A diplomatic agreement between Britain and Japan. It improved Britain`s international position and consolidated Japan`s position in Northeast Asia at a time of growing rivalry with Russia. The two powers agreed to remain neutral in each war waged by the other to maintain the status quo and to join the other in each war against two powers. Britain and Japan began to separate after World War I, and when the Washington Conference was convened in 1921, Britain decided not to renew the alliance that had ended in 1923. I understand that the preparation he complains about has not been overly hastened, but he has been unduly pressed into its publication. I ask him, and I ask the House of Commons, what opinion they would have had on the part of the government if, as a result of such an agreement – an agreement that undoubtedly contains some important obligations for this country – we had kept it secret and if we had not communicated it to the country? It is obvious that such an agreement will necessarily be made public and, if published, it will of course be published immediately. Why should we delay? We are not ashamed. The real source of this treaty was our concern to maintain the status quo in China. I would like to respectfully remind the House of certain remarks I made a few days ago about Persia. In general, I have said that the policy of this country is almost everywhere the maintenance of the status quo; that, to that end, we were not only ready, but also anxious to have an understanding of any power that would understand us and which, of course, were all conceived in the non-aggressive spirit of this agreement. Well, that was the status quo that we wanted to maintain, and that status quo is described in particular in the opening words of the agreement in the preamble – the two elements of English policy in the East that have been so often talked about, the keeping of the open door and the territorial integrity of China.
I would like to remind the House of the diplomatic situation concerning these two major political divisions. There have been many diplomatic agreements on this and several conventional instruments between the European powers have been implemented accordingly. Of course, first of all, there are the contracts that this country and other countries have with China itself – contracts that provide us with the most favored treatment of China. The most favoured treatment, I need not say, involves the principle of the open door. Then there was the American note which, as Parliament will recall, was published by the United States in September 1899 and which, in 1283, was an invitation to the European powers to assert themselves in favour of the open door policy. I think this remark was promised by any power in Europe and by Japan. Later, there was the Anglo-German agreement. This included the two principles I mentioned: the open door and the territorial integrity of China; And this has garnered broad support from almost all European powers.