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Chronology 1938

Date Event Historical Background
January 4, 1938 British Postponement of Palestine Partition The British government appointed a new commission under Sir John Woodhead to study the boundary plans for the proposed new states in Palestine and postponed the Peel Commission partition plan. The goal of the new commission was to determine the economic and financial aspects of partitioning the mandate. The commissioners collected evidence in Palestine from April to August, although the Arabs boycotted the deliberations.
January 7, 1938 Italian Naval Construction Program The Italian government announced the beginning of a huge naval construction program. This plan augmented the Italian rearmament program introduced in 1937.
January 9-12, 1938 Budapest Conference Representatives of the Austrian, Hungarian, and Italian governments reaffirmed the protocols between the three states to maintain the status quo in Danubian region.
January 10, 1938 Japanese Capture of Qingdao The Japanese army gained control of the strategic port of Qingdao (Tsingtao), but only after Chinese forces had destroyed the Japanese mills in the region. The Japanese army then began a major offensive southwards, along the Hankow Railway through Shanxi (Shansi).
January 10 ,1938 Ludlow Resolution U.S. Representative Louis Ludlow (Indiana) first introduced a constitutional amendment in 1935, which required a national referendum to confirm a declaration of war passed by Congress, except in the event of an invasion of the United States or its territorial possessions. While Ludlow introduced the amendment several times, it failed to pass, in spite of strong support in national opinion polls. In January 1938, passage of the resolution seemed assured, but President Franklin Roosevelt sent a letter to the Speaker of the House arguing that a president would be unable to conduct an effective foreign policy and other nations would violate American rights if the Constitution was amended. By a vote of 209-188, the House returned the resolution to committee.
January 11, 1938 U.S. Proposal for World Arms Reduction Conference President Franklin Roosevelt made a proposal to the British government to convene a world conference to reduce armaments, promote economic security, and ameliorate the more inhuman aspects of a future war. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain rejected the proposal.
January 12, 1938 Opening of Supreme Soviet The Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union met for the first time, the new legislative branch created under the country's constitution of 1936.
January 17, 1938 Anglo-Irish Talks The British and Irish governments, seeking to reach a broader consensus on economic and political issues, began negotiations. These talks led to the Anglo-Irish Agreement of April 1938.
January 19, 1938 Mexican Tariff Increase The Mexican government increased tariff rates from 100 to 200 percent on imported goods, primarily from the United States.
January 25-February 2, 1938 One Hundredth League Council Session The League of Nations Council held its one hundredth session in Geneva.
January 31, 1938 Haitian-Dominican Immigration Agreement After the Dominican Republic government drove a large number of Haitian immigrants across the border, whcih led to reparations demands by the Haitian government, the two governments signed an agreement based on the American conciliation treaties for the settlement of disputes. The agreement represented a small victory for international law and negotiated settlements.
February 1938 Hungarian Arrest of National Socialists The Hungarian government again arrested Ferenc Szalasi and 72 other leaders of the Hungarian National Socialist Party. A court sent him to prison and the Hungarian government took drastic steps to stamp out the Fascist-National Socialist movement. The German annexation of Austria in March, however, made Germany a neighbor and the German minority in Hungary (500,000) became increasingly restless. This ended any plans for a Hapsburg restoration and the expansion of the Little Entente to include Austria and Hungary.
February 4, 1938 German Military and Diplomatic Reorganization The German government reorganized the military and diplomatic command in Germany. Werner von Blomberg, Minister of War, and Werner von Fritsch, Commander-in-Chief of the Wehrmacht, stepped down from office. Chancellor Adolf Hitler assumed the Ministry of War portfolio, while General Wilhelm Keitel became his representative at the Supreme Command and General Heinrich Brauschitsch became the new Wehrmacht commander-in-chief. In the Foreign Office, Joachim von Ribbentrop replaced Constantin von Neurath as the Minister of Foreign Affairs. As a result of these personnel changes, both the army and diplomatic corps, formerly led by moderates, came under the direct control of the National Socialist Party.
February 7, 1938 Conference to Provide Assistance to Refugees Leaving Germany As the German refugee problem began to reach crisis proportions, the League of Nations held a third conference in Geneva to provide legal assistance.
February 9, 1938 Unionist Victory in Northern Irish Elections The Unionists won an overwhelming victory in elections in Northern Ireland. Their success ended any hopes of a merger between Northern Ireland and the Irish Free State.
February 10, 1938 Romanian Dismissal of Fascist Government King Carol of Romania dismissed the Fascist ministry of Octavian Goga after the king dissolved the Romanian parliament. The Romanian courts invalidated a number of anti-Semitic laws and Premier Goga and his supporters discredited themselves, leaving the king the leading political power. King Carol formed a new "concentration" cabinet, suspended the constitution and political parties, and instituted rigid censorship. The fascist Iron Guard and socialist Peasants' Party both opposed these policies, but a national plebiscite, held on February 24th and closely monitored by the new government, overwhelmingly supported the king.
February 12, 1938 Austrian State Visit to Germany Austrian Chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg conducted a visit to Berchtesgaden to meet with German Chancellor Adolf Hitler. The Austrian leader encountered a harsh reception from his German hosts as Chancellor Hitler demanded amnesty for imprisoned National Socialist leaders in Austria, greater freedom of action for National Socialists, and the inclusion of National Socialists in the Austrian government. Under pressure, Chancellor Schuschnigg agreed to these demands and promised to end his opposition to National Socialism in Austria. This meeting marked the beginning of the Austro-German Crisis.
February 15, 1938 Spanish Nationalists Recapture Teruel Spanish Nationalist forces regained control of Teruel, nullifying the Loyalist gains in December 1937. The Nationalists then launched a major offensive towards the sea.
February 16, 1938 National Socialists in Austrian Government In response to German demands at Berchtesgaden, Chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg made Arthur Seyss-Inquart, a National Socialist, the new Minister of the Interior.
February 19, 1938 Austrian Amnesty for National Socialists The Austrian government extended full amnesty to imprisoned National Socialists and gave the National Socialists access to the Fatherland Front.
February 20, 1938 Protection of German Minorities Speech Chancellor Adolf Hitler proclaimed in a speech that the German government vowed to protect German minorities outside of the Reich. This speech was aimed specifically at Czechoslovakia, but aroused a response by the Austrian government as well. The speech presaged an active German foreign policy in central Europe.
February 24, 1938 Austrian Reaffirmation of Independence Chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg, in response to an earlier speech by Chancellor Adolf Hitler, promised to protect the ten million Germans living outside of the Reich, reaffirmed the independence of Austria, and called for international support to resist future German demands for Austrian concessions. While the speech was well-received by the Austrian public, the National Socialists took the offensive.
February 28, 1938 Resignation of British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden, the British Foreign Secretary, resigned his office in protest against Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's determination to reach an agreement with the Italian government before the settlement of the Spanish Civil War. Secretary Eden was a champion of the League of Nations and the collective security system. He was replaced by Lord Halifax.
February 28, 1938 Conference of Experts for International Technical and Financial Cooperation for Colonial Migrants The International Labor Organization (BIT) hosted a conference in Geneva to develop a support program for colonial migrants.
March 1, 1938 Revolution in Styria Political demonstrations in support of the National Socialists broke out in Graz and soon spread across Styria, resulting in a state of revolution. The Austrian government proved incapable of dealing with the revolution for fear of offending the German government. Chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg was unable to negotiate a reconciliation with the Socialist working classes to ease the political crisis.
March 1, 1938 Mexican Court Decision on Oil Companies The Mexican courts supported the government decision which required oil companies to increase wages for workers. This decision affected 17 foreign oil companies operating in Mexico and continued to fuel tensions between the U.S. and Mexico.
March 2-15, 1938 New Round of Soviet Purges Nicolai Bukharin, Alexi Rykov, Genrikh Yagoda, and other Old Guard Bolsheviks were tried for treason and conspiracy. The state accused these men of seeking to restore bourgeois capitalism and conspiring with Leon Trotsky. They were found guilty and executed. Premier Josef Stalin increasingly placed his trust in younger Communist leaders, who grew up under the Marxist system and were less likely to criticize the government.
March 3, 1938 New British High Commissioner in Palestine Sir Harold MacMichael arrived in Palestine and replaced Sir Arthur Wauchope as the High Commissioner for Palestine. Sir Harold represented a more draconian occupation as the British increased the number of troops in the mandate to 30,000 in an effort to repress continuing political disorder.
March 3-9, 1938 German State Visit to Italy Chancellor Adolf Hitler conducted an official state visit to Rome. Premier Benito Mussolini provided an impressive state reception to demonstrate the solidarity of the Rome-Berlin Axis.
March 4, 1938 Czechoslovak Defiance of German Demands Czechoslovak Prime Minister Milan Hodza responded to Chancellor Adolf Hitler's German minority protection pledge by declaring that Czechoslovakia would defend itself against foreign interference.
March 6, 1938 Japanese Yellow River Campaign After marching from Qingdao (Tsingtao), Japanese forces finally reached the Huang (Yellow) River. Mobile Chinese forces limited Japanese control to the railway zone. Despite their military superiority, the Japanese discovered that they could capture major Chinese urban centers, but that Chinese guerillas controlled the rural areas. As a result, Chinese troops were able to conduct successful operations against the Japanese during the Spring of 1938.
March 9, 1938 Austrian Plebiscite Plan Chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg announced that the Austrian government would hold a national plebiscite within a few days to determine the future of Austrian independence. The government would distribute only Yes ballots, while opposition groups would have to supply their own No ballots, following a specified form. This announcement drove the National Socialists to extremes and plunged the republic into chaos.
March 11, 1938 German Ultimatum to Austria In response to the Austrian government's plebiscite plan, Chancellor Adolf Hitler issued an ultimatum to the Austrian government. The German government demanded the cancellation of the plebiscite and the resignation of Chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg. Simultaneously, the German government mobilized on the Austrian border. With no other options, Chancellor Schuschnigg resigned and Arthur Seyss-Inquart became the new Austrian prime minister.
March 12-13, 1938 German Annexation of Austria The German army marched into Austrian unopposed and seized control of the country. President Wilhelm Miklas resigned from office and six million Austrians became citizens of the Reich. The German annexation of Austria resulted in minimal international tension. The Italians were deeply involved in Spain and the Mediterranean and occupied with pacification programs in Ethiopia. World opinion was surprised at Premier Benito Mussolini's calm reaction to the German occupation of Austria, but the Italians were becoming increasingly dependent on the Germans. The French were preoccupied with a cabinet crisis and the British accepted the "Anschluss" from the beginning of the crisis. The Czechoslovak government found their republic in a vulnerable position, surrounded by Germany on three sides. As a result, the Western powers accepted the new status quo in central Europe.
March 13, 1938 Austrian Union with Germany The new Austrian chancellor, Arthur Seyss-Inquart, proclaimed the union of Austria with Germany. Chancellor Adolf Hitler arrived the next day and took formal possession of the former republic. Chancellor Hitler announced that the new government would hold a national plebiscite on April 10th. Simultaneously, the Germans arrested the political opposition and imprisoned most of them in concentration camps. Former Chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg accepted arrest and remained in confinement without trial.
March 13-April 10, 1938 New Popular Front Government in France After the Socialists withdrew from the cabinet, the government under Premier Camille Chautemps fell and Leon Blum attempted to organize a national coalition to deal with the acute international crisis in Czechoslovakia. Failing to form a cabinet, Premier Blum formed a new Popular Front government, but like its predecessors, the French Senate refused to support the Popular Front. As a result, Premier Blum was forced out of office.
March 14, 1938 German Assurances to Czechoslovakia With the incorporation of Austria into the Reich, the German government gave assurances to the Czechoslovak government of the German desire to improve relations between the two states. The French and Soviet governments categorically declared their intentions to honor their treaty obligations for the defense of Czechoslovakia.
March 16-19, 1938 Polish-Lithuanian Crisis As most of Europe was preoccupied with the German absorption of Austria, the Polish government issued a series of demands from the Lithuanians. Relations between the two countries remained bitter since the Polish seizure of Vilnius, and the Lithuanians refused to open their border with Poland. Although negotiators met for several years, no progress was made to establish full relations. Faced with the threat of war, the Lithuanian government immediately agreed to all of the Polish demands, including recognition of the status quo in eastern Europe. The Lithuanian capitulation prevented the crisis from escalating.
March 18, 1938 Mexican Expropriation of Foreign Oil Companies The Mexican government announced that the state would take over the property of American and British oil companies operating in Mexico. The total value of the nationalized property exceeded $450 million. The U.S. and British governments immediately protested against this policy. The Roosevelt administration canceled silver purchases from Mexico as a retaliatory measure. The British government went further, suspending diplomatic relations with Mexico. The Mexican public response unanimously supported the government action. The nationalization program clearly strained Mexico's relations with the U.S. and Britain.
March 22-25, 1938 Sudeten Withdrawal from Czechoslovak Government The members of the German Activists, German political parties which joined the Hodza ministry, withdrew from the Czechoslovak government. Prime Minister Milan Hodza responded by announcing a new Nationality Statute, designed to protect minorities in Czechoslovakia, but the Sudeten Germans were not swayed by the proposal.
March 26, 1938 National Mobilization Bill in Japan The Japanese government passed the National Mobilization Bill which gave the state dictatorial powers in the Japanese economy. The legislation went into effect on May 5th, and the new government and military budget exceeded 8.3 billion yen.
March 28, 1938 Establishment of Reformed Government of China The Japanese, following the same tactic used in Manchukuo, established a puppet regime in Nanjing (Nanking). Headed by token Chinese leaders, Japanese officials held all of the important government posts.
March 30, 1938 U.S. Fair Compensation Demand to Mexico U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull recognized that the Mexican government had the right to expropriate foreign property in Mexico, but demanded on fair compensation for American oil companies which lost their property.
April 1, 1938 U.S. Cancellation of Mexican Silver Purchases The Roosevelt administration discontinued its policy of purchasing Mexican silver at rates above the world price. This cancellation threatened Mexican financial stability but underscored the U.S. government's resolve that the Mexican government fairly compensate American oil companies which lost their operations in Mexico.
April 5-6, 1938 Scandinavian Defense Conference The foreign ministers of Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden met to discuss a common defense policy for the region. The Danish government, facing a dominant Germany, was not willing to challenge the German regime. As a result, no common action was taken and each government determined their own rearmament and defense needs.
April 10, 1938 Austrian National Plebiscite Austrian voters registered a 99.75 percent tally in favor of union with Germany in a national plebiscite. As a result, Austria became part of the Reich as a new state, divided into seven districts (Gaue). The international community had little time to react to the German annexation due to the speed and energy of the German occupation. The British and French governments protested against this violation of the World War I peace treaties, but both powers were deeply involved in political problems in the Mediterranean and the Far East. The Italians, ever more dependent on the Germans, accepted the inevitable of a common border with Germany on the Brenner Pass. As a result of the plebiscite and the republic's incorporation into Germany, Austria withdrew as a member state from the League of Nations.
April 10, 1938 New French Government Edouard Daladier formed a new French cabinet, having served as Minister of Defense, and, as a Radical Socialist, was more to the right than Leon Blum. Premier Daladier received decree powers until July 31st, and immediately moved to devalue the French franc and end a new wave of strikes. His policies received the support of Leon Blum and the Socialists.
April 15, 1938 Spanish Nationalists Capture of Vinaroz Spanish Nationalist forces captured the port of Vinaroz, which cut Republican territory in Castile off from Barcelona and Catalonia. A major battle ensued on the Ebro River, resulting in a deadlock which lasted most of the summer.
April 16, 1938 Anglo-Italian Pact Eager to resolve outstanding issues between the two countries, the British and Italians concluded an agreement. The British sought to eliminate tensions with the Italians in the Mediterranean and the Middle East, while the Italians wanted to gain a counterweight to their growing dependence on Germany. The British government recognized Italian sovereignty over Ethiopia and agreed to use its influence to convince other countries to do the same. In return, the Italians promised to withdraw their troops from Spain at the end of the civil war and to respect Spanish territory. The Italian government also promised to desist from promoting propaganda in the Middle East. Both countries agreed to recognize the status quo in the Red Sea region. The terms of the agreement became operational upon the settlement of the Spanish Civil War. British Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, was eager to reach an accommodation with the Italians to reduce tensions in the Mediterranean region.
April 19, 1938 Romanian Crackdown on Fascists The new Romanian government began an intensive attack on fascists in the kingdom. A Romanian court sentenced Corneliu Codreanu, leader of the Iron Guard, to six-months' imprisonment for libel and hundreds of Iron Guardists were arrested after discovery of an alleged plot against King Carol. On May 10th, Codreanu received an additional ten year sentence for treason.
April 21, 1938 Polish Government Rejection of Fascist Wing After a new Polish government under General Stanislas Skwarczynski came to power in January, the ministry cut its ties with the Union of Young Poland, a fascist and anti-Semitic organization founded by Colonel Adam Koc.
April 24, 1938 Karlsbad Program-Sudeten German Demands Konrad Henlein, leader of the Sudeten Germans, issued a list of demands in his Karlsbad Program. The program included full equality of status for Germans and Czechoslovaks; full autonomy for Sudeten Germans; the removal of all injustices and reparations for damages suffered by Germans since 1918; full liberty for Germans to proclaim their heritage and support for the "ideology of Germans"; and a complete revision of Czechoslovak foreign policy. The Czechoslovak government rejected all of these demands, although the British and French governments urged some concession.
April 27, 1938 Turco-Greek Treaty of Friendship The Greek and Turkish governments signed a Treaty of Friendship designed to promote security in the eastern Mediterranean.
April 29, 1938 Anglo-Irish Agreement The British and Irish governments finally concluded a three-year economic agreement which addressed the problems which had plagued relations between the two states for several years. The Irish agreed to satisfy British land-annuity claims, paying 10 million pounds. Both countries agreed to eliminate all recent tariffs to promote trade between the two countries. The British turned over the coast defenses of Cobb, Bere Haven, and Lough Swilly to the Irish. The Unionist victory in the Northern Irish elections eliminated any chance of a political settlement to the Ulster problem. This agreement restored friendly relations between the two countries and even the Irish opposition supported the treaty.
April 29-June 14, 1938 First Session of the 1938 Judicial Year/Permanent Court of International Justice The Permanent Court of International Justice held its first session of the 1938 Judicial Year in the Hague.
April 30, 1938 Swiss Appeal for Unconditional Neutrality The Swiss government appealed to the Council of the League of Nations to recognize Switzerland's unconditional neutrality. This request reflected the radical change in international relations in Europe and Switzerland's vulnerable situation between the Rome-Berlin Axis.
April 30, 1938 Bulgarian Dissolution of the National Socialists The Bulgarian government disbanded the National Socialist Party in Bulgaria in an attempt to control fascist elements in the kingdom.
May 1938 International Rabies Conference To combat the spread of rabies, the League of Nations sponsored a conference in Bucharest.
May 3-9, 1938 German State Visit to Italy Chancellor Adolf Hitler conducted another state visit to Rome, and met another magnificent reception by Premier Benito Mussolini. This visit demonstrated the strength and vitality of the Rome-Berlin Axis despite the German annexation of Austria.
May 9-14, 1938 One Hundred-First League Council Session The League of Nations Council held its one hundred-first session in Geneva.
May 10-June 12, 1938 Japanese Spring Offensives in China Japanese military forces conducted a series of military campaigns which expanded their control of China. On May 10th, the Japanese captured the southern Chinese port of Xiamen (Amoy), across the Formosa Strait from Taiwan (Formosa). In central China, the Japanese occupied a number of key cities, including Xuzhou (Suchow), on May 20th; Kaifeng, on June 6th; and Ankang (Anking), on June 12th.
May 11, 1938 Integralista Uprising in Brazil The Brazilian government readily suppressed an uprising by the Integralista, an organization with connections to the German government. The Integralistas were strongly supported by many Germans living in the southern provinces of Brazil.
May 12, 1938 German Recognition of Manchukuo The German government officially recognized the government of Manchukuo and established diplomatic relations with the kingdom.
May 14, 1938 League Acceptance of Swiss Neutrality The Council of the League of Nations accepted the Swiss appeal for unconditional neutrality, a decision which released the Swiss government from all obligations, including participation in future economic sanctions against aggressor nations.
May 17, 1938 Anglo-Turkish Agreement The British and Turkish governments signed an agreement to promote stability in the eastern Mediterranean.
May 19-20, 1938 First Czechoslovak-German Crisis In response to the Czechoslovak government's outright rejection of the Karlsbad Program, Konrad Henlein, leader of the Sudeten Germans, made visits to London and Berlin. Upon his return to Czechoslovakia, political disorders broke out across the Czechoslovak republic. Rumors of German troop concentrations on the border convinced the Czechoslovak government to mobilize 400,000 men. The British and French governments immediately threw their support behind the Czechoslovak government. In light of the strong initial Anglo-French stand to defend Czechoslovak sovereignty, the German government accelerated the construction of fortifications on the Western frontier of Germany and ordered an expansion of the Luftwaffe. The German government employed 500,000 men working 24-hours a day. The crisis blew over and Henlein began negotiations with the Czechoslovak government regarding the Nationality Statute.
May 20, 1938 Joint American-Philippine Committee Report The joint committee issued a report which recommended the gradual extension of the American tariff on Philippine goods over a period of 22 years. Under the proposal, Philippine goods would receive reduced tariff rates until 1960, instead of 1946 as originally proposed.
May 22-25, 1938 International Dialogue of Students To promote international student issues, the League of Nations hosted a conference in Luxembourg.
May 23-27, 1938 Eleventh Session of the International Studies Conference To promote the science of international relations, the League of Nations sponsored a conference in Prague.
May 26, 1938 Reorganization of Japanese Government The Konoye ministry reorganized the cabinet, giving six ministerial positions to officers in the Japanese army and navy. General Kazushige Ugaki became the new foreign minister for Japan.
May 30-June 4, 1938 Conference on New Theories of Modern Physics To support international physics research, the League of Nations held a conference in Warsaw.
June-October 1938 Ecuadorian-Peruvian Border Dispute Troops from Ecuador and Peru clashed on the frontier over a border dispute between the two countries. The fighting threatened to escalate into a war over this long-standing dispute.
June 2, 1938 Chilean Withdrawal from the League The Chilean government informed the League of Nations of that state's intention of withdrawing from the organization.
June 2-22, 1938 Twenty-Fourth Session of the International Labor Conference The International Labor Organization (BIT) held its twenty-fourth session in Geneva, under the chairmanship of Professor Waldemar Falcao (Brazil). The representatives concluded a convention regarding the collection of statistics on mine industry hours and wages.
June 16, 1938 Extension of Nuremberg Laws to Austria The German Anschluss resulted in the extension of anti-Jewish laws to former Austrian provinces. Under the new regulations, Austrian Jews had to register all their property, at home and abroad, within a few weeks.
June 17, 1938 Irish National Elections Eamon De Valera won an overwhelming mandate and became the new prime minister under the new Irish constitution. Prime Minister De Valera established close relations with the British in light of the growing danger of war in Europe. However, the new prime minister continued to press the British for negotiations for a union between the Irish republic and Ulster.
June 21, 1938 Swiss Neutrality Proclamation With the approval of the Council of the League of Nations, the Swiss government exchanged diplomatic notes with the German and Italian governments recognizing the complete neutrality of the confederation.
June 29, 1938 Execution of Jewish Terrorist in Palestine The British government executed Solomon ben Yosef, who had been found guilty of terrorism. He represented a Jewish organization which advocated retaliation against the Arabs.
July-August 1938 Terrorist Attacks in Palestine During the summer of 1938, terrorist groups conducted a series of attacks in Palestine, which included major bombings in the Jerusalem, Haifa, and the Jaffa Arab markets. These attacks reflected an undeclared state of war between the Arabs and the Jews.
July 1, 1938 Oslo Mutual Trade Agreements Terminated The trade provisions of the Oslo Agreement between Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, which had promoted trade between these European states, were terminated. Political concerns held precedence over economic issues. Despite the termination of the trade agreements, relations between the Oslo powers remained close.
July 1, 1938 German Labor Decree The German government issued a decree making all members of the state liable to short-term labor service in the event of a national emergency.
July 3, 1938 Franco-Turkish Agreement on Alexandretta The French and Turkish governments signed an agreement regarding the future of Alexandretta. The future of the province would be settled by an election and each country would send in 2,500 troops to the sanjak to supervise the voting.
July 5, 1938 Entrance of Turkish Troops in Alexandretta The Turkish army dispatched a force to the Sanjak of Alexandretta to help supervise the plebiscite.
July 11-August 10, 1938 Soviet-Japanese Warfare in Eastern Siberia Japanese and Soviet forces clashed at Changkufeng Hill, on the border of Siberia, Korea, and Manchukuo. The Japanese conducted a series of probing operations and the Soviet forces held their positions. Although the two governments agreed on a truce, tensions between Russia and Japan remained volatile. In response to the Japanese invasion of China, the Soviets provided the Nationalist Chinese with considerable military assistance.
July 12, 1938 Venezuelan Withdrawal from League The Venezuelan government informed the League of Nations of that state's intention of withdrawing from the organization.
July 13-14, 1938 Second Session of 1938 Judicial Year The Permanent Court of International Justice held its second session of the 1938 Judicial Year in the Hague.
July 19-21, 1938 British State Visit to France King George VI and Queen Elizabeth conducted an official state visit to Paris. This visit was conducted to highlight Anglo-French solidarity and as a counter-demonstration to Hitler's visit to Rome.
July 21, 1938 Bolivian-Paraguayan Peace Treaty The Bolivian and Paraguayan governments signed the final peace treaty which officially ended the Chaco War. The treaty provided for the arbitration of the final borders between the two countries, conducted by the presidents of six American republics.
July 21, 1938 U.S. Arbitration of Mexican Oil Expropriation The Roosevelt administration called for arbitration to decide a fair settlement of the Mexican government's expropriation of American and British oil company property. The U.S. government valued the property lost by American interests at $10 million. The Americans did not dispute the Mexican government's right to expropriate the property, but the Roosevelt administration did insist on full compensation for the previous owners. In response, the Mexican government rejected arbitration and compensation, except in very general terms.
July 25, 1938 Runciman Mission to Prague The British government sent Lord Runciman to Prague to investigate the condition of the German Sudetens. Lord Runciman's report supported the German claims.
July 26, 1938 Czechoslovak Publication of the Nationality Statute After months of negotiations between the Czechoslovak government and the Sudeten Germans, the Hodza government published a draft of the Nationality Statute. The proposal was based on proportionality but fell short of Konrad Henlein's original demands in the Karlsbad Program. At the same time, the British government announced that it planned to send a mediator, Lord Runciman, to Prague.
July 29, 1938 Revolt in Crete Political dissatisfaction led to a revolt on the island of Crete. The Greek government took immediate access to suppress the rebellion.
July 31, 1938 Greco-Bulgarian Agreement The Bulgarian and Greek governments (the latter acting on behalf of the Balkan Entente) signed an agreement recognizing Bulgaria's right to rearm. The agreement also abolished the demilitarized zones between the two states. By this time, the Bulgarian government had made significant headway in terms of remilitarizing, in violation of the World War I peace treaties. The Bulgarian government purchased most of their military equipment from Germany, but the Bulgarian regime did not support National Socialism.
August 1938 Hungarian State Visit to Germany The Hungarian regent, Admiral Nicolas Horthy, conducted a state visit to Germany, where he was received by the German government with great ceremony.
August 1938 Anglo-French Loan to Bulgaria With the signing of the Greco-Bulgarian agreement, the British and French governments provided a $10 million loan to the Bulgarian government to pay for the kingdom's rearmament program. The British and French sought to incorporate the Bulgarians in the Balkan Entente. The Bulgarian government, however, demanded more insistently for a revision of the World War I peace treaties, which led to tensions with Romania over the future of Dobrudja.
August 3, 1938 Italian "Racial" Program Despite past policies and assurances, the Italian government announced a new "racial" program aimed at the few Jews in Italy. The new regulations barred foreign Jews from Italian schools, gave Jews who had taken up residence in Italy since 1919 six months to leave the kingdom, discharged Jewish teachers and students from schools and universities, and prohibited inter-marriage between Jews and Italians.
August 3, 1938 British Mediation in Sudeten Crisis The British mediator, Lord Runciman, arrived in Prague and began a series of conferences with Sudeten German leaders to reach a compromise on the nationalities issue.
August 3-13, 1938 Rural Health Conference for Far Eastern Countries To promote rural health in the Far East, the League of Nations hosted a conference in Bandoeng in the Dutch East Indies.
August 4, 1938 Romanian Nationalities Statute In an effort to win broader political support, the Romanian government introduced a new nationalities statute which gave minorities equal rights with Romanians in terms of language, religion, and race. Under a new administrative plan, introduced on August 13th, Romania's old racial divisions became void and a new political system divided into ten provinces went into effect.
August 10, 1938 Chaco War Plebiscite The citizens of Bolivia and Paraguay voted to approve the peace treaty between the two countries which ended the Chaco War.
August 12, 1938 German Military Maneuvers The German government called up 750,000 troops for an unprecedented series of military maneuvers. This military exercise came in conjunction with the nationalities negotiations in Prague between the Czechoslovak government and Sudeten Germans.
August 21-23, 1938 Bled Conference Representatives of the governments of the Little Entente met in Bled, Yugoslavia. The three powers agreed that the Hungarians had the right to rearm and arranged for the negotiation of non-aggression pacts.
August 26, 1938 Mobilization of the Royal Navy In response to German military maneuvers, the British government announced the mobilization of the Royal Navy with plans to concentrate the most of the fleet by early September. The Chamberlain government warned that the British would not back down from the crisis in Czechoslovakia.
September 1938 Intergovernmental Conference of American Countries on Rural Hygiene To promote rural health in Latin American, the League of Nations held a conference in Mexico City.
September 2, 1938 Establishment of the Republic of Hatay In the Sanjak of Alexandretta elections, Turkish candidates won 22 of the forty seats in the Assembly. Under the Franco-Turkish agreement, a Turkish victory would result in the establishment of a new autonomous state which would not become part of Syria. The new Assembly immediately proclaimed the Republic of Hatay, with the Turks in complete control and the republic existing simply as a pro forma exercise.
September 5, 1938 Mexican Oil Agreements with Germany and Italy The Mexican government, seeking markets for the oil expropriated from American and British companies, negotiated barter agreements with Germany, Japan, and other countries. Under these agreements, Mexican oil was exchanged for manufactured goods (previously imported from the U.S. and Britain). Despite these agreements and pressure from American oil companies, the Roosevelt administration took a moderate stance against Mexico and maintained the Good Neighbor Policy.
September 5, 1938 Failed Coup in Chile An attempted coup against the Chilean government by rebels associated with the German regime failed.
September 7, 1938 French Military Mobilization By early September, the situation in Czechoslovakia was critical. Konrad Henlein flatly rejected a number of Czechoslovak government political proposals, such as cantonal organizations, after visits with German Chancellor Adolf Hitler. The Sudeten Germans insisted that the Karlsbad Program was their minimal demands. In response, the French government began to call up reservists and mobilized one million men.
September 7, 1938 Moravska Ostrava Confrontation After fighting broke out at Moravska Ostrava, the Sudeten German leaders broke off negotiations with the Czechoslovak government. Discussions resumed three days later, but disorder spread across Czechoslovakia, marking the beginning of the Second Czechoslovak-German Crisis.
September 9-19, 1938 One Hundred-Second League Council Session The League of Nations Council held its one hundred-second session in Geneva.
September 12, 1938 Sudeten German Self-Determination German Chancellor Adolf Hitler demanded in a speech in Nuremberg that the Czechoslovak government must accord Sudeten Germans the right of self-determination. These demands resulted in widespread political disorder in Czechoslovakia and the Hodza government declared martial law in an attempt to restore order on September 13th. Konrad Henlein and other Sudeten German leaders escaped across the border to Germany two days later. To defuse this dangerous situation, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, with the support of the French government, called for a personal conference with Chancellor Hitler to find a compromise.
September 12-30, 1938 Nineteenth League Assembly Session The League of Nations Assembly held its nineteenth session in Geneva.
September 15, 1938 Anglo-German Conference at Berchtesgaden British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain flew to Germany and met with Chancellor Adolf Hitler. Chancellor Hitler demanded the annexation of the German regions of Czechoslovakia on the basis of self-determination and announced Germany's intentions to go to war to achieve this goal. Prime Minister Chamberlain and Lord Runciman returned to London to meet with French government leaders.
September 18, 1938 Anglo-French Conference in London French Premier Edouard Daladier and Foreign Minister M. Bonnet traveled to London to met with British government leaders to devise a policy to meet the Sudeten Crisis. The two governments decided to advise and urge the Czechoslovak government to accept the German terms. In return, the British and French governments promised an international guaranty of the remaining Czechoslovak state.
September 20, 1938 Czechoslovak Rejection of Anglo-French Proposal After several days of contemplation, the Czechoslovak government rejected the Anglo-French proposal that the Hodza ministry accept the German terms for annexation of the Sudetenland. Instead, the Czechoslovak government requested arbitration on the basis of the Czechoslovak-German Locarno Treaty of 1925. The British and French governments immediately rejected the arbitration request as inadequate.
September 21, 1938 Czechoslovak Acceptance of German Terms Faced with little support from the British and French governments, the Czechoslovak government accepted the German terms, even though the Polish and Hungarian governments added their own claims for Czechoslovak territory. The Hodza government resigned on September 22nd, and General Jan Sirovy, a popular military leader, formed a new ministry.
September 22, 1938 Establishment of United Council of China The Japanese government created the United Council of China at Beijing as the first step to overthrowing Chiang Kai-shek and the Nationalist Chinese government. Under the Japanese plan, China would become a Japanese protectorate as part of the "New Order" in the Far East.
September 22-23, 1938 Anglo-German Conference at Godesberg British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain returned to Germany to meet with Chancellor Adolf Hitler at Godesberg to discuss the Czechoslovak government's concessions. Chancellor Hitler issued a new set of demands which included the immediate surrender of predominantly German regions without removal or destruction of military and economic materials and plebiscites, under Czechoslovak-German or international supervision, in areas with large German minorities by November 25th. Prime Minister Chamberlain considered these demands unacceptable and an unwarranted expansion of the original German demands.
September 24, 1938 Czechoslovak Military Mobilization Rejecting the German demands, the Czechoslovak government mobilized the army in preparation for war. This marked the most serious crisis to European peace since the outbreak of World War I.
September 26, 1938 Second Anglo-French Conference in London French Premier Edouard Daladier and Foreign Minister M. Bonnet returned to London to confer with the British regarding a policy against Germany. British and French representatives began negotiations with the Soviet government, which called for a strong stand in support of Czechoslovakia. The Romanian government also indicated its support for the Anglo-French position. In London, the French and British governments agreed to support the Czechoslovak government and resist the expanded German demands. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, however, appealed to German Chancellor Adolf Hitler for another conference. Since all of the powers accepted the transfer of Sudeten territory to Germany, Prime Minister Chamberlain hoped that the annexation could be accomplished through negotiations, and not through force of arms. On September 27th, U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt urged Chancellor Hitler to agree to a conference. On the advice of Italian Premier Benito Mussolini, Chancellor Hitler agreed to participate in negotiations on September 28th.
September 26-30, 1938 One Hundred-Third League Council Session The League of Nations Council held its one hundred-third session in Geneva.
September 27, 1938 U.S. Appeal for Peaceful Solution in Sudetenland President Franklin Roosevelt appealed to Chancellor Adolf Hitler and Premier Benito Mussolini to reach a peaceful solution to the Sudeten crisis.
September 27-28, 1938 League Declaration of Japanese Aggression The League of Nations declared Japan an aggressor nation and invited members of the organization to extend support to the Chinese government.
September 29, 1938 Munich Conference and Agreement German Chancellor Adolf Hitler and Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, Italian Premier Benito Mussolini and Foreign Minister Nobile Ciano, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, and French Premier Edouard Daladier met in Munich to negotiate a settlement to the Sudeten Crisis (the Czechoslovak government was not represented). Chancellor Hitler received all that he demanded: the Czechoslovak government would evacuate German areas between October 1st and 10th, under conditions arranged by an international commission, which would also determine the plebiscite areas (the plebiscites were never held). The British and French governments promised to guarantee the new frontiers against unprovoked aggression. After the Polish and Hungarian minority questions were settled, the German and Italian governments pledged to provide Czechoslovakia with frontier guarantees. The Western statesmen, returning from Munich, received great public ovations as hopes for peace were strong across Europe. The partition of Czechoslovakia, which consisted of the incorporation of another 3.5 million Germans and 10,000 square miles of Czech territory into the Reich, was a clear step towards a world war. The Czechoslovaks were abandoned by their allies in the Little Entente and the French, despite numerous assurances that their treaty obligations would be respected. The Anglo-French decision led to recrimination as a major defeat for the democratic powers. Only the Soviet government appeared prepared to assist the Czechoslovaks, but neither the British or French governments were willing to risk war with Germany. German rearmament, especially in air power, threatened to overwhelm the unprepared British and French military forces and the Western powers proved ready to make concessions to the Germans at Munich. As a result of Chancellor Hitler's diplomatic victory, the Little Entente disappeared as an actor in European diplomacy. The surviving state of Czechoslovaki a fell under German domination, as well as Hungary and the other Danubian states. The Czechoslovak alliances with the French and Soviets were worthless and the Franco-Soviet alliance lacked credibility. As a result of the Munich agreement, Germany emerged as the strongest power in Europe and the clear hegemon in the Danubian region.
September 29, 1938 Polish Ultimatum on Teschen Taking advantage of the Sudeten Crisis, the Polish government submitted an ultimatum to the Czechoslovak government demanding the annexation of Teschen. The region had been in dispute between the two countries since the Czechoslovaks seized the region during the Russo-Polish War of 1920.
September 30, 1938 Czechoslovak Acceptance of Munich Agreement Given no other choice, the Sirovy government accepted the Munich settlement and began the evacuation of the Sudeten region. For all intensive purposes, the rump Czechoslovak state became a German satellite.
October 1, 1938 League Separation of Covenant from Peace Treaties In an attempt to save the international legal system and collective security, the League of Nations officially separated the Covenant of the League from the World War I peace treaties. The goal was to preserve the peace while making modifications to meet the demands of revisionist nations.
October 2, 1938 Polish Occupation of Teschen The Polish army occupied Teschen, and Poland gained 400 square miles of territory and 240,000 new citizens (of which approximately 100,000 were Polish).
October 2, 1938 Massacre of Jews at Tiberias Arab extremists murdered 20 Jews in Tiberias and seized a number of towns in Palestine. The British army mounted military operations to regain control of these cities.
October 4, 1938 End of Popular Front Government in France The Socialists and Communists in France broke with the Edouard Daladier government when the Socialists abstained in a vote of confidence on the Munich agreements and the Communists voted against the treaties. This marked the end of Popular Front government and the cabinet turned to the Right for political support.
October 5, 1938 Resignation of Czechoslovak President Eduard Benes resigned as the president of Czechoslovakia and departed the country, eventually settling in the United States. President Benes had been the target of German attack throughout the Sudeten Crisis.
October 6, 1938 Slovak Autonomy The Czechoslovak government accorded Slovakia full autonomy, which had been the goal of Slovak leaders for a long time. Mgr. Joseph Tiso became the new premier of Slovakia.
October 8, 1938 Ruthenian Autonomy The Czechoslovak government provided Ruthenian with full autonomy and the region was renamed Carpatho-Ukraine. This region took on an important new role as the base for Ukrainian nationalist agitation, with the apparent support of the German government. The Polish government attempted to divide the new region between Poland, Hungary, and Romania, but the German government frustrated all attempts at annexation.
October 8, 1938 Abolishment of Chamber of Deputies in Italy The Fascist Grand Council eliminated the last vestige of the old constitution by abolishing the Chamber of Deputies. The legislative body was replaced by a new Chamber of Fasces and Corporations.
October 9, 1938 Hungarian Claims on Slovakia The Hungarian government began negotiations with the Czechoslovak government regarding the future of Slovakia. Representatives of the two governments failed to reach an agreement, which led to serious fighting on their frontiers. As a result, the German and Italian governments decided to intervene and issued a joint decision in November, which accorded the Hungarians a strip of territory in southern Slovakia.
October 10, 1938 Chaco Arbitration Decision In accordance with the peace treaty which ended the Chaco War between Bolivia and Paraguay, six presidents of American republics met to determine the final boundary allocations between the two states. The arbiters assigned most of the disputed Chaco region to Paraguay, but also provided Bolivia an outlet to the Pacific Ocean by way of the Paraguay River.
October 10, 1938 British Capture of Bethlehem The British army regained control of Bethlehem after Arab extremists seized control of the city in early October.
October 12, 1938 Ecuadorian Arbitration Request The government of Ecuador appealed to several American presidents to serve as mediators of the border dispute between Ecuador and Peru. The Peruvian government took a hard stance on the border issue and adamantly refused the Ecuadorian government's demands for territorial cession.
October 12-25, 1938 Japanese Offensive in Southern China The Japanese launched a major Fall Offensive in southern China, wrestling control of several major cities from the Chinese. The Japanese landed forces at Bias Bay, near Hong Kong, on October 12th, taking advantage of the Czechoslovak-German Crisis in Europe. The Japanese army then advanced north, seizing Guangzhou (Canton) on October 21st, almost without a struggle. The Japanese had bombed the city by air for several months and most of the inhabitants had already fled. The capture of Guangzhou allowed the Japanese to cut off the Guangzhou-Hankou Railway, which was the most important rail line for the transportation of foreign military imports into the interior. On October 25th, Hankou (Hankow) fell to the Japanese.
October 18, 1938 British Capture of Jerusalem In early October, Arab extremists occupied the old city of Jerusalem. The British army sent in troops to regain control of the city.
October 20, 1938 Communist Party Outlawed in Czecho-Slovakia The Czecho-Slovak government, renamed after Slovakian autonomy and federal reorganization, made the Communist Party illegal. This policy reflected German influence on the new state and soon led the government to adopt anti-Jewish legislation.
October 21, 1938 Czecho-Slovakian Termination of Soviet Pact The Czecho-Slovak government terminated its alliance with the Soviet Union, under German government pressure.
October 25, 1938 Japanese Occupation of Hankou The Japanese seizure of Hankou (Hankow) forced the Chinese government and army to withdraw west, up the Yangtze River. The Nationalist Chinese government set up a new capital in Chongqing (Chungking). Japanese control over Chinese territory south of Hankou became increasing rigid and several Western powers protested against the Japanese violation of their treaty rights.
October 25, 1938 New Australian Governor-General The British government appointed the Duke of Kent as the new Governor-General of Australia. This appointment reflected the growing interdependence between Britain and the Dominions in light of the worsening international situation.
October 25, 1938 Libyan Incorporation into Italy The Italian government declared that Libya was an integral part of Italy.
November 1938 Jewish Persecution in Germany In response to the assassination of a German diplomat in Paris by a Jew, a series of organized attacks on synagogues and Jewish property spread across Germany. The German government levied a fine of one billion marks on the Jewish community, which amounted to a 20 percent levy on property above 5,000 marks. The German government clearly sought to drive all of the Jews out of Germany and an International Refugee Committee was organized to implement the emigration process. The government's refusal to allow Jewish emigrants to depart Germany with money or property undermined the emigration process.
November 2, 1938 Ratification of Anglo-Italian Pact Although fighting continued in the Spanish Civil War, the British and Italian governments agreed to put the April 1938 treaty into effect. The British government sought to prevent the renewal of tensions in the Mediterranean region with the Italians.
November 2, 1938 Hungarian Acquisition of Southern Slovakia As a result of the failure of the Hungarian and Czecho-Slovak governments to reach an agreement on the future of Slovakia, the German and Italian governments intervened and issued a joint decision. Hungary received a broad strip of Czecho-Slovak territory from southern Slovakia and Ruthenia, which included one million people and 5,000 square miles of land. The Germans and Italians rejected a Hungarian demand for a common frontier with Poland, a claim supported by the Polish government. As a result of dismemberment, Czecho-Slovakia lost a total of five million inhabitants and 16,000 square miles of territory to Germany, Poland, and Hungary.
November 2, 1938 Japanese Withdrawal from League Technical Organizations The Japanese government announced that Japan would withdraw from all of the technical organizations associated with the League of Nations.
November 4, 1938 U.S. Reaffirmation of the Nine-Power Treaty U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull protested against Japanese violation of Chinese integrity and reasserted American support for the Nine-Power Treaty. The British government supported the American position, but the protests fell on deaf ears in Tokyo.
November 6, 1938 U.S. Protest of Japanese Open Door Violations U.S. Ambassador Joseph Clark Grew gave an official protest against Japanese violations of the Open Door policy in China.
November 9, 1938 Woodhead Commission Report on Palestine After analyzing a wide range of partition plans for Palestine, the Woodhead Commission concluded that none of the plans were practical. As a result, the British government abandoned its partition policy and moved to initiate a conference between Arabs and Jews for the future of the mandate. The British also invited Arab participants from other countries who demonstrated solidarity with the Palestinian Arabs.
November 9, 1938 French Recognition of Italian Conquest of Ethiopia The French government recognized the Italian conquest of Ethiopia in an effort to gain Italian support against German expansion.
November 11-December 1, 1938 Third Session of Judicial Year 1938/Permanent Court of International Justice The Permanent Court of International Justice held its third session of Judicial Year 1938 in the Hague.
November 12, 1938 U.S.-Mexican Property Agreement After serious tensions between the two countries after the Mexican government expropriated the property of American oil companies operating in Mexico, the U.S. and Mexican governments signed an agreement on the land question issue. Under this plan, commissioners would appraise the value of the properties and the Mexican government would pay compensation to the American oil companies at a rate of $1 million per annum until the claims were liquidated. The two governments, however, could not reach an agreement to settle the oil issue.
November 16, 1938 Anglo-Italian Pact Activated The British government officially recognized Italian sovereignty over Ethiopia and agreed to support Italian claims in relations with other governments. The Italians, in return, agreed to end their propaganda campaign in the Arab world. By the terms of the agreement, the Italian government would withdraw their troops from Spain, but fighting continued on the Iberian Peninsula. While the Italians withdrew some troops, they continued to support the Spanish Nationalists and maintained a force estimated at 40,000 men.
November 17, 1938 Anglo-Canadian-U.S. Trade Agreement The British, Canadian, and American governments signed a major trade agreement, which the three countries had negotiated for a considerable period of time. Each state agreed to considerable trade concessions, a position which marked growing cooperation between the English-speaking countries.
November 18, 1938 Japanese Response to U.S. Open Door Note The Japanese government officially repudiated the Open Door policy in its response to the U.S. note of November 6th. The Japanese declared that the Open Door was "inapplicable" to the new conditions in East Asia and to the conditions of "today and tomorrow."
November 19, 1938 Egyptian Armament Program In response to international tensions, the Egyptian government initiated a major armament program which included the expansion of the kingdom's air force and navy and the construction of munitions plants.
November 20, 1938 Czecho-Slovak-German Agreement The Czecho-Slovak government gave the Germans rights to a highway across Moravia to Vienna, and a canal which connected the Oder and Danube Rivers.
November 22, 1938 Finnish Government Dissolution of Fascist Organization The Finnish government dissolved the Patriotic National Movement, an organization which served as the spearhead for fascism in the republic.
November 26, 1938 Poland and Russia Renew Non-Aggression Pact The Polish government, exposed to German eastward expansion, sought closer relations with the Soviet Union by renewing the Soviet-Polish Non-Aggression Pact. The Polish government made efforts to build up a barrier of Baltic and Balkan states to help maintain the status quo in Eastern Europe.
November 29, 1938 Belgian Withdrawal from Non-Intervention Committee In an effort to establish its neutrality in international affairs, the Belgian government withdrew from the Non-Intervention Committee.
November 30, 1938 Anti-French Demonstrations in Italian Parliament Members of the Italian Chamber of Fasces and Corporations demanded that the French turn over Corsica and Tunisia to Italy and conducted anti-French demonstrations. The state-controlled newspapers in Italy embraced these demands. These demonstrations marked the beginning of acute tensions between the two countries, which became worse with fascist victories in Spain.
November 30, 1938 Death of Cordeanu Cornlieu Cordeanu and thirteen leaders of the Iron Guard were shot by their guards during a transfer from one prison to another. This explanation raised a number of protests, including the German government, which accused the Romanian government of cold murder. But the Romanian government continued to implement an intensive anti-fascist program.
November 30, 1938 French General Strike After the French government implemented a series of decrees aimed at improving the French economy at the expense of labor, the Confederation of Labor planned for a 24-hour general strike. To preempt the strike, the government militarized railway workers and requisitioned other services and threatened to deal harshly with any strikers. As a result, only a few workers went on strike, but many labor leaders were arrested. The government used national defense as the rationale to take sterner action against organized labor.
November 30-December 3, 1938 Conference for the Conclusion of an International Act for Intellectual Cooperation To promote the protection of intellectual cooperation, the League of Nations hosted a conference in Paris.
December 1938 Franco-Italian Crisis The Italian government issued a series of demands for French colonies (especially Tunisia and Corsica) and other concessions. In response, the French government took an uncompromising attitude towards the cessation of any colonies to the Italians.
December 1, 1938 British War Service National Register The British government took major steps in addressing the country's woeful state of military preparedness, by introducing a "national register" for war service. This program was voluntary, but the British government, in light of the Munich Crisis, began a major effort to modernize the kingdom's military forces. This included the purchase of large numbers of American aircraft.
December 6, 1938 Franco-German Pact The French and German governments signed an agreement by which both states guaranteed the inviolability of the current frontiers and provided for mutual consultation to settle all disputes peacefully.
December 9-26, 1938 Eighth Pan-American Conference in Lima Representatives of the Organization of American States met in Lima to discuss international events in Europe, Africa, and Asia and to develop a common policy to prevent foreign intervention in the Americas. The delegates adopted the Declaration of Lima on December 24th in response to these objectives.
December 11, 1938 Memel Elections Elections in Memel resulted in an overwhelming victory for the National Socialists, who received over 90 percent of the vote. Given the resurgence of power in Germany, the Lithuanian government had little choice but to give the National Socialists a free hand in Memel.
December 17, 1938 Italian Invalidation of Treaty of 1935 with France The Italian government sent a diplomatic note to the French indicating that the Franco-Italian Agreement of 1935 was invalid because the two states had not exchanged ratifications. The French government rejected this position.
December 23, 1938 Spanish Nationalist Offensive in Catalonia The Spanish Nationalists began a major offensive in Catalonia. Despite a heated defense, the Spanish Republicans had to withdraw to Barcelona.
December 24, 1938 Declaration of Lima Members of the Organization of American States adopted the Declaration of Lima, a policy which reaffirmed American solidarity as well as an agreement whereby all 21 signatories would oppose any foreign intervention or action threatening their sovereignty. The U.S. government supported an even stronger statement, opposed by the Argentinean delegation, in an effort to unite all of the American republics against the totalitarian threat from Europe.
December 28, 1938 Iranian Severance of Relations with France The Iranian government severed diplomatic ties with the French government.
December 31, 1938 U.S. Rejection of Japanese "New Order" In response to a series of diplomatic notes addressing Japanese violations of the Open Door policy in China, the U.S. Department of State refused to recognize Japan's "New Order" in the Far East.

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