The Secretary of State (Hull) to the Honorable Norman H. Davis, United States Delegate to the Conference at Brussels, [Extract], WASHINGTON, October 18, 1937.


A conference having been called of the parties signatory to the Nine Power Treaty signed at Washington February 6, 1922, and the Government of the United States having received and accepted an invitation to participate in this conference, you are to represent the United States.

You will recall that the invitation extended to this Government by the Belgian Government states that the purpose of the conference is "to-examine the situation in the Far East and to study peaceable means of hastening the end of the regrettable conflict which prevails there".

You will in your participation in this conference be guided in general by the outline of principles made public on behalf of this Government by the Secretary of State on July 16, 1937, and the further statement of policy made by the Secretary of State on August 23, 1937.

You will have constantly in mind the character and scope of this country's interest in peace in the Pacific and the Far East as evidenced by the Washington Conference treaties, and especially the rights and interests of the United States under the Nine Power Treaty; the substance and purport of the statement of this Government's position made by the Secretary of State on October 6; also statements relating to foreign policy made by the President in his address at Chicago on October 5 and in his broadcast from Washington on October 12. You will bear in mind that the first objective of the foreign policy of this country is national security, and that consequently we seek to keep peace and to promote the maintenance of peace; that we believe in cooperative effort for the preservation of peace by pacific and practicable means; and that this country has as a signatory of the Pact of Paris of 1928 renounced war as an instrument of national policy and pledged itself to resort for settlement of disputes to none but pacific means. You will bear in mind also that public opinion in the United States has expressed its emphatic determination that the United States keep out of war.

It is the hope of this Government that the conference may be able to achieve results which will contribute toward permanent stability and peace in the Far East. In the concept of this Government, the primary function of the conference is to provide a forum for constructive discussion, to formulate and suggest possible bases of settlement, and to endeavor to bring the parties together through peaceful negotiation.

Very truly yours,


Source: U.S., Department of State, Publication 1983, Peace and War: United States Foreign Policy, 1931-1941 (Washington, D.C.: U.S., Government Printing Office, 1943, pp. 388-389.

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