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Thursday, 18 February 1932

Mr LATHAM - by leave - The situation at present is that the regular Chinese troops have been withdrawn from all those parts of Manchuria which lie to the south of the line of the Chinese eastern railway. While hostilities appear to have ceased in that area, a serious situation has developed at Shanghai, where Japanese forces have been landed, and are heavily engaged with the Chinese forces. I think that honorable members will agree that no good purpose could be served, while harm might be done, by any attempt to deal in greater detail with the events, or to try to assign reasons for them. Honorable members are no doubt aware that since the commencement of the crisis the Council of the League of Nations has been endeavouring to find some solution acceptable to both parties, and that a commission appointed by the League is now on its way to China. The Government of the United Kingdom has been associated with all these efforts by the Council, and has, in addition, taken every opportunity of urging on both parties the urgent necessity for, firstly, putting an end to hostilities, and, secondly, arriving at a peaceful settlement of the points at issue. The Commonwealth Government has been kept fully informed of the situation, and of the various efforts that have been made to put an end to the crisis, and is lending and will lend assistance to any useful efforts to effect a pacific settlement.

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