Doomed Attempt At Naval Disarmament

6th February 1936

A few days before his father died Edward VIII had attended a reception at the Guildhall for the delegates to the Second London Naval Disarmament Conference, which was to continue the work that had begun Washington Naval Conference in 1921. The Conference had pursued its work through the period of George V's funeral and now its Second Technical Sub-committee had come up with the categories of ships that might be discussed. The Conference began to negotiate on the size and weaponry of the ships involved. Quaintly, aircraft carriers were viewed in terms of the guns they carried and not the aircraft, but this was the least of its flaws.

Japan, one of the world's top three naval powers, had withdrawn on 15th January so its work was as good as meaningless but continued nonetheless. The conference was the last significant attempt to negotiate disarmament of any kind before the Second World War broke out. It was the last, doomed relic of hopes that war could be fended off by controlling the pace of armament.