4 Dec. 45

In the Preamble to the Geneva Protocol of 1924, it was stated that `'offensive warfare constitutes an infraction of solidarity and an international crime." These instruments that I have just last mentioned remained, it is true, unratified for various reasons, but they are not without significance or value.

These repeated declarations, these repeated condemnations of wars of aggression testified to the fact that with the establishment of the League of Nations, with the legal developments which followed it, the place of war in international law had undergone a profound change. War was ceasing to be the unrestricted prerogative of sovereign states. The Covenant of the League of Nations did not totally abolish the right of war. It left, perhaps, certain gaps which were possibly larger in theory than in practice. But in effect it surrounded the right of war by procedural and substantive checks and delays, which, if the Covenant had been faithfully observed, would have amounted to an elimination of war, not only between members of the League, but also, by reason of certain provisions of the Covenant, in the relations of non-members as well. And thus the Covenant of the League restored the position as it existed at the dawn of international law, at the time when Grotius was laying down the foundations of the modern law of nations and established the distinction, a distinction accompanied by profound legal consequences in the sphere, for instance, of neutrality, between just war and an unjust war.

Nor was that development arrested with the adoption of the Covenant of the League. The right of war was further circumscribed by a series of treaties, numbering — it is an astonishing figure but it is right — nearly a thousand, of arbitration and conciliation embracing practically all the nations of the world. The So-called Optional Clause of Article 36 of the Statute of the Permanent Court of International Justice the clause which conferred upon the Court compulsory jurisdiction in regard to the most comprehensive categories of disputes, and which constituted in effect by far the most important compulsory treaty of arbitration in the postwar period, was widely signed and ratified. Germany herself signed it in 1927 and her signature was renewed, and renewed for a period of 5 years by the Nazi government in July of 1933. (Significantly, that ratification was not again renewed on the expiration of its 5 years, validity in March of 1938 by Germany). Since 1928 a considerable number of states signed and ratified the General Act for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes which was designed to fill the gaps left by the Optional Clause and by the existing treaties of arbitration and conciliation

And all this vast network of instruments of pacific settlement testified to the growing conviction throughout the civilized world