4 Dec. 45

continued. Nor was it only the operation of the League which gave ground, and good ground, for hope that at long last the rule of law would replace anarchy in the international field.

The statesmen of the world deliberately set out to make wars of aggression an international crime. These are no new terms invented by the victors to embody in this Charter. They have figured, and they have figured prominently, in numerous treaties, in governmental pronouncements, and in the declarations of statesmen in the period preceding the second World War. In treaties concluded between the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and other states, such as Persia in 1927, France in 1935, China in 1937, the contracting parties undertook to refrain from any act of aggression whatever against the other party. In 1933 the Soviet Union became a party to a large number of treaties containing a detailed definition of aggression, and the same definition appeared in the same year in the authoritative report of the Committee on Questions of Security set up in connection with the Conference for the Reduction and Limitation of Armaments. But at this time states were going beyond commitments to refrain from wars of aggression and to assist states which were victims of aggression. They were condemning aggression in unmistakable terms. Thus in the Anti-War Treaty of Non-Aggression and Conciliation, which was signed on the 10th of October 1933, by a number of American states, subsequently joined by practically all the states of the American continents and a number of European countries as well, the contracting parties solemnly declared that "they condemn wars of aggression in their mutual relations or in those of other states." And that treaty was fully incorporated into the Buenos Aires convention of December 1936, signed and ratified by a large number of American countries, including, of course, the United States. And previously, in 1928, the 6th Pan-American Conference had adopted a resolution declaring that, as "war of aggression constitutes a crime against the human species . . . all aggression is illicit and as such is declared prohibited." A year earlier, as long ago as September 1927, the Assembly of the League of Nations adopted a resolution affirming the conviction that "a war of aggression can never serve as a means of settling international disputes and is, in consequence, an international crime" and going on to declare that "all wars of aggression are, and shall always be prohibited."

The first article of the draft Treaty for Mutual Assistance of 1923 read in these terms:

"The High Contracting Parties, affirming that aggressive war is an international crime, undertake the solemn engagement not to make themselves guilty of this crime against any other nation."