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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

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Government. They have taken the view that collective obliga-
tions in this matter were discharged on 4th July, 1936, when
the Assembly of the League passed a resolution abolishing the
sanctions. It is their view, therefore, that States members
were consequently free to take whatever action seemed good
to them in the light of their own situation and what they
considered to be their own obligations. That is a perfectly
comprehensible view and a good number of powerful and con-
vincing arguments can be brought forward in support of it.
His Majesty's Government do not desire to criticise any States
who have taken that view, but so far as they are concerned
they, in common with many others, have held that this is not a
question which concerns ourselves alone, but that it is one
which requires consideration by the appropriate organ, the
League. The result of this difference of opinion is that some of
those who took part in collective action have already recog-
nised the Italian position in Ethiopia. Others, again, have
taken action which implies recognition, or seems to imply
recognition. Others, again, have taken no action at all.
The result of that is a confused and anomalous situation, a
situation which does require clearing up.
" His Majesty's Government have taken the first step
towards clarification by asking the Secretary-General to place
an item dealing with this question on the agenda of the forth-
coming meeting of the Council, which they consider to be
the appropriate organ. Let me make one or two points
clear. First of all, our action does not mean that we condone
or that we approve the methods by which Italy obtained
control of Abyssinia. Secondly, it does not mean that we are
going to ask the League to modify any resolution or any
decision which it took during the period of the conquest*
The League has expressed its judgment on the whole afiair in
the plainest possible terms and there will be no going back on
that. In the third place, we do not intend to ask any other
State to take any action which they might deem incompatible
with their obligations. There is something further. Neither
any action which we have taken nor any action which we may
ask the Council to take, in itself constitutes recognition. It
neither binds us nor anyone else to recognition. The act of
-ecognition remains within the sovereign rights of each