It the inaugural luncheon of the Lord Mayor of London on 10 November 1941, British Prime Minister Churchill was reported to have declared that should the United States open hostilities against Japan, Britain would declare war on Japan within one hour. Two days later, King George VI of Britain declared in his opening message to Parliament that the British Government was paying close attention to the situation in East Asia. The previous day (Armistice Day) the President of the United States had stated that the United States would fight forever for freedom. Navy Secretary Knox stated in an Armistice Day address that the time had come for the United States to resolve her stand against Japan.
It will be seen, therefore, that the speeches of the United States and British Leaders prior to the opening of our 77th session of the Imperial Diet, were extremely blunt and provocative. President Roosevelt declared on 7 November that the withdrawal of United States marines from China was under consideration, and, on 14 November, he announced that they would be withdrawn definitely. Iran, which had been under the sway of Britain, severed diplomatic relations with Japan on 16 November. In the middle of November, the Canadian troops, assigned to the defense of Hongkong, under the command of Brig Gen. J. Lawson, were reported to have arrived in the theater. On 24 November, the United States Government
announced that it had decided to dispatch troops to Dutch New Guinea.
Japan was naturally concerned about the stationing of the United States troops in Dutch territory. On 21 November the First Lord of the Admiralty, Alexander of Britain, announced the reinforcement of the British Far East Forces. Earlier, at the beginning of November, the United States Department of the Navy had announced that, during the period January to October 1941, two capital ships had been commissioned and two others launched; one aircraft carrier commissioned, five cruisers launched, 13 destroyers commissioned and 15 others launched, nine submarines commissioned and 12 others launched. On 25 November, the United States Army authorities stationed in the Philippines announced that they would lay mines in the fortified area at the mouth of Manila Bay during December, and, at the same time, the British Straits Settlement authorities announced that they would lay mines at the east entrance to Singapore. Late in November, Navy Secretary Knox declared that the draft rate of the United States Navy was 11,000 men per month. One hundred Americans residing in Tientsin were evacuated late in November. Thus, the Anglo-American situation gave the impression that the United States and Britain were on the eve of war with Japan.