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The fateful decade, 1931-1941, began and ended with acts of violence by Japan. It was marked by the ruthless development of a determined policy of world domination on the part of Japan, Germany, and Italy.

In 1931 Japan seized Manchuria. Two years later Germany withdrew from the Disarmament Conference and began rearming. In 1934 Japan gave notice of termination of the Washington Treaty for the Limitation of Naval Armament.

In 1935 Italy invaded Ethiopia. In 1936 Hitler tore up the Treaty of Locarno and fortified the demilitarized Rhineland Zone. In 1937 Japan again attacked China. In 1938 Hitler occupied Austria and dismembered Czechoslovakia. During the first half of 1939 Hitler completed the destruction of Czechoslovakia and seized Memel, while Italy invaded Albania.

In September 1939 Hitler struck at Poland, and during the two years that followed almost all of the countries of Europe were plunged or dragged into war. In 1940 Japan with threats of force entered French Indochina. Finally, on December 7, 1941, Japan launched an armed attack on the United States, followed immediately by declarations of war against the United States on the part of Japan, of Germany, of Italy, and of their satellites.

In the face of these multiplying instances of treaty-breaking, of violence, and of open warfare, the United States followed a policy the successive stages of which are summed up here.

During the years preceding the outbreak of war in Europe in 1939, the Government of the United States directed much of its energies toward an improvement of international relations and thus toward prevention of a break-down of world peace. In his inaugural address of March 4, 1933 President Roosevelt dedicated the United States to the Policy of the Good Neighbor-"the neighbor who resolutely respects himself and, because he does so, respects the rights of others— the neighbor who respects his obligations and respects the sanctity of his agreements in and with a world of neighbors". The Government of the United States advocated and applied the Good Neighbor Policy in the Western Hemisphere and everywhere in the world.

After the strain and confusion of the depression years, that policy bore its first fruit at the Seventh International Conference of Ameri

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can States, held in December 1933 at Montevideo, which ushered in a new era of inter-American friendship and solidarity, and through the adoption by this country, in June 1934, of the reciprocal-tradeagreements program. During the ensuing years the Government of the United States strove, by word and by deed, to make its contribution toward staying the rapidly proceeding deterioration of international political relations and toward building an economic foundation of enduring world peace.

After September 1939, when the forces of aggression and conquest burst all bounds, this Government sought in every practicable way to prevent the spread of conflict, while at the same time intensifying its efforts to carry out George Washington's admonition to place the country "on a respectable defensive posture". With the collapse of France in June 1940, with the appearance of Nazi legions on the shores of Western Europe, with Hitler's "blitz" attack on Britain and his openly proclaimed bid for control of the Atlantic, which paralleled Japan's drive for mastery of the western Pacific area, the United States took measures of self-defense by giving aid to nations resisting aggression and by greatly accelerating this nation's military, naval, and air rearmament program.

The documents, and the comments which here follow, set forth various acts and measures taken by the Government of the United States in the presence of mounting dangers to our national security. They should be read in the light of certain basic factors which necessarily affect the conduct of this country's foreign relations.

The conduct of the foreign relations of the United States is a function of the President, acting usually through the Secretary of State. The powers of the Executive in this field are very broad and sweeping. Yet the President and the Secretary of State have by no means entire freedom in matters of foreign policy. Their powers may be defined or circumscribed by legislation-or by lack thereof. They must closely approximate the prevailing views of the country. In the conduct of foreign relations they must interpret and implement not a particular point of view in the country but the point of view of the nation as a whole.

Another factual limitation is that our foreign policy, like the foreign policy of any other country, must at all times take into consideration the policies, circumstances, and reactions of other governments and peoples. Action deemed desirable by the United States may be wholly impracticable if it does not harmonize with policies of other governments whose cooperation is necessary, or if such action would excite substantial enmity or effective opposition on the part of other nations or would isolate this country at a time when close cooperation with other governments is essential.

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