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duties. It is preposterous to demand of an independent State that it respect the institutions of a section of its nationals if those institutions are themselves centres of treasonable activities directed against the very existence of the State. Thus many Magyar religious and scholastic organisations in Transylvania and elsewhere serve as foyers of irredentism, though howls of indignation are raised in the name of religious and cultural freedom when the State concerned takes steps to guarantee its own existence against treasonable propaganda of this kind. Members of minorities cannot expect to benefit by the stipulations in their favour contained in these Treaties unless they themselves acknowledge the territorial clauses which are the basis of the whole Treaty settlement. A few years' observation of the actual operation of the Minorities Clauses has made this clearer than it seems to have been in the minds of the originators of the Treaties, and it is significant that a resolution was adopted by the Third Assembly of the League of Nations in this sense.

"While the Assembly recognises the primary right of the minorities to be protected by the League from oppression, it also emphasises the duty incumbent upon persons belonging to racial, religious or linguistic minorities to co-operate as loyal fellow-citizens with the nations to which they now belong."

This text is almost identical with the draft resolution submitted by Professor Gilbert Murray, the South African delegate, to the Sixth Committee of the Assembly which reported on the whole question.1

Professor Murray had also proposed that the League should appoint resident agents in some localities of mixed population "to report impartially on the behaviour of both, or all, sections of the population." This draft resolution was not, however, approved by the Committee as a whole, in view of the large variety of possible cases and of the fact that the Council already enjoys a wide discretion in the matter. Had this resolution been adopted a very far-reaching innovation would have been made alike in the theory and in the practice of the subject. Up to the present the League machinery has existed solely as a means of deciding, in the case of petitions referred to it, whether a certain State has or has not fulfilled certain of its international obligations. Professor Murray's proposal, on the other hand, seems to envisage the initiation of the direct sur

1 See Report presented to the Assembly by the Sixth Committee, A. 83, 1922. I.

veillance by the League of certain of the areas where minority disputes are likely to arise. Not only would machinery of this kind offend the susceptibilities of the States concerned, but the "resident agents of the League" would need almost superhuman qualities of tact, patience and endurance, as otherwise their presence in the troubled areas would almost certainly precipitate more disputes than it would obviate.

In many ways it would appear, then, that the limits of general international action have already been reached in the matter. More important than the text of the clauses is the spirit in which their stipulations are translated into action, and goodwill can probably best be fostered by a general supervision rather than by a too obviously direct control on the part of the League of Nations. In many districts bilateral agreements based on the Upper Silesian precedent would possibly provide the best means of dealing with the problem, for reciprocity would certainly prove more attractive to the States concerned than compulsion, however veiled.

A further resolution of the Assembly of the League is of even greater interest and provides an admirable point on which we may take leave of the subject. It, also, was originally drafted by Professor Murray and reads as follows:

“The Assembly expresses the hope that the States which are not bound by any legal obligations to the League with respect to minorities will nevertheless observe in the treatment of their own racial, religious or linguistic minorities at least as high a standard of justice and toleration as is required by any of the Treaties and by the regular action of the Council."

In origin, as we have seen, the recognition of certain States was made dependent upon their undertaking to observe certain fundamental principles in their dealings with their nationals who belonged to minorities of religion or of race. Considerations of humanity and expediency alike determined this course of action on the part of the Powers. But recognition is a question of policy only and conditions could, therefore, be imposed at the discretion of the Powers according it, who regarded themselves as acting on behalf of the Concert of Europe.

At the Peace Conference of Paris, despite many declarations to the contrary, the principle of the Protection of Minorities was not applied with any degree of consistency. In certain cases it appears as the condition of recognition; in other cases,

again (as, for example, Bulgaria), it is part of the peace terms imposed by the victor on the vanquished. In view of the fact that it was applied by the Powers to Roumania throughout the whole of her territory, while Old Serbia and parts of Poland were exempted from certain of the stipulations, it is impossible to maintain that these clauses represent the consistent application of a logical principle. From the point of view of international law, however, the one relevant consideration is that, up to the present time, thirteen States have undertaken certain treaty obligations in this connection either in respect of a part or of the whole of their respective territories.

Theoretically, the sovereignty of a State is not interfered with by any treaty obligations which it freely undertakes and which do not deprive it of its independent existence. Such contracts represent, in fact, the result of the exercise by it of rights it enjoys by virtue of its sovereignty. Thus Switzerland did not cease to be a sovereign State by accepting certain farreaching limitations of its external sovereign rights. Of course, the acceptance of restrictions on the free exercise of the rights it enjoys over its own subjects in virtue of its imperium may well appear as an even greater limitation of sovereignty than the signature of a treaty of neutralisation. But the distinction is one of degree rather than of kind. If we adopt the analogy of the law of property, it may perhaps be argued that the sovereign power is that which enjoys the residuum of sovereign rights which remains after abstraction of the various limitations on its sovereignty that have been accepted by it. It is, perhaps, necessary in this connection to emphasise the fact that, under the various Treaties which have been considered above, Minority Clauses may be amended by a simple majority of the Council of the League of Nations. It is clear, therefore, that the question is not treated on quite the same footing as most other really important issues, which require unanimity in accordance with Article 5 of the Covenant of the League. In view of the complexity of modern international relations and, particularly, having regard to the new order which is being evolved under the auspices of the League of Nations, it is perhaps time to review the whole doctrine of sovereignty as previously accepted. For our purpose, however, the position may best be summed up by saying that the States concerned have accepted the general supervision of the Council of the League in certain

specified questions of internal administration. They should not be considered for that reason as half-sovereign States, nor as being placed under the tutelage of the League.

The justification of the clauses is to be sought in the fact that they are necessary conditions for the future peace of the world. The Government of a State cannot disinterest itself completely from the fate of the nationals of another State who belong to the same race, speak the same language, or profess the same religion, as the majority of its own nationals. In the past a right of intervention has even been claimed in this connection, both by writers and in practice. This was, of course, not valid jure gentium,1 but the possibility of international disputes arising in this manner is too serious to be dismissed lightly. In accordance, therefore, with the very principles for which the League of Nations stands, it is in every way greatly to be desired that all States will justify the hope expressed in the resolution of the Third Assembly and observe in the treatment of their minorities the highest standards of justice and toleration compatible with their existence as sovereign independent States.

1 Compare the action of Greece in Crete, 1897; see also W. E. Hall: International Law, 7th ed., p. 300 (note); and Liszt: Das Völkerrecht systematisch dargestellt, 11th ed., p. 63.



By "O."

THE rule of the Reparation Chapter of the Treaties which ended the Great War is to make the Reparation Commission the final authority for settling all questions in dispute under that Chapter; the Commission under the Treaties has the right not only to administer and enforce, but also to interpret the reparation obligations of Germany and her Allies so far as they are contained in the Reparation Chapter (Part VIII.) of the Treaties.1

The Commission is, however, primarily an administrative and not a judicial body, and is ill adapted for dealing directly with cases which involve any lengthy or careful investigation of historical fact, or legal or constitutional rights; it is therefore not surprising that, in a group of cases under the Reparation Chapter 2 of the Austrian Treaty, in which claims by Belgium and CzechoSlovakia (as well as Italy and Poland) to the "restitution" of a part-perhaps the greater part-of the artistic treasures of Vienna were in dispute, the Commission was enjoined by the Treaty, instead of taking a direct decision on general grounds, to appoint a Committee of three Jurists to conduct an examination and to furnish a report to the Commission. The matters in dispute thus specially treated by what was in substance an international arbitration are defined in Article 195 of the Treaty of St. Germain and the Annexes to that Article; they arose out of the claims

1 This rule does not apply to the important obligations in the nature of reparation which are contained in Part IX. (Financial Clauses) of the Treaties. Thus the Commission has no power authoritatively to interpret Article 260 of the Treaty of Versailles (Article 211 of the Treaty of St. Germain) which enforces the surrender of ex-enemy rights and interests in public utility undertakings and concessions in Russia, China, Turkey and elsewhere. Questions of interpretation under Article 260 are, in fact, being submitted to arbitration, by virtue not of any general arbitration clause in the Treaty, but of a special reference agreed between the Commission and the German Government. It may also be a matter of dispute whether the Commission's power of interpretation is a general judicial power or merely a power of deciding such questions of construction as arise in the course of administration.

2 Part VIII., Article 195.

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