The League of Nations: Its Life and Times, 1920-1946

By F. S. Northedge | Go to book overview

3 The Covenant reviewed

I

The Covenant of the League of Nations which emerged from the commission chaired by Wilson was approved by the conference of Allied and Associated Powers in Paris on 28 April 1919. 1 It was signed by those states and by the Central Powers as an integral part (Part I) of the treaties of Versailles (on 28 June), St Germain-enLaye (10 September), Neuilly-sur-Seine (27 November) and Trianon( 4 June 1920). 2 The Covenant was also embodied in the abortive treaty of Sèvres between the Allies and Turkey of 10 August 1920, but not in the final treaty signed with Turkey at Lausanne on 24 July 1923. The League itself came into existence on 10 January 1920 with the coming into force of the treaty of Versailles.

The original members of the League were therefore the thirty-two Allied and Associated Powers which signed the treaties. In addition, thirteen states which had been neutral during the war were invited to join and twelve of these did, though one, Salvador, gave notice of withdrawal in August 1937. 3 Austria, Bulgaria, Germany and Hungary accepted the League Covenant by their act of signing the treaties, but did not thereby become League members. Austria and Bulgaria joined the organisation in 1920, Hungary in 1922 and Germany in 1926. Germany also became a permanent member of the League Council, the organisation's executive body.

Among the original members, Britain's position was unique. Beneath the heading 'Original Members of the League of Nations' in the Annex to the Covenant, Britain appeared as 'British Empire' and underneath and inset from the margin were the names of the so-called Dominions, Canada, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, and India. In theory the policies of all five countries were still decided in London, though the first four were to all intents

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The League of Nations: Its Life and Times, 1920-1946
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Foreword vi
  • Preface ix
  • 1 - The World before the League 1
  • 2 - Framing the Covenant 25
  • 3 - The Covenant Reviewed 46
  • 4 - Beginnings and Setbacks 70
  • 5 - The System Takes Shape 98
  • 6 - The Lure of Disarmament 113
  • 7 - Manchuria: the Covenant Defied 137
  • 8 - The Betterment of Life 165
  • 9 - The Mandates System 192
  • 10 - The Abyssinian Disaster 221
  • 11 - The Final Years 255
  • 12 - Was Failure Inevitable? 278
  • Abbreviations 293
  • Notes 294
  • Bibliography 311
  • Appendix A 317
  • Appendix B 328
  • Appendix C 329
  • Index 330
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