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he would prefer to try some scheme which would get the matter into the hands of private enterprise. No schemes could possibly absorb all the unemployed; it would take the Government all their time to get the Budget balanced on existing taxation. He was convinced that, bad as things were, we had reached the bottom, and unless there was very serious trouble in Europe, of which he was afraid, we were going to have a real trade revival. We had to depend on trade, and he thought that it was improving.
At the end of the year the Royal Commission on Honours presented its report. The report was signed by Lord Dunedin, the Chairman, and five other members of the Royal Commission, Mr. Henderson alone dissenting. The recommendations of the majority report were as follows:(1) That a Committee of the Privy Council, of not more than
three members, should be appointed of persons not
the report of the Committee. (5) That an Act be passed imposing a penalty on anyone
promising or endeavouring to secure an Honour in respect of any pecuniary payment, and on any other person promising such payment in order to receive an
Honour. Following the publication of this report it was announced that, while the King had approved that the Departmental Honours List be published as usual at the New Year, the recommendations for Honours covered by the report should be delayed until they had been considered by a Committee of the Privy Council, which the Prime Minister was appointing forthwith in accordance with the recommendation of the Royal Commission.
It will be seen that during the year 1922 great strides had been made towards a return to normal conditions. Weighty
problems still loomed ahead, both as regards internal and external politics. At home, the problem of unemployment remained grave, and was the occasion of much anxiety for the future. Abroad, the settlement of the problem of reparations and inter-Allied indebtedness was a matter of profound concern for the good relations of the European nations. On the other hand, a revival of trade was believed in many quarters to be impending; and it was felt that, if the Government succeeded in surmounting the grave difficulties with which they were confronted, hope might be entertained of a revival in some degree of that national prosperity which had been destroyed during the war.
ling; and it wagrave difficultiined of a revix
FOREIGN AND COLONIAL HISTORY.
THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS. The constitutional development of the organs of the League during 1922 was considerable and satisfactory. The Third Annual Assembly held in Geneva in September was regarded as being of greater interest and more fruitful in results than either of its predecessors. It dealt with international questions of the very first order of political importance, and of extreme difficulty, and in every case its discussions were productive of progress. It was, moreover, particularly noticeable that the machinery of the Assembly, its bureaux, its committees, and its sub-committees, worked with more speed, certainty, and efficiency than before. The session settled once for all the practice of holding all committees in public, and of admitting the Press even to sub-committees. The importance of this as a step towards securing all possible publicity for the discussion of international affairs is evident. There can be no doubt that the admission of the public and the Press to the debates of the Third Committee on the problems of Disarmament and Reparations, must have done much to strengthen the position of the League in the eyes of those who follow international affairs.
The Council of the League also made considerable progress during 1922 in the matter of publicity. It had found in previous years that the admission of the general public, though occasionally valuable, had nevertheless sometimes robbed it of its character as a working committee. It therefore adopted the device of having public meetings to which the members of the Press alone were admitted. The arrangement succeeded, and secured publicity without impeding in any way the rapid and regular transaction of ordinary business. The rapid distribution of Council documents and minutes to all the Members of the League has also been greatly improved during 1922.
Moreover, the Council, jointly with the Assembly, agreed to a solution of the grave question of its constitution which it had failed to solve in 1921. As a result two additional representatives of the States which are not among its permanent Members were elected. This brings up the total number of the Council to ten, the new Members being Sweden and Uruguay. It should be noted that the change was not opposed by any of the Great Powers, and that it was made subject to the condition that when other Great Powers—Germany and the United States were specifically mentioned-should enter the League, permanent places on the Council should be allotted to them.
Two other points concerning the constitutional development of the Council should be mentioned. In the first place, a “Minorities Committee," whose duty it is to examine all complaints arising out of the various Minority Treaties guaranteed by the League, was established. By this device it is possible for three members of the Council acting together to raise any Minority dispute, without throwing upon a single Government
-as the Minority Treaties would do-the invidious task of supporting a complaint. In the second place, the year marked the tendency of the various Members to send their most important statesmen to represent them on the Council.
Of the Secretariat there is nothing particularly new to be said. It has lived down the attacks which were made on it in various quarters in 1920 and 1921, and has established its position firmly as an international civil service.
In the political work which has been accomplished in 1922, the Assembly and the Council both have much to their credit. In certain respects the work of the Assembly has perhaps been better than that of the Council. For example, in connexion with Minorities, apart from the establishment of the Committee referred to above, the Council has made no considerable progress. It has indeed lost one valuable opportunity of establishing a precedent on the basis of which an effective system of minority guarantees might have been built up. On the other hand, the Assembly debates on the question of Minorities were of extreme value. They took place in the public meetings of the Sixth Committee, and in them participated the responsible representatives of all the Minority countries, including the Foreign Ministers of Jugo-Slavia and other States.
The next piece of political work which should be mentioned is that accomplished in Albania. The crucial meeting of the Council on this subject was held in November, 1921. On that occasion, the British Government having threatened the JugoSlav authorities with the application of the economic blockade provided for by Article 16, the Council induced the Belgrade Government to withdraw its troops, which had already invaded Albanian territory and were advancing towards the Adriatic. This withdrawal was in itself no inconsiderable triumph for the Council and the League, but that satisfactory beginning has been far surpassed by the progress of events in Albania during 1922. Not only have the frontiers of Albania been definitely and finally established, and peace restored within these frontiers, but friendly relations have been established between the Government of Tirana and that of Belgrade. For the services it rendered in this matter the Council was publicly thanked by M. Nintchitch, the Foreign Minister of JugoSlavia.
The League has played a further part in the development of the new Albanian State. While the question of the Albanian frontiers and their invasion by Jugo-Slavia was at its height, a Commission of Inquiry, consisting of three neutral Membersa Norwegian, a Luxemburger, and a Finn-was sent to Albania by the Council to investigate and to report. The work of this Commission did much to facilitate the re-establishment of peace between Albania and Jugo-Slavia, and it did something else as well. The Albanian Government begged it to report to the Council on the economic condition of the country, and through this medium sought for the assistance of economic and financial experts to be appointed by the appropriate Commissions of the League. The Council agreed to act on this request, and experts have been sent.
In the early part of 1922 the Council had also to finish off the work which it had begun the previous year in connexion with the Upper Silesian dispute. It will be remembered that in its famous report of October, 1921, the Council had recommended the division between Germany and Poland of the “industrial triangle" in Upper Silesia which had been the subject of dispute (see ANNUAL REGISTER, 1921, p. 154). In recommending this division it had, however, stipulated that the complete economic unity of the triangle should be preserved, and had sketched a complete system of economic provisions concerning railways, natural resources, customs, etc., by means of which this economic unity could be kept intact. It remained for Germany and Poland to work out in its details the convention by which these stipulations could be made effective. A joint conference for this purpose was held at Geneva under the chairmanship of M. Calonder, the ex-President of the Swiss Confederation, who had already served the League in the Aaland Islands dispute. Under his guidance a convention on all the extremely difficult matters involved was agreed to, and it was not necessary for him even once to use the arbitral powers with which he had been invested.
The most important political work of the year was that accomplished by the Council for the financial and economic rehabilitation of Austria. The condition of Austria had become steadily worse with every month that passed since the Armistice. Its currency had fallen to a purely nominal value, which rendered foreign trade practically impossible. In the summer of 1922 the complete disorganisation of the State services, widespread famine among the town population, and the probability of social disturbances and disruption threatened the new Republic. The Prime Ministers of the Allied Powers united in the “Supreme Council" had several times considered the matter, but had reached no agreement as to what could be done. In August they invited the Council of the League to consider the
this stipulat kork out ept intas, etc., provision