4 Dec. 45

of the law, and it is unnecessary, therefore, to argue about their precise effect, for the place which they once occupied has been taken by far more effective instruments. I mention them now merely for this, that they were the first steps towards that body of rules of law which we are seeking here to enforce.

There were, of course, other individual agreements between particular states, agreements which sought to preserve the neutrality of individual countries, as, for instance, that of Belgium, but those agreements were inadequate, in the absence of any real will to comply with them, to prevent the first World War in 1914.

Shocked by the occurrence of that catastrophe, the nations of Europe, not excluding Germany, and of other parts of the world, came to the conclusion that, in the interests of all alike, a permanent organization of the nations should be established to maintain the peace. And so the Treaty of Versailles was prefaced by the Covenant of the League of Nations.

Now, I say nothing at this moment of the general merits of the various provisions of the Treaty of Versailles. They have been criticized, some of them perhaps justly criticized, and they were certainly made the subject of much bellicose propaganda in Germany. But it is unnecessary to inquire into the merits of the matter, for, however unjust one might for this purpose assume the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles to have been, they contained no kind of excuse for the waging of war to secure an alteration in their terms. Not only was that treaty a settlement, by agreement, of all the difficult territorial questions which had been left outstanding by the war itself, but it established the League of Nations which, if it had been loyally supported, could so well have resolved those international differences which might otherwise have led, as indeed they eventually did lead, to war. It set up in the Council of the League, in the Assembly and in the Permanent Court of International Justice, a machine not only for the peaceful settlement of international disputes, but also for the frank ventilation of all international questions by open and free discussion. At that time, in those years after the last war, the hopes of the world stood high. Millions of men in all countries — perhaps even in Germany itself — had laid down their lives in what they hoped and believed was a war to end war. Germany herself entered the League of Nations and was given a permanent seat on the Council; and on that Council, as in the assembly of the League, German governments which preceded that of the Defendant Von Papen in 1932 played their full part. In the years from 1919 to that time in 1932, despite Some comparatively minor incidents in the heated atmosphere which followed the end of the war, the peaceful operation of the League