International Law and Diplomacy in the Spanish Civil Strife

By Norman J. Padelford; Bureau of International Research of Harvard University and Radcliffe College. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IV
THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS AND THE CIVIL STRIFE

THE COVENANT AND CIVIL STRIFE

NO MENTION is made of civil disturbances in the Covenant of the League of Nations. Nevertheless, many of the provisions are comprehensive enough in purpose and in phraseology to warrant bringing the international complications of civil warfare within the jurisdiction of the League. Articles 3 and 4 permit it to "deal . . . with any matter . . . affecting the peace of the world." Article 10 pledges the members to "respect and preserve as against external aggression the territorial integrity and existing political independence" of states, and empowers the Council "in case of any such aggression or in case of any threat or danger of such aggression" to advise the means by which the obligation shall be fulfilled. Article 11 speaks of "any war or threat of war," and "any circumstance whatever affecting international relations which threatens to disturb international peace or the good understanding between nations." Articles 12 and 15 refer to "any dispute likely to lead to a rupture."1

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1
The inclusiveness of the League's war-preventive jurisdiction was recognized by the Committee on Arbitration and Security of the Preparatory Commission of the Disarmament Conference, which said in its Report: "The League must in the first place endeavour to prevent war, and that in all cases of armed conflict or threat of armed conflict of any kind the League should take action to prevent hostilities or to bring hostilities to a standstill if they have already begun." ( Document A.20. 1928.IX, p. 54). In the memorandum submitted by the Rapporteur, M. Rutgers, it was said: "Under Article II, the League of Nations has the most extensive competence. The Council can intervene in any conflict, whether the parties are members of the League or not. . . . Its authority is exercised in any war--not only in a war contrary to articles 12, 13, and 15, but also in a war which is not contrary to those articles. Even if there is no threat of war, but merely circumstances affecting international relations which threaten to disturb international peace or the good understanding between nations, the case may be brought to the Council's attention." ( Document C.A.S.10. 1928.IX.3, p. 28.) No mention was made of civil wars in any of the Committee's discussions. See Minutes, C.667.M.225. 1927.IX; C.165.M.50.1928.IX; C.358.M.112.1928.IX. On the other hand, the competence of the League might be considerably restricted by the language of paragraphs 8 and 9 of Article 15: "If the dispute between the parties is claimed by one of them, and is found by the Council, to arise out of a matter which by international law is solely within the domestic jurisdiction of that party, the Council shall so report, and shall make no recommendation as to its settlement."

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International Law and Diplomacy in the Spanish Civil Strife
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents xi
  • Chapter I - The Legal Status of the Contesting Parties 1
  • Conclusions 23
  • Chapter II - Interference with Foreign Shipping 25
  • Conclusions 50
  • Chapter III - The International Non-Intervention System 53
  • Chapter IV - The League of Nations and the Civil Strife 121
  • Conclusions 140
  • Chapter V - Problems in Diplomatic and Consular Relations 144
  • Conclusions 167
  • Chapter VI - The United States and the Civil Strife 169
  • Summary of American Policy 187
  • Chapter VII - The Termination of the Strife 189
  • Chapter VIII - Conclusion 196
  • Appendices 203
  • Index 675
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