definite conditions for their mutual security, including guarantees for the security, of the cities of Leningrad and Murmansk and the Murmansk railway, is in the interest of both contracting parties, . . ." Finnish, p. 115.,)


232 EVENTS LEADING UP TO WORLD WAR II
March 14. Sweden and Norway contemplated a defensive alliance with Finland. ("As a result of an inquiry by the Finnish Govern­ment, . . ." Finland, p. 40.)
March 16. The twenty one American Republics protested to Britain. (Because of scuttling of the Wakama, German freighter haled by British war vessel. Bulletin, Vol. II, No. 38, p. 306. Cf. Dec. 23, 1939, supra.)
March 19. Prime Minister Chamberlain defended lack of British help to Finland. (". . . except for Field Marshal's [Mannerheim's] intimation in January that he would wish to have 30,000 men in May, no request of any sort for land forces was made to us by the Fins. . . . Germany publicly professed her neutrality; but behind the scenes made every effort to prevent others from saving Finland and from performing the task which she had always declared to be her own. The responsibility for this affair stands squarely and firmly upon the shoulders of Germany and no other country. It was fear of Germany which prevented Norway and Sweden from giving us permission to pass our troops through their countries, the fear of Germany which prevented her from making her appeal to us for help." Commons, Vol. 358, col. 1841-1842.)
March 20. Russia opposed suggested Finnish Norwegian Swedish alliance,. (". . . for this kind of an alliance would be directed against the Soviet Union–as is revealed by the strongly anti­-Soviet speech made on March 14 in the Norwegian Parliament by the Speaker of the Parliament, Mr. Hambro–and would run a together counter to the Peace Treaty concluded by the U. S. S. R. and Finland on March 12, 1940. Finland, p. 41.)
March 21. Premier Daladier was replaced by Paul Reynaud as French Premier. ("Invitation of President Albert Lebrun." Ibid., Mar. 21, 1940, p. 1.)
March 28. Supreme War Council of Allies resolved on no separate peace. ("In the light of the results achieved by the agreement of December last signed by Sir John Simon and M. Paul Reynaud and desiring to extend the scope of this agreement to all spheres affecting the interests and security of the two nations, Ibid., Mar. 29, 1940, p. 3.)
March 30. Winston Churchill forecast long war. ("The British Empire and the French Republic are now joined together in indissoluble union so that their full purposes maybe accom­plished. . . . But the fact is that many of the smaller States of Europe are terrorized. by Nazi violence and brutality into supply­ing Germany with the material of modern war, and this fact may condemn the whole world to a prolonged ordeal with grievous, unmeasured consequences in many lands." Ibid., Mar. 31, 1940, p. 35.)

Wang Ching-wei government proclaimed in Nanking. ("He came out for national salvation through opposition to com­munism and conclusion of peace with. Japan. In the face of


EVENTS LEADING UP TO WORLD WAR II 233
all manners of pressure and persecution by Chungking, he pur­sued the path of his conviction, bringing light to his people lost in darkness. Thus has he won the confidence and the following of his nation. His peace and national salvation movement as well as the preparation for a new central government have made rapid headway since the Sixth Kuomintang National Congress which was held in Shanghai in August of last year." Japan, Vol. II, p. 57: "A renascent China has just set out on the road to progress; a new defence is about to commence in East Asia." Ibid., p. 61.)

The United States refused to recognize the Wang Ching wei regime. "In the light of what has happened in various parts of China since 1931, the setting up of a new regime at Nanking has the appearance of a further step in a program of one country by armed force to impose its will upon a neighboring country and to block off a large area of the world from normal political and economic relationships with the rest of the world. The develop­ments there seems to be following the pattern of other regimes and systems which have been set up in China under the aegis of an outside power and which in their functioning especially favor the interests of that outside, power and deny to nationals of the United States and other third countries enjoyment of long established rights of equal and fair treatment which are legally and justly theirs.


* * * * *
"Twelve years ago the Government of the United States recog­nized, as did other governments, the National Government of the Republic of China. . The Government of the United States has ample reason for believing that that Government, with capital now at Chungking, has had and still has the allegiance and support of the great majority of the Chinese people. The Government of the United States of course continues to recognize that Govern­ment as the Government of China." Statement by Secretary of State Hull, Japan, Vol. II, p. 59.
April 2. Lithuania notified League of her determination to keep Vilna. (Based on peace treaty of July 12, 1920. "In recovering possession of her capital Lithuania vindicated her ancient rights, which never at any time were transferred to Poland." Times; Apr. 3, 1940, p. 15.)
April 8. Britain and France mined Norwegian waters. ("Whatever may be the actual policy which the Norwegian Government, by German threats and pressure, are compelled to follow, the Allied Governments can no longer afford to acquiesce in the present state of affairs, by which Germany obtains from Norway facilities which place the Allies at a dangerous disadvantage.

"They have, therefore, already given notice to the Norwegian Government that they reserve the right to take such measures as they may think necessary to hinder or prevent Germany from obtaining in Norway resources or facilities which for the purpose of war would be to her advantage or to the disadvantage of the Allies." Ibid., Apr. 8, 1940, p. 10. Cf. Norway, p. 45. "These violations are carried out solely because the States concerned

234 EVENTS LEADING UP TO WORLD WAR II
have the power to do so." Ibid., p. 48. Cf. von Ribbentrop statement, Ibid., pp. 80 f.)
April 9. German troops invaded Denmark and Norway.

"The German Government possesses documentary proof that England and France had jointly decided, if necessary, to carry out their action through the territory of the Northern States against the will of the latter." Norway, p. 55. "Germany has thus preserved the Scandinavian countries and peoples from destruction, and will until the end of the war defend true neu­trality in the North.

"I am convinced that this action of the Führer has saved an ancient and respected part of Europe from that certain. ruin and utter destruction to which our English and French enemies are clearly indifferent." Ibid., p. 64.)

Prime Minister Chamberlain announced full Allied aid to Nor­way. (". . . in view of the German invasion of their country . . ." Times, Apr. 10, 1940, p. 2. Cf. Norway, pp. 61 f.)

Denmark submitted to Germany under protest. ("In these circumstances, which are so grave to our country, I ask all of you inhabitants of the cities and country to maintain an attitude completely correct and dignified, since every inconsiderate act or word can draw in its wake most serious consequences." Times, Apr. 10, 1940, p. 4.)
April 10. Iceland suspended exercise of royal power of King of Denmark. (". . . having regard for the fact that the situation created makes it impossible for His Majesty the King of Iceland to execute the royal power given to him under the constitutional act, . . . having regard for the situation now created, Denmark is not in a position to execute the authority to take charge of the foreign affairs of Iceland granted to it by the provisions of Article VII of the Danish Icelandic Union Act, nor can it carry out the fishery inspection within Icelandic territorial waters. . . ." Ibid., Apr. 11, 1940, p. 6.)

The United States froze Norwegian and Danish funds. (Bulletin, Vol. II, No. 46, p. 493.)

Belgium canceled army leaves and reaffirmed neutrality. Times, Apr. 11, 1940, p. 9.)

Belgium rejected Allied "preventive aid" suggested by Britain. ("Belgium has solemnly declared her intention to remain neutral in the present conflict. At any time that she accepted outside aid to maintain this neutrality, she would in so doing be aban­doning this neutrality . . . the Government's policy has not [changed] and will not change." Times, Apr. 12, 1940, p. 1.)


April 11. The Netherlands took defense precautions. (". . . as a result of developments in the European war, . . ." Ibid., Apr. 11, 1940, p. 9.)

Winston Churchill said German troop movements on Norway began before British laid mine field. ("The Nazi Government have sought to make out that their invasion of Norway and Denmark was a consequence of our action in closing the Norway corridor." Ibid., Commons, Vol. 359, col. 738. Cf. Norway, p. 70.)

EVENTS LEADING UP TO WORLD WAR II 235
April 15. Japanese Foreign Minister Arita said Japan desired status quo of The Netherlands Indies. ("With the South Seas region, and especially the Dutch East Indies, Japan is economically bound by an intimate relationship of mutuality in ministering to one another's needs. Similarly other countries of East Asia maintain close economic relations with these regions. That is to say, Japan, those countries, and these regions are contributing to the prosperity of East Asia through mutual aid and inter­dependence.

"Should the hostilities in Europe be extended to The Nether­lands and produce repercussions in the Dutch East Indies, it would not only interfere with the maintenance and furtherance of the above named relations of economic interdependence and co existence and co prosperity, but would also give rise to an undesirable situation from the standpoint of peace and stability in East Asia." Times, Apr. 16, 1940, p. 9. Cf. Bulletin, Vol. III, No. 66, p. 248.)


April 16. Iceland asked to enter into direct relations with the United States. (Cf. Apr. 9, supra. Ibid., Vol. II, No. 43, p. 414.)
April 17. Secretary of State Hull issued formal statement that any change in status quo of the Indies "would be prejudicial to the cause of stability, peace, and security . . . in the entire Pacific area." ("The Netherlands Indies are very important in the international relationships of the whole Pacific Ocean. . . . They are also an important factor in the commerce of the whole world. They produce considerable portions of the world's supplies of important essential commodities such as rubber, tin, quinine, copra, et cetera. Many countries, including the United States, depend substantially upon them for some of these com­modities." Ibid., p. 411, Cf. Peace, pp. 515 f.)
April 19. The Netherlands declared state of siege and reaffirmed neutrality. ("As far as is humanly possible we rely on ourselves, but, in addition, we have promises that our neutrality will be respected as long as we actively maintain it. Of this there can be no doubt. Therefore, we do not wish any arrangements. We shun them. The government rejects all suggestions of assistance, whether offered or actually forced on us. The same applies to our overseas territories." Times, Apr. 20, 1940, p. 1.)

Germany dismissed Norwegian envoy. (Because of Norwegian hostility to Germany. Times, Apr. 20, 1940, p. 1. Cf. Norway, pp. 76 f.)

Yugoslavia smashed Nazi plot to overturn the government. (Espionage. Times, Apr. 20, 1940, p. 1.)
April 20. Germany and Rumania signed trade agreement. (Provid­ing Czech arms and planes for the latter. Ibid., Apr. 21, 1940, p. 1. Cf. Mar. 23, Dec. 21,1939, supra.)
April 24. Germany took over direct control of Norway. (King Haakon rejected negotiations with German administration. Ibid., Apr. 25, 1940, p. 1. Cf. Apr. 16, supra. "The Nygaardsvold Government, by its proclamations and its attitude, as well

236 EVENTS LEADING UP TO WORLD WAR II


as by the military operations which have taken place by its decision, has created a state of war between Norway and Ger­many. In order to safeguard public order and public life in the parts of Norwegian territory which are under the protection of German troops, I [Hitler] decree: . . ." Norway, p. 78.)

United States established consular representation with Iceland. ("Through an exchange of telegrams. . . ." Bulletin, Vol. II, No. 44, p. 434. Cf. Apr. 16, supra.)


April 25. Rumania declared a political amnesty. (Restored Iron Guard. Times, Apr. 26, 1940, p. 8. Cf. Apr. 20, supra.)
April 29. President Roosevelt appealed to Premier Mussolini to exert Italian influence for a just and stable peace. ("A further exten­sion of the area of hostilities, which would bring into the war still other nations which have been seeking to maintain their neutrality, would necessarily have far reaching and unforeseeable consequences, not only in Europe, but also in the Near and the Far East, in Africa, and in the three Americas. No man can today, predict with assurance, should such a further extension take place, what the ultimate result might be–or foretell what nations, however determined they may today be to remain at peace, might yet eventually find it imperative in their own defense to enter the war." Peace, p. 519.)
May 1. The United States established a provisional consulate in Greenland. ("Since communication between Copenhagen and Greenland has been interrupted, direct consular representation has been deemed advisable by the United States and lay the Greenland authorities." Bulletin, Vol. II, No. 45, p. 473. Cf. Apr. 9, supra.)

Premier Mussolini told Ambassador William Phillips Germany could not be beaten. ("Fifteen countries can now be called upon by Germany for every kind of supplies. . . . the blockade of the Allies was therefore completely ineffective." Peace, p. 521.)


May 2. Prime Minister Chamberlain reported on British retreat from, northern Norway. (". . . it has always been possible for the Germans, with their usual disregard for life, even of their own people, to send reinforcements to Norway at a much greater rate than would be open to us with the inadequate landing places we have to rely on. . . . We have no intention of allowing Norway to become merely, a sideshow, but neither are we going to be trapped into such dispersal of our forces as would leave us danger­ously weak at a vital center." Commons, Vol. 360, cols. 910, 912. Cf. Norway, pp. 95 ff,)

Premier Mussolini wrote President Roosevelt that the Axis opposed extension of the war. (". . . no peace is possible without the fundamental problems of Italian liberty being settled. . . . Italy, however, has never concerned itself with the relations of the American republics with each other and with the United States (thereby respecting the Monroe Doctrine), and might therefore ask for `reciprocity' with regard to European affairs." Peace, p. 522.)


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May 3. President Roosevelt revealed he had appealed to Italy May 1 not to enter war. (Trying to prevent extension to new areas. Times, May 4, 1940, p. 1. Cf. Apr. 29, supra.)
May 4. The Netherlands arrested suspects. (Fifth columnists. Ibid., May 5, 1940, p. 41.)
May 6. Italy promised not to attack Greece if Italy were at war with Britain, unless Greece were converted to a British base. ("Italy, as a Great Power, has her own claims, which she will put forward in due time, but she is prepared to give the assurance that the claims in question do not concern either Greece or the Balkans generally." Greek, p. 50. )
May 7. The Netherlands completed defense preparations. (Called up two marine reserve classes. Times, May 8, 1940, p. 1.)

Prime Minister Chamberlain reported on British retreat from Trondheim, Norway. ("I believe it was right to make the first attempt and equally right to withdraw the troops when it was clear that plan would not succeed . . . it became clear we could only maintain our force in the Trondheim region by such a concentra­tion of men and materials and aircraft as would have drawn off altogether an undue proportion of our total resources, and in these special circumstances we decided that we could carry on the campaign in Norway, elsewhere, with greater vigour and effect." Ibid., p. 4. Cf. Norway, pp. 110 f. Commons, Vol. 360, col. 1080.)


May 8. Winston Churchill attributed failure in Norway to lack of air parity with Germany. ("If we have decided to speak in this plain manner, it is because of the cataract of unworthy sugges­tions and of actual falsehoods which have been poured out to the public during the last few days." Commons, Vol. 360, cols. 1357 1358. Norway, p. 112.)
May 9. British troops occupied Iceland. ("Since the German seizure of Denmark it has become necessary to reckon with the possibility of a sudden German descent on Iceland.

"It is clear that in the face of an attack on Iceland, even on a very small scale, the Icelandic Government would be unable to prevent their country from fallings completely into German, hands." Times, May 10, 1940, p. 1.)

Germany invaded Belgium, Luxemburg, and The Netherlands. (". . . the German Government was in possession of irrefutable evidence that the Allies were about to attack Germany through Belgium, The Netherlands, and Luxemburg, and that this attack had been long in preparation with the knowledge of Belgium and The Netherlands." Bulletin, Vol. II, No. 46, p. 486.)

The Netherlands protested violation of neutrality. ("After our country, with scrupulous conscientiousness, had observed strict neutrality all these months. . . ." Ibid., May 10, 1940, p. 1.)


238 EVENTS LEADING UP TO WORLD WAR II
May 10. Chancellor Hitler told the Reichswehr the decisive hour had come. ("For 300 years it was the aim of the English and French rulers to prevent every real consolidation of Europe and, above all, to hold Germany in weakness and impotency.

"For this purpose France alone has declared war on Germany thirty one times in 200 years.

"For decades it has been the aim of British world rulers to keep Germany from unity, to deny the Reich every earthly possession which is necessary to the preservation of a nation of 80,000,000 people." Ibid., May 11, 1940, p. 4.)

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