Reconstituting the League of Nations

Reconstituting the League of Nations

Reconstituting the League of Nations

Reconstituting the League of Nations

Excerpt

Among the many plans proposed for the establishment of an international or world postwar order, that of a reconstituted or revitalized League of Nations is generally accorded a foremost place. The League of Nations has the distinctive status of an already existing concern. Temporarily in eclipse by reason of world conditions, it retains, nevertheless, an appreciable back. ground of properties, working organization, expert personnel, and an experience in world affairs covering more than two decades. It represents an established precedent and far-reaching loyalties; and it commands a substantial sentiment for its retention both here and throughout the rest of the world.

Among observers best fitted to evaluate the League there is little question as to the impressive record it has made in its technical, humanitarian and other nonpolitical activities. More controversial, however, are the political aspects of the League's life. Here there is an admitted series of both failures and successes. Outstanding is its acknowledged inadequacy in the events leading up to the present great world tragedy. That a plethora of new plans are now being discussed in which the League's existence is dismissed with perhaps a brief account of its deficiencies, calls attention to the great desirability at this time of a more widespread understanding of its intrinsic values and constructive possibilities.

Today, in considering such an understanding, we may well join other commentators in asking: Has the League failed or have we failed? Is the League structure defective or have we failed to make use of it or to use it rightly? Were we ready in the past to understand and undertake world responsibilities? And if we are more ready today night we not reasonably ask whether the League would not be as successful as any other plan, if reconstituted with the same painstaking concern as is proposed for a new international organism?

There appear to be varying opinions as to what may be assumed by a "reconstituted" League. On the one hand there is discussion of a revived League with "no essential change in its . . .

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