Futile Chinese appeal for League of Nations help against Japan

Paris was struck by two large terrorist bombs at the offices of two employers’ organizations including the umbrella body, the much hated Patronat. Two policemen were killed. The attacks were first blamed on the far left – supposedly still seeking revenge for the failure of the Blum government – but the real culprits were on the far right linked to the terroristic Cagoule movement perhaps in cooperation with Italian fascists. The bombings were provocations designed to hurt the image of the Communists.

The British police used its newly minted powers to extend a ban on political marches in the East End of London for a further three months. The British Union of Fascists lodged a more-or-less token protest, but in reality the high days of large-scale civil disorder had come to an end. Fascism was drifting swiftly to the margins of British politics.

The Japanese attack on China developed into a full-scale military assault on Shanghai which was forcing back the Chinese armies. The Chinese ambassador to Paris, Wellington Koo, appealed at the League of Nations for help to resist Japanese aggression. Ironically he gave the Nyon conference on Mediterranean piracy which had just opened as an example of what League powers could achieve. Nyon was in fact a risible demonstration of the League’s utter powerlessness. Koo was heard courteously but achieved nothing.


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