[ China policy 1925 ] Printed (British government?) report entitled 'A Plan for China.'
A curious document which, whether it emanates from the British Foreign Office or not, provides valuable insight into informed British opinion on China in the period following the First World War. Printed on fourteen 34 x 21.5 cm leaves, paginated 1-13 with title on fourteenth leaf. On paper with the Britannia watermark of Waterlow and Sons Limited, London. Stapled. Text clear and complete on aged and foxed paper. The subject of the paper is set out in a revealing first paragraph, headed 'Method of Approaching Problem': 'The British public do not wish to be committed to hostilities anywhere, least of all in a region so remote and so little interesting to them as China. Great Britain, on the other hand, has greater vested interests in China than any other nation, and touches the Chinese at a greater number of points than any other people except the Japanese. The Chinese are ever ready to be overbearing to Foreigners when they think they can be so with impunity. If by letting it get about that we are determined never to fight we appear to bring ourselves to the level of a third rate power, we court such an affront as will compel us to take that drastic action which it has been the first object of our policy to avoid.' The paper continues by setting out a 'Practical Plan for Achieving' the 'Objects of Policy', with sections on 'Railways', 'Customs', 'Salt, Wine and Tobacco', 'Three Inspectorates', 'Apportionment of Surplus' and 'Commission'. The 'Effectiveness', 'Acceptance' and 'Importance' of the plan are discussed, with final notes on the League of Nations and 'whether it was safe to put so much trust in the Japanese'. Scarce. No copy on COPAC and no reference to it in the archives of the London Times.