Mandates, Dependencies and Trusteeship

Mandates, Dependencies and Trusteeship

Mandates, Dependencies and Trusteeship

Mandates, Dependencies and Trusteeship

Excerpt

A small segment of the great wheel of international affairs is studied here in some detail. Intensive studies of small fields are always liable to lose their sense of proportion. The fly, in Bacon's essay, "sat upon the axle-tree of the chariot wheel, and said, 'what a dust do I raise.' "

International trusteeship has a certain intrinsic importance. But that can be overemphasized, and has sometimes in the past been exaggerated and distorted. A great deal of its significance lies not in trusteeship as such but in its relationship to, and in the light it throws upon, the political axis on which the whole wheel turns. The political axis of mandates and trusteeship is discussed briefly in the introductory chapter (the detailed evidence on which that summary is based will be given in a study of international trusteeship now in preparation). Trusteeship is studied in this chapter as a phenomenon of the international frontier in relation to the working of the state system and the balance of power. The chapter is made the introduction because it is the broad conclusion that emerges from the study. This is the main historical taproot of mandates. The other important historical roots are traced in Chapter VIII.

Neglect of the political taproot of mandates and trusteeship is not the only factor making for exaggeration and illusion. Another is failure to view them against the background of national trusteeship and of dependencies in general, of which they form only a small part. A general view of mandates against this wider background is given in Part I, which was circulated by the Carnegie Endowment at the San Francisco Conference of the United Nations in April, 1945. The text of Part I has not been changed except for a few drafting changes and the addition of one or two paragraphs.

Now that history repeats itself in the trusteeship system of the United Nations, an understanding of the main historical roots of both mandates and trusteeship is more important than it was when the mandate system was a going concern. The longer perspective, and the vantage ground of a Second World War and second world organization, have made essential a historical revision both of the premandate basis and of the setting-up of the system. Part II of the study deals with the premandate . . .

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