The breakdown of naval limitation in the Far East, 1932-1936
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
The first London Naval Treaty of 1930 was the last great triumph of inter-war disarmament. The second London Naval Treaty of 1936 was little more than a face-saving device dependent on the goodwill of non-signatory powers and as such it rapidly became meaningless. It is the object of this work, beginning with the Shanghai crisis of January 1932, to attempt some explanation of this collapse. This work therefore explores the demands of the Japanese naval authorities to secure the revision of the 1930 treaty, the determination of the Anglo-American powers to oppose this, Roosevelts drive for a “Treaty Navy”, and the way in which these trends acted upon and accelerated each other; thereby causing the destruction of that system of naval limitation established between 1922 and 1930. I have therefore investigated the naval disarmament policies of the Pacific naval powers during the years 1932-36 and where appropriate examined the foreign and defence policies of those three nations. It must be emphasised that this work is not yet another general history of great power politics in the Far East during the 1930's. It is instead an investigation of a previously neglected area of history - between 1932 and 1936 the three Pacific naval powers were all obliged to find solutions to naval defence problems within the existing system of naval limitation. Ultimately the solutions destroyed the system.