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LEAGUE OF NATIONS .
AMERICAN DRAFT OF COVENANT OF
THE REPORT OF THE COMMISSION OF
PRESENTED BY MR. LODGE
In order to secure international peace and security by the acceptance of obligations not to resort to the use of armed force, by the prescription of open, just and honorable relations between nations, by the firm establishment of the understandings of international law as the actual rule of conduct among governments, and by the maintenance of justice and a scrupulous respect for all treaty obligations in the dealings of organized peoples with one another, and in order to promote international cooperation, the Powers signatory to this Covenant adopt this constitution of the League of Nations.
The action of the Contracting Powers under the terms of this Covenant shall be effected through the instrumentality of a Body of Delegates which shall consist of the diplomatic representatives of the Contracting Powers accredited to X. and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of X. The meetings of the Body of Delegates shall be held at the seat of government of X. and the Minister for Foreign Affairs of X. shall be the presiding officer.
Whenever the Delegates deem it necessary or advisable, they mav meet temporarily at the seat of government of Y. or of Z., in which case the diplomatic representative to X. of the country in which the meeting is held shall be the presiding officer pro tempore.
It shall be the privilege of any of the Contracting Powers to assist its representative in the Body of Delegates by any method of conference, counsel, or advice that may seem best to it, and also to be represented at any time by a special representative.
The Body of Delegates shall regulate their own procedure and shall have power to appoint such committees as they may deem necessary to inquire into and report upon any matters that lie within the field of their action.
It shall be the right of the Body of Delegates, upon the initiative of any member, to discuss, either publicly or privately as it may deem best, any matter lying within the field of action of the League of Nations as defined in this Covenant, or any matter likely to affect the peace of the world; but all actions of the Body of Delegates taken in the exercise of the functions and powers granted to them under this Covenant shall be formulated and agreed upon by an
Executive Council, which shall act either by reference or upon its own initiative and which shall consist of the representatives of the Great Powers, together with representatives drawn in annual rotation from two panels, one of which shall be made up of the representatives of the States ranking next after the Great Powers and the others of the representatives of the minor States (a classification which the Body of Delegates shall itself-establish and may from time to time alter), such a number being drawn from these panels as will be but one less than the representatives of the Great Powers; and three or more negative votes in the Council shall operate as a veto upon any action or resolution proposed.
All resolutions passed or actions taken by the Body of Delegates or by the Executive Council, except those adopted in execution of any specific powers herein granted, shall have the effect of recommendations to the several governments of the League.
The Executive Council shall appoint a permanent Secretariat and staff and may appoint joint committees, chosen from the Body of Delegates or consisting of other specially qualified persons, for the study and systematic consideration of the international questions with which the Council may have to deal, or of questions likely to lead to international complications or disputes. The Executive Council shall also take the necessary steps to establish and maintain proper liaison both with the foreign offices of the Contracting Powers and with any governments or agencies which may be acting as mandataries of the League in any part of the world.
The Contracting Powers undertake to respect and to protect as against external aggression the political independence and territorial integrity of all States members of the League.
The Contracting Powers recognize the principle that the maintenance of peace will require the reduction of national armaments to the lowest point consistent with domestic safety and the enforcement by common action of international obligations; and the Executive Council shall formulate plans for effecting such reduction. It shall also inquire into the feasibility of abolishing compulsory military service and the substitution therefor of forces enrolled upon a voluntary basis and into the military and naval equipment which it is reasonable to maintain.
The Executive Council shall also determine for the consideration and action of the several governments what military equipment and armament is fair and reasonable in proportion to the scale of forces laid down in the programme of disarmament; and these limits, when adopted, shall not be exceeded without the permission of the Body of Delegates.
The Contracting Powers further agree that munitions and implements of war shall not be manufactured by private enterprise and that there shall be full and frank publicity as to all national armaments and military or naval programmes.
The Contracting Powers agree that should disputes or difficulties arise between or among them which cannot be satisfactorily settled or adjusted by the ordinary processes of diplomacy, they will in no case resort to armed force without previously submitting the questions and matters involved either to arbitration or to inquiry by the Executive Council and until th&'e has been an award by the arbitrators or a recommendation by the Executive Council; and. that they will not even then resort to armed force as against a member of the League of Nations who complies with the award of the arbitrators or the recommendation of the Executive Council.
The Contracting Powers agree that whenever any dispute or difficulty shall arise between or among them with regard to any question of the law of nations, with regard to the interpretation of a treaty, as to any fact which would, if established, constitute a breach of international obligation, or as to any alleged damage and the nature and measure of the reparation to be made therefor, if such dispute or difficulty cannot be satisfactorily settled by the ordinary processes of negotiation, to submit the whole subject-matter to arbitration and to carry out in full good faith any award or decision that may be rendered.
In case of arbitration, the matter or matters at issue shall be referred to arbitrators, one of whom shall be selected by each of the parties to the dispute from outside their own nationals, when there are but two such parties, and a third by the two thus selected. When there there are more than two parties to the dispute, one arbitrator shall be named by each of the several parties and the arbitrators thus named shall add to their number others of their own choice, the number thus added to be limited to the number which will suffice to give a deciding vote to the arbitrators thus added in case of a division among the arbitrators chosen by the contending parties. In case the arbitrators chosen by the contending parties cannot agree upon an additional arbitrator or arbitrators, the additional arbitrator or arbitrators shall be chosen by the Executive Council.
On the appeal of a party to the dispute the decision of said arbitrators may be set aside by a vote of three-fourths of the Delegates, in case the decision of the arbitiators was unanimous, or by a vote of two-thirds of the Delegates in case the decision of the arbitrators was not unanimous, but unless thus set aside shall be finally binding and conclusive.
When any decision of arbitrators shall have been thus set aside, the dispute shall again be submitted to arbitrators chosen as heretofore provided, none of whom shall, however, have previously acted as arbitrators in the dispute in question, and the decision of the arbitrators rendered in this second arbitration shall be finally binding and conclusive without right of appeal.
If for any reason it should prove impracticable to refer any matter in dispute to arbitration, the parties to the dispute shall applv to the Executive Council to take the matter under consideration for such mediatory action or recommendation as it may deem wise in the circumstances. The Council shall immediately accept the reference and give notice to the parties, and shall make the necessary arrangements for a full hearing, investigation and consideration. The Council shall