IN becoming a member of the League of Nations in September, 1934, the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics has entered upon new international relations and responsibilities. This act shows a marked modification of attitude toward the League, and other changes have followed the entering into diplomatic relations with the United States of America in 1933. The present work sets forth the principles of international law as applied by the Soviets up to September, 1934. Already the U.S.S.R. had by virtue of its existence in a world of national states been forced or had found it advantageous to deal with its neighbors, immediate and remote. To enter this relationship a degree of conformity to accepted principles of international law was essential. This conformity might, however, be regarded by the U.S.S.R. as merely a temporary expedient during the period of transition of the national state to a form acceptable to the Soviet régime. Frequently the nationalistic phraseology is accepted while by Soviet interpretation the term may be given a new signification or one at variance with the accepted meaning. This is the case particularly in some of the diplomatic and consular fields. The elimination of class distinctions in society could not fail to have an effect upon the traditional ideas as to diplomatic gradations. One of the most striking features of Soviet policy has been advocacy of complete disarmament, land, maritime, and aërial, in contrast to the policy of most states, which have favored varying degrees of mere limitation of armament. Mr. Taracouzio has treated of the significance of the experiment of the U.S.S.R. as related to the international law of war and peace, and thus has made a valuable contribution to the history of international relations as shown in one of the most radical political changes in modern times.
GEORGE GRAFTON WILSON