Skip to main content

Full text of "The way to the League of Nations;"

See other formats


i 



THE WAY TO THE 
LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

*A brief sketch of the Practical Steps needed for 
the formation of a League 

■ BY 

THE RESEARCH, COMMITTEE OF THE 
LEAGUE OF NATIONS UNION 



|CM 

|g I I. The First Step 

1 

g II. The Existing Treaties 

a> HI. The Guarantees of Peace 
o 



CO 



IV. The International Organizations 



=00 



HUMPHREY MILFORD 
OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS 

LONDON EDINBURGH GLASGOW NEW YORK 
TORONTO MELBOURNE CAPETOWN BOMBAY 



Price One Shilling net 



JSequeatbeb to 

ftbe Xibran? 

o( tbe 

^University of Toronto 

bs 

professor W.. 5. /iDtlner 



THE WAY TO THE 
LEAGUE OF NATIONS 



aA brief sketch of the Practical Steps needed for 
the formation of a League 



BY 



THE RESEARCH COMMITTEE OF THE 
LEAGUE OF NATIONS UNION 



I. The First Step 

II. The Existing Treaties 

III. The Guarantees of Peace 

IV. The International Organizations 



HUMPHREY MILFORD 
OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS 

LONDON EDINBURGH GLASGOW NEW YORK 
TORONTO MELBOURNE CAPE TOWN BOMBAY 

1919 




The League of Nations has two paramotinl aims, 
to Prevent War and to Do Justice between Nations ; 
and neither of these aims can be permanently attained 
without the other. For any nation unjustly oppressed 
will naturally look to War for deliverance ; and any 
nation threatened by War will care for self preservation 
more than fustice. 



I. THE FIRST STEP 



The Peace Conference should itself form the nucleus of a 
League to guarantee the permanence of the New Order, 

4 A General Association of Nations under specific 
Covenants for the purpose of affording mutual guarantees 
of political independence and territorial integrity to great 
and small States alike ' takes the fourteenth and last place 
among President Wilson's * points \ and it has therefore 
been assumed that it will be the last subject to be discussed 
at the Peace Conference. Yet a very little consideration 
will show that it is logically prior to nearly all the other 
4 points ', and that it will prove impossible to proceed far 
in the settlement of any of them, unless the Conference 
has from the beginning clear ideas about the authority 
which is to give sanction to its proposals, and act, in Presi- 
dent Wilson's words, as 4 the instrumentality by which the 
peace of the world will be guaranteed \ On almost all the 
1 points ' the claims of the different parties will inevitably 
depend on the degree in which they believe that war can 
or cannot be ruled out, as a probability to be reckoned 
with in the future dealings of States. 

Nearly all Peace Conferences in the past have been 
dominated by strategical considerations. The various 
parties have been manoeuvring for positions in 4 next 
wars ', rather than attempting to settle their disputes on 
grounds of reason and equity. The victor, having no 
confidence in permanent peace, insists on seizing points of 
vantage for future campaigns, or inflicting the most un- 
favourable defensive frontier on his late enemy, regardless 



4 



THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS 



of racial unities and wounds to national pride. The 
boundaries of Europe in August 191 4 were in large part 
the records of attempts by belligerents in past wars to 
guard themselves against wars of revenge. It is idle to 
suppose that these considerations can be completely ruled 
out in the coming Peace Conference ; but they will be 
kept within bounds, and a chance given of settling disputes 
on their merits, if at the outset the parties can be convinced 
that there is a new and effective way of guaranteeing the 
peace, and that they are jointly and severally honest in 
seeking it The League of Nations would then be at least 
the working hypothesis of the Conference and enable it 
to consider impartially the best way of doing justice to 
the various claimants. On any other hypothesis the type 
of settlement that President Wilson proposes is clearly 
impossible, and the discussion of many of his points could 
not even begin. It would be impossible (Point II) to dis- 
cuss the handing over to an international authority of the 
right of blockade at sea unless there were some idea of the 
constitution of that authority and the way it would operate. 
It would be impossible (Point IV) to define the 1 lowest 
point consistent with domestic safety proposed as the 
future standard of armaments, until the new method of gua- 
ranteeing nations against external attack had been explored. 
It would be idle to expect nations in the position of Great 
Britain to discuss colonial claims merely in the terms of 
Point V, unless they had some guarantee in advance that 
colonies like German East Africa, in commanding strategical 
positions, would not become nests for submarines or destroyer 
squadrons, or be used as bases for attacking adjacent colo- 
nies belonging to other Powers. Nearly all the territorial 
questions included in the fourteen points must be similarly 
complicated unless the scheme for guaranteeing the settle- 
ment has previously been examined and agreed, at least 
in general terms. The restoration of Alsace-Lorraine to 



THE FIRST STEP 



5 



France would leave the latter country with the immensely 
perplexing problem of defending the recovered territory 
against a German effort to reconquer it, and, therefore, of 
keeping pace in armaments with a nation twice as populous 
as herself — a question which, apart from the League of 
Nations or the maintenance of the present Alliance on 
an armed basis, could only be settled favourably to France 
by the dismemberment or permanent impoverishment of 
Germany. Similarly, w r hen the Conference comes to con- 
sider the question of Belgium and Austria- Hungary, or 
the readjustment of the Italian frontiers, or the claims and 
relations of the different Balkan States, or the future of 
the Turkish Empire, or any part of the w^hole vast w r ork of 
aiding the recovery of public life and order in the territories 
that have been disintegrated during the war, it will at once 
have to decide whether the old militarist ideas or the new 
League-of-Nations ideas are to prevail. In all these cases, 
1 historically established lines of allegiance and nationality ' 
will go to the wall, and the demand will be simply for strong 
defensive frontiers and other advantages, military, naval, 
and economic, unless there is a belief that the settlement can 
be effectively guaranteed ; and the Conference may find 
itself irretrievably entangled in these questions and com- 
mitted before it knows to a settlement on the old militarist 
lines, if it is not in a position to say at least in general 
terms what it means by the 1 mutual guarantees ' proposed 
in Point XIV. 

But this does not mean that the Conference shall sit 
down at once and work out a full working scheme for the 
League of Nations. If it attempts this in the present state 
of knowledge and opinion, it will almost certainly fail, and 
the failure might be disastrous to the unity of the Allies. 
What the Conference may do and ought to do is to mark 
itself at the very beginning as different from all other 
Conferences by declaring its intention of remaining in 



6 



THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS 



existence as the guaranteeing authority, after the peace 
has been signed, instead of passing out of existence like 
all similar conferences in previous times. If it is clear 
from the outset that the Conference will be not only the 
body to effect the settlement but the body to administer 
it and guarantee it — the body which hopes as soon as prac- 
ticable to transfer its functions to the authorized League 
of Nations, but will in the meantime act as the provisional 
authority for maintaining the peace — the discussion of the 
details will at least start with a presumption in favour of 
League-of- Nations ideas. From that beginning we may 
hope to see the framework of the League gradually taking 
shape from the necessities of the case. The debate, for 
example, on the reduction of armaments must very rapidly 
bring the plenipotentiaries to the conclusion that the 
mutual guarantees need to be embodied in legal form 
and administered by an authority which has executive 
powers. And similarly it will become apparent that if 
any Balkan settlement is to last, or the many experiments 
in nationality which will now be made for the first time 
are to have a fair chance, the provision of a permanent 
guaranteeing authority is indispensable. 

The first step, then, towards the League of Nations is 
that the Conference should start with the declared resolve 
to remain in existence until its work is safe, That will 
at once differentiate it from previous Peace Conferences 
and enable it to make the existence of an international 
authority the ruling assumption of its deliberations. If the 
Conference goes home after throwing down a settlement 
for the nations to digest as best they can, the peace will be 
kept only by the exhaustion of the belligerents in the 
present war ; and when economic recovery comes, the 
armed competition will be renewed on the old lines with 
eventually the same result. In that case the victorious 
nations will feel entitled and even compelled to press their 



THE FIRST STEP 



7 



claims to the uttermost, and to insist on terms which will be 
as crippling as possible to their late opponents and prolong 
their economic exhaustion to the utmost, even if it involves 
general impoverishment and unrest throughout Europe. 
They will also have to remember that some of their present 
allies may conceivably in the future again become their 
enemies, and to scrutinize very closely any division of the 
spoils which might help a possible rival or competitor. 
In such circumstances the impartial justice for which 
President Wilson pleads could not find a favourable 
atmosphere, and the military advantage of the strongest 
bargainer' must be the ruling consideration e But if, on 
the other hand, the Conference starts by pledging itself 
arid the Governments it represents to guarantee the peace 
that it is about to arrange, and resolves to remain in 
existence for that purpose until its work can be carried 
on by a permanent International authority, a definite step 
will have been taken towards the League of Nations, and 
the Conference should be able to consider with some 
approach to impartiality what kind of settlement is just 
and likely to be permanent. 



II. THE EXISTING TREATIES 

The Settlement of future Disputes by the League should be 
based on the system adopted in existing Arbitration 
Treaties y especially the American Treaties of 1914. 

The League has in principle tw r o fundamental objects: 
to prevent war and to do justice between nations. The 
first question which must therefore arise is : by what means 
can the League ensure the prevention of war and the doing 
of justice in those disputes which will inevitably occur even 
in the happiest family of the most pacific peoples ? What is 



8 



THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS 



the way to build a League of Nations in which international 
disputes are naturally settled in a pacific manner and 
according to some impartial standard of justice : in which 
the arbitrary use of the State's force shall become as 
obsolete as the Ordeal by Fire as a method of obtaining 
a decision between two disputants ? 

In this sphere the way to build the League is already 
clearly indicated both in the past practice of states and in 
the consensus of opinion among those who have studied 
the problem. The development of arbitration and of 
arbitration treaties, of conciliation, of international courts 
and commissions, shows that states were already before the 
War being impelled to recognize that in the settlement of 
disputes the alternative to war was some regularized method 
of obtaining a reasoned and a calm judgement or decision 
from some impartial body of men. Practically every one 
who has written about the League, and all the well-known 
schemes for a League, agree upon this point, namely, the 
necessity for creating some agreed and regular method of 
withdrawing international disputes, when they have diplo- 
matically reached the stage of deadlock, from the heated 
atmosphere of national controversy, and of remitting them 
to the calmer atmosphere of some impartial tribunal. 
Actual proposals may differ in detail, e.g. upon the kind or 
kinds of tribunal required ; but upon the principle of the 
League's building for this purpose there is almost universal 
agreement. 

The actual steps by which this object can be attained 
are perhaps themselves indicated by the previous practice of 
states. Between 19 13 and 191 5 the United States of America 
attempted to apply the principle of pacific settlement, 
explained in the previous paragraph, by signing a series 
of 4 Treaties for the Advancement of Peace ' with thirty 
other nations. These thirty treaties, sixteen of which have 
been ratified, are substantially the same. Their chief pro- 



EXISTING TREATIES 



9 



vision may best be shown by quoting in full Article I of the 
treaty with Great Britain. 

k The High Contracting Parties agree that all disputes 
between them, of every nature whatsoever, other than dis- 
putes the settlement of which is provided for and in fact 
achieved under existing agreements between the High 
Contracting Parties, shall, when diplomatic methods of 
adjustment have failed, be referred for investigation and 
report to a permanent International Commission, to be 
constituted in the manner prescribed in the next succeed- 
ing article ; and they agree not to declare war or begin 
hostilities during such investigations and before the report 
is submitted/ 

d) It will be seen that these treaties go some way 
towards the principle of pacific settlement which the 
League will have to establish. They do not, however, as 
the League must do, establish the principle as a rule or 
form of international relations. They are what is called 
bi-partite treaties, i.e. each only applies the principle to the 
relations between the U.S.A. and one other state. The 
first modification which must be made in these treaties will 
be to universalize this principle ; and this can be done if all 
the Nations of the League sign a common treaty substantially 
in the above form. By doing so, all the states w T ill have 
reciprocally bound themselves to submit all disputes, which 
negotiation has failed to settle, to some impartial permanent 
international tribunal, and in no case to resort to war until 
that tribunal has pronounced its opinion or given its decision 
upon the merits of the dispute. 

12) Secondly, though we have said that the League 
treaty should be substantially in the form of the American 
treaties, it need not necessarily be the same in all its details. 
There are certain important points in which there is differ- 
ence of opinion with regard to the application of the 
principle of pacific settlement. The American Treaties, for 
instance, lay down that all disputes not otherwise provided 



[O 



THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS 



for shall be referred to one kind of Tribunal, the composi- 
tion of which is defined in the treaty. But in the previous 
practice of states, and in a large number of draft schemes for 
a League, a distinction has sometimes been made between 
different kinds of international disputes, and it has been 
recognized or recommended that the different kinds of dis- 
pute require different kinds of treatment. The most usual 
distinction is that between Justiciable Disputes, i.e. questions 
of legal right and wrong, dependent on the interpretation 
or application of treaties or of international law 7 , and Non- 
justiciable Disputes, i.e. all other kinds of differences. This 
distinction was recognized in the discussions at the Hague 
Conferences, and also in the Anglo-American treaty of 
1908, confined to legal questions, and in those which were 
signed in 191 1, but not ratified. The distinction between 
the two kinds of dispute could, if it were adopted, easily be 
incorporated in the clause as given above, and provision 
w r ould then be made for the creation of two bodies,, a 
Court of Justice, and a Council of Conciliation. 

(3) Again, the American Treaties provide that the par- 
ticular kind of permanent tribunal to which disputes shall 
be referred shall be an International Commission. There is 
considerable difference of opinion as to the best method of 
forming an international Court of Justice, but in any case 
the composition of the tribunal w T hich the universalized 
Treaty of the League of Nations would require would 
probably be somewhat different from that suitable for a 
bi-partite treaty. However, even if the first tribunal of the 
League be merely an International Commission, it will 
doubtless lead on to the creation of a more permanent 
International Court of Justice such as was discussed at the 
Second Hague Conference. 

(4) It will be noticed that the American Treaties provide 
that the Contracting Parties are bound not to declare w r ar 
or begin hostilities before the Commission has investigated 



EXISTING TREATIES 



1 1 



and reported. The Parties are therefore free to go to war 
after the report has been made, and they are in no way 
bound to accept the Commission s decision. There is a com- 
pulsory period of delay between the beginning of the 
Commission's investigation and the lawful resort to arms. 
The interval may extend to a year. Many schemes of a 
League propose to extend this interval by making it bind- 
ing on Nations not to resort to arms until one year after 
the Tribunal has reported. Again, some proposals go still 
further and would make the decision of the tribunal in 
some (or in all) cases binding on the disputants. According 
to the view T most generally approved a distinction is drawn 
between the Court of Justice and the Council of Concilia- 
tion. The decision of the Court in a justiciable matter is 
regarded as a declaration of the law^, and therefore as 
absolutely binding; while the decision of the Council is 
merely a recommendation, though a recommendation from 
a very authoritative source, and need not necessarily be either 
obeyed or enforced. It is obvious that if approved, any of 
these proposals could be incorporated in the treaty without 
altering its substantial form. 

(5) There is, however, one substantial alteration in the 
form of treaty which is absolutely necessary if the League 
is to be effective. The bi-partite treaty is necessarily unable 
to provide any guarantee or sanction for its obligations 
beyond the mere good faith of the two contracting parties. 
But the whole point of the League of Nations is that it 
shall guarantee its members against a breach of the funda- 
mental obligations of the League by any one of its members. 
A League of many nations can, and must, guarantee that if 
any nation in breach of the Treaty declares war or begins 
hostilities against another member, then all the other 
nations of the League will support by every means in their 
power the attacked party against the attacker. This im- 
plies the addition to the Treaty of a clause in which each 



I 2 



THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS 



member of the League binds itself to use its economic and 
military power, in such way as may be determined by the 
Conference or Council or Executive of the League, against 
any nation, whether a member of the League or not, which 
declares war or begins hostilities without complying with 
the obligations of the Treaty. 



III. GUARANTEES 

The question of Guarantees, though ultimately all-important, 
does not press for an immediate solution, since the Peace 
Conference has in its hand the most ample sanctions 
for any settlement which it may with general consent 
impose. 

The question by what exact machinery the League of 
Nations in future is to impose its will on a refractory 
nation or group is a difficult one. There is general agree- 
ment that the League can first use economic pressure, 
amounting if necessary to blockade or boycott ; then, if that 
tremendous weapon proves too weak, it can proceed to 
declare war. The difficulties arise over questions of method 
and instruments. For instance, if a 4 general boycott is 
declared against some nation, the loss and inconvenience 
will fall very unequally on different members of the League. 
Those who are in intimate and constant trade relations 
with the offender will suffer great dislocation ; others will 
only be slightly affected ; others may actually gain by the 
diversion of trade. Again, in case of a declaration of war, 
is the League to carry out its own decisions by means of 
a special International Force, or is it merely to depute to 
one or more of its member-nations the duty of carrying out 
the general will ? 

There are answers to all these questions which will be 
discussed in the publications of the Research Committee of 



GUARANTEES 



13 



the League of Nations Union. But for practical purposes 
the real answer is that, whatever may be the problems of 
the future, when the League is well established and dis- 
armament is the order of the day, there is for the present 
no difficulty whatever in making the will of the Conference 
respected. The force now at its disposal is irresistible, and 
the organization of it is almost unnecessarily complete. 

If the Conference now declared a blockade, is there any 
nation in the world that could dream of holding out against 
them ? If they had to exercise military or naval force, is there 
any force that could resist ? And furthermore, supposing 
always that the decision is reached with unanimity or without 
strong dissent, can one imagine that either the blockade or 
the acts of war would be hindered by the fact of their being 
more inconvenient to one power than another ? There is 
in existence and in actual operation a whole complex of 
machinery for equalizing the burdens of the Allies in these 
matters, and seeing that no one nation is unduly starved of 
food or credit or raw material. 

The fact is that the Peace Conference, if it takes upon 
itself provisionally the function of the League of Nations, 
will be possessed of all the sanctions needed by the 
League for the worst conceivable emergency. These sanc- 
tions have been created during the War ; they have proved 
their efficacy against a greater danger than any that the 
world is likely to meet for some generations to come ; and 
the chief problem about them is how soon and to what 
degree w r e can afford to reduce them or dispense with 
them. And that depends on the degree of security which 
the Peace Settlement brings to the world. 

In the above we have considered merely the brute fact : 
viz. that the Allies now about to meet in Paris have at their 
disposal more force than they can possibly need. We do 
not mean to suggest that they are at all likely to employ it ; 
much less that, if need should arise, they should either act 



"4 



THE LEAGUE OE NATIONS 



alone or come to a decision alone, without the concurrence 
of nations hitherto neutral, or possibly even of our late 
enemies. On the contrary, we hold strongly that the present 
Peace Conference, though it ought to act the part of a 
League of Nations, is at best only a temporary substitute, 
and ought to spare no pains to call into existence an 
organization more widely based in its membership and less 
military in its conception. But as far as guarantees are 
concerned, the Peace Conference is amply provided. Eor 
example, the only power that is at all likely to defy any 
reasonable decision of the Conference would be a desperate 
Power, to which the general ruin of Europe was as agreeable 
as its prosperity. Imagine for the sake of argument that in 
the Bolshevik government of Russia there may be such a 
Power ; that they might try to produce a general revolution 
of the proletariats throughout Europe, by moving vast and 
starving armies through Poland westward ; while the fact 
that such an invasion would produce intolerable misery to 
mankind might only be an encouragement to them, as 
making a general Revolution more probable. 

This is the only case one can easily imagine of a Power 
actually defying the will of the Allies. And if such a 
calamity should occur, it is in the first place clear that the 
Allies would have to act as a League of Nations in helping 
the peaceful peoples of Europe to defend themselves against 
such an invasion, and in the second place it is practically 
certain that the League would be rapidly and decisively 
successful. 

That is to say : even if the worst conceivable case should 
arise, the Peace Conference would have enough force at its 
disposal to ensure the execution of its will, and the chief 
effect of the actual danger would be merely to emphasize 
the necessity to Europe of a League of Nations. As was 
argued in the first chapter, some League we must have ; 
and if it is not yet possible to build up a League of Nations 



INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS 15 



in the full sense, the Peace Conference itself must begin to 
act as the nucleus of a League. They must cease to be 
a mere gathering of victors, and realize their position as 
the trustees of the new world. 



IV. THE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS 

The Administration of many matters of International 
Concern will naturally fall under the direction of 
the League. 

The League of Nations should not only provide for the 
just settlement of disputes, but should also make disputes 
less likely to arise by supervising or controlling those 
interests which cannot effectively be dealt with by any 
state acting in isolation. The League will thereby prove 
itself to be a practically beneficial organization, and by its 
positive action will promote the sense of common interests, 
which is the greatest security for avoiding war. 

The League should therefore take over and co-ordinate 
those international organizations which have already proved 
useful, and establish some machinery by which other prob- 
lems of an international kind can be dealt with when 
occasion arises. The terms of the treaty on this point 
need not be explicit, if a standing Committee of the League 
is established with power to operate in the matter. 

The general principles on which administrative action by 
the League should be based must all depend on the fact 
that, quite apart from the old difficulty of deciding exactly 
what is domestic and what is international, there are 
undoubtedly some issues which can only be dealt with 
effectively by the joint action of many states. It may be 
questioned, for example, whether the government of 
Morocco is an international problem or one which concerns 
only France and Spain. But there can be no question that 



t6 



THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS 



such problems as epidemic disease, and some forms of 
crime, are matters for international action. This being- 
granted, the general principles of joint action should be 
(i) that supervision should be in the hands of the League 
as a whole, and executive control should be carried out, in 
most cases, by the several states ; and (2) that administra- 
tion under the League should be confined to those issues 
which cannot effectively be dealt with by any one state 
acting alone. 

In order to discover what needs to be done, it is better 
to review the organizations already in existence. 

(A.) Before 191 4 there were in existence about twenty- 
eight public International Unions. The subjects dealt with 
were (1) Communication: Posts and Telegraphs, Marine 
Law, &c. ; (2) Disease, as under the International Bureau 
of Hygiene ; (3) Policing, as of the Slave Trade, the 1 White 
Slave 5 traffic, Fishery on the High Seas, &c. ; (4) Scien- 
tific investigation : for example, as to earthquakes, elec- 
trical nomenclature, the measurement of the earth, &c. 
Some of these Unions were represented by international 
administrative offices, as, for example, the International 
Postal Union, which has continued to operate during the 
war. There is also the International Bureau of Hygiene, 
which has already proved useful in preventing the spread 
of epidemic disease. 

Some international unions, although governmental, have 
no administrative functions, as, for example, the Agricul- 
tural Bureau at Rome. These provide information on 
which the Governments can take action, and these also 
should be placed under the League. They might then 
be granted larger powers, at least for the collection of 
evidence. 

Some international action has also been taken by volun- 
tary organizations which were supported by the Govern- 
ments. One of these is the International Bureau for Labour 



INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS 



i7 



Legislation, with its headquarters at Basle. Through this 
non -governmental office, certain states have been per- 
suaded to enter into conventions for the abolition of night- 
work for women and the prohibition of the use of 
phosphorus in matches. Labour legislation, however, 
should for many reasons be developed on an international 
scale ; and it is therefore suggested that the League should 
take over the Basle Bureau, give it official status, and 
extend its operations. 

It is unnecessary to consider here the possible relations 
of the League to international Congresses for science, art, 
commerce, religion, and the rest. Such Congresses, how- 
ever, are a sign of international life, and it is noteworthy 
that they increased in number from ten in the ten years 
from 1840 to 1850 to about 1,070 in the ten years from 
1900 to 1910. 

(B.) During the War the Allies have established at 
various dates organizations for joint purchase of commodities 
and for the control of supply and transport. The chief 
inter-ally organizations are as follows. The Food Council 
consisted of ministers representing the chief Allies, with 
a permanent Committee of officials. This Council reviewed 
the needs of the Allies, and arranged for the supply to each. 
Under the Council, joint purchase was arranged by (1) the 
Wheat Executive, which purchased wheat in America for 
a joint account, (2) the Sugar Commission, buying American 
sugar, (3) the Meats and Fats Executive, buying in America, 
and (4) the Oil and Seeds Executive, buying all oleaginous 
produce. The Allied Maritime Transport Council, 
established in April 19 18, arranged for the services of 
shipping controlled by any of the Allies. The use of the 
tonnage allocated was decided on the advice of Programme 
Committees. These are the most important inter-ally 
organizations for our present purpose ; but others, such as 
the Munitions Council and the inter-ally Council on War 



THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS 



Purchases and Finance, show what can be done in special 
emergencies. 

Some of these inter-ally organizations will have to be 
retained in a modified form during the transition to more 
normal times. For example, although it may soon be 
unnecessary to control shipping, and although the food 
supplies and distribution in the allied countries may soon 
become normal, it may be necessary to keep the Food 
Council in operation for the prevention of famine in eastern 
Europe, Russia, and Turkey in Asia. Such administration 
should clearly be handed over to the League as soon as the 
League is founded. The prevention of famine might well 
be a first task of the new League, which would add much 
to its prestige and give it an already organized administra- 
tion as a beginning-. We do not, however, suggest that 
any war organization should be retained under the League 
after the transition to normal times. 

■(C) We may now proceed to consider the part of the 
field which is not covered by any existing organizations. 
Various other problems should be dealt with by the League, 
as for example Emigration, the Armament trade, the 
Review of Treaties, Supervision of Trade, &c. in un- 
developed countries, the government of Equatorial Africa. 
These do not include all the problems which can be dealt 
with by joint action ; and it would be unwise to attempt to 
draw up a complete schedule of the League's possible 
activities. It is suggested only that a beginning might be 
made by extending international administration gradually. 

The method of dealing with these problems should differ 
in the different cases ; since for some only supervision and 
a right of appeal is necessary, for others actual administra- 
tion may be needed. Our action in any case should be 
tentative and flexible, changing as circumstances change. 

In regard to Emigration, what is needed is international 
supervision of transit routes, for precautions against disease, 



INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS 19 

international control of passage- booking for emigrants and 
of the banking of funds sent back to their home-country by 
emigrants. It should be possible for an Emigration Officer 
to travel on emigrant ships ; and full particulars should be 
published as to the wages and conditions of emigrant labour. 
The international Board of Control should contain repre- 
sentatives of Trade Unions. 

With regard to Armament manufacture, it may be agreed 
by the states of a League that all such manufacture shall 
be entirely in the hands of each state. No private armament 
firms may be allowed. But whether or not this is done, 
the League should control the export of arms, and especially 
the sale of arms in undeveloped countries. Regulations 
affecting the sale of alcohol or noxious drugs to uncivilized 
peoples should also be administered by the League. 

In regard to Undeveloped Countries, not subject to any 
suzerain, the League should establish a Commission to 
review 'concessions' or contracts for railway, mining, or 
other development. There should be inspectors under the 
Commission ; and the League should take power to recom- 
mend to the several states any action which may be 
necessary in restraint of the activities of their nationals. It 
should be understood that from henceforth undeveloped 
countries must not be simply 4 annexed ' by any Power, but 
merely protected or aided by a particular state as Trustee 
for the League. 

With regard to Equatorial Africa, action of a more 
positive kind may be necessary. The League should 
appoint a Commission to exercise supervision, and another 
to hear appeals, and should insist upon a certain standard of 
humanity and effectiveness in government. But it should 
not replace any established government where it is 
found to be effective. The several European states which 
govern territory in Equatorial Africa should continue to 
be responsible ; but their representatives should form a part 



20 



THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS 



of the International Commission to concert common mea- 
sures. It would be an advantage if this Commission could 
induce all the states of the League to work upon the lines 
the British Government has adopted in Nigeria. 

The Guaranteeing of Treaties is one of the chief works 
of the League ; but it should make provision also for 
a periodical Review of Treaties, their readjustment, and 
their obsolescence. It is well known that circumstances 
often change so completely that the parties to a treat} 
feel themselves no longer bound by it. Probably also this 
section of the League organization ought to devise a method 
by which treaties and international conventions can be 
more speedily arranged than has been the case hitherto. 
A register of treaties may be established and of Acts or 
Laws carrying out in the several states the terms of any 
Convention. 

(D.) It is to be understood that even if all the organiza- 
tions mentioned above were established, the League would 
not by any means become a Super-State or a World- 
State. Administration under the League should be either 
through the executive departments of the several states 
or confined to spheres of action at present not covered by 
any state. In the latter case the powers should be con- 
ferred on the League specifically by convention between 
the states. The whole conception of a League which 
would undertake positive action as well as the settlement 
of disputes implies a new departure in political develop- 
ment. The action of the League should therefore not be 
merely modelled upon traditional State action, nor upon 
such Federal government as already exists. Those who 
have the duty of devising action or organization for the 
League should consider not only precedents but also those 
elements in the present situation which differentiate it 
entirely from any preceding circumstances. The charac- 
teristics of the League, in which it differs from anything 



INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS 21 



hitherto existing-, are of more importance than its likeness 
to a State or an alliance. 

It is not suggested that all these Commissions should be 
created at once, although in many cases international 
Congresses have in fact already prepared the way. But 
a beginning might be made on the lines already established 
by international and inter-ally organizations. Thus we 
should have under the League (1) a co-ordinated system 
of the pre-war international unions ; (2) a modified form, 
for the transition period, of the inter-ally war organizations ; 
(3) certain new administrative Commissions. This is only 
possible if the greater number of the states of the world 
join the League and if no Great Power stands aloof ; for 
otherwise the present international unions could hardly be 
taken over by the League. But the life of the League must 
be a gradual accomplishment. It cannot all be embodied in 
a treaty. It would be enough if the treaty founding the 
League included a section establishing a Standing Com- 
mittee or Council with requisite powers. 

As to the finance of the League, the constituent states 
would presumably each pay into a central fund an amount 
for which they might be assessed. This fund would be 
used for maintenance and development of all the organiza- 
tions of which we have spoken ; and it should be a large 
fund. The League, if it is effective, will involve an 
enormous saving of expenditure on armaments. Some of 
this saving ought to be devoted to the positive promotion 
of inter-state organization. Already the states, for example, 
of the Postal Union contribute to a central fund, and all 
that is necessary is an extension of the principle ; but at 
present only a two -thousandth part of the expenditure on 
armaments is spent by the states on international offices. 

The League of Nations is hoped for by many as the 
beginning of a new world, But progress is not inevitable 
even if our intentions are right and our machinery excel- 



22 



THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS 



lent ; and the mere provision for the avoidance of wars will 
probably make so little impression on the ordinary man 
while there is no international crisis that it may not com- 
mand his confidence when a crisis comes. The League 
must be felt to be active and helpful to ordinary men in 
ordinary times ; and there is a vast field in which it can be 
helpful, where administration has only just begun. That 
is its true field of positive action. And when at last the 
need for international administration is effectively supplied, 
we shall have begun the organization of a stable peace. 



PRINTED AT OXFORD, ENGLAND 
BY FREDERICK HALL 
PRINTER TO THE UNIVERSITY 



University oi Toronto 
Library 



DO NOT 

REMOVE 

THE 

CARD 

FROM 

THIS 

POCKET 



Acme Library Card Pocket 

Under Pat. "Ret. Inaes File" 
Made by LIBRARY BUREAU 



Also issued under the auspices of the Research 
Committee of the League of 
Nations Union. 

THE IDEA OF 
THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS 

Prolegomena to the Study of 
W or Id- Organisation 

BY THE RESEARCH COMMITTEE OF THE 
LEAGUE OF NATIONS UNION 

Price 2s. net* paper covers, 
2s. 6d. net, cloth. 

OTHER PAPERS IN PREPARATION 



HUMPHREY MILFORD 
OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS