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the problem of disarmament on the basis of the security already enjoyed by the states of the world. At the same time, a special Arbitration and Security Committee has been set up parallel with the Preparatory Commission, to consider the possibility of framing a treaty or treaties for the final peaceful settlement of all disputes, to examine how to give effect to the clauses of the Covenant concerning arbitration and security and to study the general question of security and peaceful settlement of disputes.

Progressive Codification of International Law.-The Committee of Jurists appointed to recommend what questions were ripe for codification by international agreements suggested, in 1927, a number of subjects of which three, namely, the limits of territorial waters, the question of nationality, and the responsibility of governments for incidents taking place on their territory, have been selected by the Council and Assembly for an international conference that is to take place in 1928, and is being prepared by a strong preparatory committee appointed by the Council. This work, together with that on arbitration, on the one hand, and the international conventions being concluded through the technical organisations on the other, is building up a solid core of international law with a wider and firmer basis in the Covenant than can be found in the sovereignty of isolated nations, and with methods, machinery, and obligations for settling disputes as to its interpretation.

The Economic Conference. The outstanding event in the activities of the League and, indeed, in international affairs, during 1927 was the great Economic Conference, held in May and attended by some fifty nations, including not only all the members of the League, but Egypt, Mexico, the Soviet Union, Turkey, and the United States. The Conference was carefully prepared by a strong committee, which has issued a great number of valuable reports and included representatives of every branch of economic life, commercial, industrial, and agricultural, Government officials, representatives of labour and employers, of banks, chambers of commerce, co-operative societies and trade unions, as well as professional economists. The Conference fully served its purpose of giving a review of the economic situation of the world in 1927, as authoritative as the review of world finances by the Brussels Financial Conference in 1920. The recommendations of the Conference laid down certain doctrines concerning the lowering of tariffs, extension and stabilisation of the most favoured nation treatment, uniformity of customs nomenclature, the collection and distribution of commercial and industrial statistics, with special reference to monopolies and combines. In view of the additional work which will fall on the Economic Organisation as a result of these recommendations, the Economic Committee of the League has been enlarged and strengthened, and is now a body of fifty-five members, representing all the main economic interests. The Con

ference means that the League has now resolutely taken up the question of economic solidarity, which in the minds of many underlies most of the political problems of arbitration, peaceful change of the status quo, moral disarmament, etc.

Political and Minority Questions.-The quietness of 1927 is shown by the fact that only three political and one minority questions came before the League throughout the year. The longstanding dispute between Hungary and Rumania concerning the property rights of Hungarian optants in Rumania under the Trianon Treaty, complicated by a dispute whether or not the Mixed Arbitral Tribunal set up under this Treaty had exceeded its powers and, if so, whether the Council was competent to pass on this matter or should simply appoint an arbiter as stipulated in the Peace Treaty in place of the Rumanian whom his Government had withdrawn, came before the Council several times in 1927. The questions involved raised very large issues as to the right of a Government to treat foreigners and nationals alike under national legislation involving confiscation or practical confiscation of property, the rights of arbitral tribunals and their relations to the Council, the position of Hungarian nationals in Rumania under the Peace Treaty, etc. A Committee of the Council proposed a solution which the Council adopted, and recommended to the two parties in a modified form. The Rumanian Government accepted the recommendation in the original form put forward by the Council Committee, while the Hungarians maintained their refusal and the demand for an advisory opinion from the Court on the legal issues involved. By the end of 1927 the chance of the two parties arriving at a compromise solution by direct negotiation seemed good.

The Lithuanian Government brought a complaint before the Council in December as to the treatment of Lithuanians in Poland, and further alleged aggressive plans by the Polish Government threatening Lithuanian independence. The Poles denied the charges, asserted their desire to establish good relations with Lithuania, and complained of the "state of war" maintained by that country with regard to Poland. After considerable negotiation, in which M. Litvinov, who was present in Geneva, took a view similar to that of the members of the Council, a resolution was agreed to by the two parties and passed by the Council which noted that (1) peace prevailed between Poland and Lithuania, and that a state of war between two members of the League was incompatible with the Covenant. (2) This was without prejudice to the political claims of either party, and notably the Lithuanian claim to Vilna. (3) Poland renewed her assurances of friendship and respect for the territorial integrity and political independence of Lithuania. (4) The Lithuanian complaint about minorities would be investigated by the ordinary minorities procedure. (5) The two parties would negotiate for

the resumption of normal relations, with the help if required of the League technical organisations.

The third question concerned the right of the German Government under the Peace Treaty to export the cruiser Salamis, which was on the docks in 1914, and the obligation of the Greek Government to receive and pay for this cruiser if delivered, the Greeks having ordered it before the war and now refusing to accept delivery. Here, too, several issues were involved, and the report of a Committee of Jurists adopted by the Council laid down the doctrine that the Council was in no sense the heir or the executor of the Ambassadors' Conference, and therefore not bound (as was the contention of the Greeks) in this case to adopt its view of Germany's rights under the Peace Treaty, nor called upon to put forward any view on this subject. Moreover, the Council could not consider itself as a court of appeal from arbitral tribunals at the request of only one party, and would not ask the Court for an advisory opinion on the verdict of a tribunal, alleged to have exceeded its competence or otherwise objected to on legal grounds by a party, except at the request of the Arbitral Tribunal itself. This ruling, said the Council, was necessary to avoid confusion and the lowering of the authority of arbitral tribunals.

The minority question concerned the admittance of children to the German minority schools in Upper Silesia. The Council, with the agreement of the Polish and German Governments, appointed a Swiss expert to ascertain whether children whose parents had entered them for the German schools really knew enough German to profit by such schooling. This the German Government subsequently contended was an exceptional arrangement to cover the particular problems of 1927 and not to apply to future school years. The Poles, on the other hand, with the consent of the rapporteur of the Council, had interpreted the decision as setting up a permanent system. The Council asked the Court for an advisory opinion on this subject. The result may be to lay down a definite ruling as to whether the citizens of a country are entitled to decide for themselves whether or not they belong to a minority group, just as freely and individually as people decide to what religious sect they may or may not belong.

Mandates; the Saar and Danzig.-The Mandates Commission and the Saar Governing Commission continued their activities in 1927, as did the Danzig High Commissioner. The usual crop of minor disputes were referred to the Council by Poland or Danzig or both. It is expected, however, that with the change of Government from the Nationalists to a Left-Centre Coalition in the Danzig Senate conditions with Poland will become easier.

Economic and Financial Organisation.-In addition to the Economic Conference, the Economic Organisation has accomplished a good deal of technical work resulting in various con

ventions on the execution of foreign arbitral awards in commercial matters, prohibition of import and export restrictions, the treatment of foreign commercial or industrial enterprises, etc.

The technical advice of the Financial Committee to Estonia resulted in that country reorganising its finances and raising a loan of 1,350,000l. Danzig was helped to carry out its financial reconstruction, raise a loan of forty million gulden, and put its currency on a gold basis. A refugee settlement scheme and four million pound loan, following the precedent of what had been done in Greece in 1927, was carried out in Bulgaria, and preparations made for a fresh loan for Greece. At the end of the year the Portuguese Government requested help of the same nature. A good deal of purely technical work was done, and conventions drafted on double taxation and fiscal evasion, against the counterfeiting of currency and on the standardisation of letters and bills of exchange.

Transit Organisation.-The third biennial Conference of the Transit Organisation, held in August, 1927, overhauled the working of the whole organisation and strengthened its machinery. It resulted notably in the establishment of a centre for the collection and distribution of information on transit matters, which will enable the organisation to extend its activities beyond Europe and particularly to Latin America.

Health Organisation.-The Health Organisation has long been world-wide and not merely European, and this was clearly revealed during 1927 in its three principal activities, namely, epidemiological intelligence and public health statistics (collection, distribution, preparation), liaison between National Health Administrations (study tours of public health officers, individual missions and scholarships, and international health courses), and inquiries and investigations (e.g., into the methods of combating malaria, co-ordination of scientific and administrative measures against sleeping-sickness and cancer, inquiry into child welfare and infant mortality, public health education, standardisation of sera and biological products, relations between health insurance organisations and public health services, etc.). The Health Committee has members from the Argentine, Brazil, Chile, the United States, the Soviet Union, Australia, and Japan, as well as from European countries, and all its activities extend to the five continents. In 1927 it was particularly active in Latin America, the Far East and Africa; at the invitation of the Australian Government it undertook to carry out a health survey in the Pacific Islands; and it organised an interchange or study tour in India. The Health Committee also accepted the Indian Government's invitation to hold a meeting of the Advisory Council of the Singapore Intelligence Bureau in that country, and to extend to India the investigations of the Malaria Commission.

Traffic in Women and Children.-The report of the committee

that inquired into the traffic in women and children attracted widespread attention, and the revelations it made regarding the existence and nature of this traffic will, it is hoped, lead to drastic action in a number of countries.

Opium and Dangerous Drugs.-The Opium Committee has been endeavouring to speed up the ratifications to the Geneva Conventions of 1925 which will make it possible to tighten up control of the manufacture and distribution of narcotics, now being produced and distributed illicitly in enormous quantities.

Press Conference.-In August, 1927, a World Press Conference was held at Geneva attended by representatives of newspaper proprietors, editors, and correspondents from the chief papers and agencies of all countries. The Conference investigated the problem of the collecting and distributing of news, and made a number of technical recommendations concerning Press rates and facilities for telephone, telegraph, and wireless messages, and the distribution of newspapers.




THE outstanding political event of the year in Northern Ireland was the appearance in Parliament during the Autumn Session of the four Nationalist members for Fermanagh and Tyrone. Their decision to take their seats means that abstention as a policy has definitely broken down. It is true that Mr. de Valera, who was elected for Co. Down-he is now the only member with a seat in both Parliaments-and one of the Armagh representatives, Mr. E. Donnelly, also a Republican, declined to enter the House; but the fact that ten of the twelve Nationalists swore the oath is a sufficient indication that minority opinion in the Six Counties no longer favours the scheme of withholding recognition from the Northern Government.

Contrary to expectation the Nationalists, though the strongest minority group, did not replace Labour as the official Opposition. Mr. Joseph Devlin, their ablest Parliamentarian, announced that he had no ambition to lead anyone, and while the ten members voted together on all questions during the session, apparently they have not formally organised themselves as a party. Working in conjunction with Labour and the Independents, the Nationalists put up a stiff resistance to Government legislation, and in several divisions, particularly on the Intoxicating Liquor Bill, which was designed to amend certain provisions of the 1923 Liquor Act, they had the satisfaction of reducing Lord Craigavon's majority as low as eight and nine. During the debates on this

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