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To the Editor of the CRIMSON:
The London Naval Parleys were called for the express purpose of limiting naval armaments, and, by that method, to attain a certain measure of world security. A brief review of the results of the parleys will show that, Japan demanding equality, the United States and Britain standing stone-wall against such a demand in favor of the old 5-5-3 ratio, not even a start was made in the way of co-operative limitation and the conference adjourned a failure. This failure the Americans attributed to the Japanese; the Japanese, on the other hand, charge it to the Americans.
Certain facts stand out clearly. The Japanese were prepared for a drastic reduction in naval armaments, on the basis of a common upper level of tonnage. This was a plan compatible with the idea of national security and prestige. This plan the United States flatly rejected.
For this rejection there are two possible reason: (1) the United States either envisage for the future a war with Japan, or, (2) the United States plan, for the present, to discourage further Japanese extension into Manchuria and China by virtue of suggestion. The significance of our policy is quite clear. We believe that, with a ratio of 5-5-3, in the event of a show-down, we could probably have our own way.
On the contrary, let us view the problem in view of the 5-5-5 ratio, or, in other words, equality. On this score, there is no question about our ability to out-build, in the event of war, Japan or any other nation. Thus, either with the 5-5-3 ratio or the 5-5-5, provided one of the limitations are determined upon, the conclusion is that we would be still one step ahead.
In view of this, let us realistically look at the situation as it is. We can not disregard the fact that Japan has grown worthy of equality, that the entire structure of her foreign policy rests upon this assumption. And to her demand for equality, Japan has convincingly demonstrated the solidity of her stand. There is no doubt. She has refused to consider any plan for the limitation of armaments which predicates inequality, and already promises to toss over the Washington Treaty. By this time, it has further become very plain that the United States have nothing now to lose in granting Japan equality except her hostility, and the privilege of unrestricted competition for naval armaments. Are we yet to talk about the 5-5-3 ratio?
Well, the conference has broken up. We have not even achieved the semblance of our original purpose--limitation. All a bit irritated, the conferees have retired to their respective camps. The made race is on. Good luck to the taxpayers! Alfred M. Nittle '36.
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