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On the other hand, even the “actual exercise of physical violence” implies "a psychological relation between two minds,” that is, political power. Weapons, prisons, electric chairs are dead things. As instruments of military or police power they must be operated by men directed by the holders of public authority. If military power is an essential element of political power, the settlement of the power contest cannot be a precondition for disarmament, because the former is not possible without the latter.
3. The idea that disarmament is an essential element of an effective system of international security was at the basis of the Covenant of the League of Nations in which the provisions concerning disarmament were placed immediately after those concerning the organization of the League and preceded those concerning the settlement of conflicts. They read as follows:
“ARTICLE 8. 1.—The Members of the League recognize that the maintenance of peace requires the reduction of national armaments to the lowest point consistent with national safety and the enforcement by common action of international obligations. 2. The Council, taking account of the geographical situation and circumstances of each State, shall formulate plans for such reduction for the consideration and action of the several Governments. 3. Such plans shall be subject to reconsideration and revision at least every 10 years. 4. After these plans shall have been adopted by the several Governments, the limits of armaments therein fixed shall not be exceeded without the concurrence of the Council. 5. The Members of the League agree that the manufacture by private enterprise of munitions and implements of war is open to grave objections. The Council shall advise how the evil effects attendant upon such manufacture can be prevented, due regard being had to the necessities of those Members of the League which are not able to manufacture, the munitions and implements of war necessary for their safety. 6. The Members of the League undertake to interchange full and frank information as to the scale of their armaments, their military, naval and air programs and the condition of such of their industries as are adaptable to warlike purposes. Article .9. A. permanent Commission shall be constituted to advise the Council on the execution of the provisions of Articles 1 and 8 and on military, naval and air questions generally.”
In this respect there is a remarkable difference between the Covenant and the Charter of the United Nations. The Charter does not, as the Covenant did, recognize that the maintenance of peace requires disarmament. It contains, however, two Articles which deal with this problem. One is Article 11, paragraph 1, which authorizes the General Assembly to "consider the general principles of cooperation in the maintenance of international peace and security, including the principles governing disarmament and the regulation of armaments” and to “make recommendations with regard to such principles to the Members or to the Security Council or to both.". The other is Article 26, which runs as follows: "In order to promote the establishment and maintenance of international peace and security with the least diversion for armaments of the world's human and economic resources, the Security Council shall be responsible for formulating, with the assistance of the Military Staff Committee referred to in Article 47, plans to be submitted to the Members of the United Nations for the establishment of a system for the regulation of armaments." The Charter recognizes that a certain relationship exists between peace and disarmament, but only in so far as the maintenance of peace should be promoted with the "least diversion for armaments of the world's human and economic resources." Consequently, in the same sentences in which it refers to disarmament, it provides for the establishment of principles or the formulation of plans for the regulation of armaments.
Nevertheless, an interpretation of the Charter is possible according to which the members of the United Nations may be subjected to much stricter obligations with respect to their disarmament than were the members of the League. The latter could be obliged to disarm only under the "plan" formulated by the Council under Article 8, paragraphs 3 and 4, that is to say, the obligation of a member to reduce its own armaments could be established only with its consent. The same seems to be true with respect to Article 26 of the Charter. The "plans” formulated by the Security Council “for the establishment of a system for the regulation of armaments” may provide for reduction of armaments; they must be "submitted to the Members of the United Nations." That means that they are binding upon the members only if accepted by them. The obligation is established by a treaty concluded by the Members with the Organization. Unlike Article 8, paragraph 4, of the Covenant, Article 26 does not provide expressly for the "adoption" of the plan by the member, but if the plan of the Security Council is to be submitted to the members, it can be only for the purpose of being adopted by them. According to Article 26—if interpreted as an isolated provision of the Charter-the members are free to accept or not accept the plan formulated by the Security Council and submitted to them. The situation appears in a different light if Article 39 is taken into consideration. The fact that a member refuses to accept the plan providing for a reduction of its armament may, in the opinion of the Security Council, constitute a threat to the peace and consequently may lead directly or indirectly (through the intermediate stage of a non-accepted recommendation of the Se curity Council) to an enforcement action. If this measure is interpreted as a sanction and if the obligation to behave in a certain way is considered to be constituted by a sanction to be executed in case of contrary behavior, the Security Council, in submitting the plan referred to in Article 26 to a member, may impose upon it the obligation to act in conformity with this plan; in other terms, the Security Council has the power to enforce its plans for the establishment of a system for the regulation of armaments which may provide for disarmament.
The same interpretation may be applied to Article 11, paragraph 1. According to the wording of this provision, the members are free to accept or not to accept the “recommendations" made to them by the General Assembly with regard to the principles governing disarmament and the regulations of armaments. However, under Article 39, the Security Council may determine that the refusal to accept the recommendation of the General Assembly is a threat to the peace and may enforce this "recommendation.” Such enforcement of the disarmament plans of the Council was impossible under the Covenant.
4. A memorandum on “French Opinion and the Problem of Collective Security" by Georges Scelle and René Cassin (Collective Security, pp. 66 ff.] contains the statement that: “the French government upholds the formula : security first, then disarmament or at least disarmament in proportion to the degree of security obtained," and at the 32nd meeting of the First Committee of the General Assembly of the United Nations on 3 December 1946 the representative of France declared: "It must be recognized that disarmament is impossible without security organized along parallel lines. The French position on this point between the two World Wars was well known and had been justified by subsequent events”. Journal of the United Nations, No. 48, pp. 197–8.
5. The full text of Resolution XIV runs as follows:
“(a) The Assembly, having considered the report of the Temporary Mixed Commission on the question of a general Treaty of Mutual Guarantee, being of
opinion that this report can in no way affect the complete validity of all the Treaties of Peace or other agreements which are known to exist between States; and considering that this report contains valuable suggestions as to the methods by which a Treaty of Mutual Guarantee could be made effective, is of the opinion that:
1. No scheme for the reduction of armaments, wit th meaning of Article 8 of the Covenant, can be fully successful unless it is general. 2. In the present state of the world many Governments would be unable to accept the responsibility for a serious reduction of armaments unless they received in exchange a satisfactory guarantee of the safety of their country. 3. Such a guarantee can be found in a defensive agreement which should be open to all countries, binding them to provide immediate and effective assistance in accordance with a prearranged plan in the event of one of them being attacked, provided that the obligation to render assistance to a country attacked shall be limited in principle to those countries situated in the same part of the globe. In cases, however, where, for historical, geographical, or other reasons, a country is in special danger of attack, detailed arrangements should be made for its defense in accordance with the above-mentioned plan. 4. As a general reduction of armaments is the object of the three preceding statements, and the Treaty of Mutual Guarantee the means of achieving that object, previous consent to this reduction is therefore the first condition for the Treaty. This reduction could be carried out either by means of a general Treaty, which is the most desirable plan, or by means of partial treaties designed to be extended and open to all countries. In the former case, the Treaty will carry with it a general reduction of armaments. In the latter case, the reduction should be proportionate to the guarantees afforded by the Treaty. The Council of the League, after having taken the advice of the Temporary Mixed Commission, which will examine how each of these two systems could be carried out, should further formulate and submit to the Governments for their consideration and sovereign decision the plan of the machinery, both political and military, necessary to bring them clearly into effect.
(b) The Assembly requests the Council to submit to the various Governments the above proposals for their observations, and requests the Temporary Mixed Commission to continue its investigations, and, in order to give precision to the above statements, to prepare a Draft Treaty embodying the principles contained therein."
6. Cf. the Historical Survey of the Activities of the League of Nations regarding the Questions of Disarmament 1920–1937. United Nations, General Assembly, Doc. A/AC.50/2, 18 June 1951 (hereafter referred to as Doc. A/AC.50/2), P. 27.
7. Cf. pp. 85, 100. 8. The full text of Resolution 41 (I) of the General Assembly runs as follows:
"1. In pursuance of Article 11 of the Charter and with a view to strengthening international peace and security in conformity with the Purpose and Principles of the United Nations,
The General Assembly,
Recognizes the necessity of an early general regulation and reduction of armaments and armed forces. “2. Accordingly,
The General Assembly,
Recommends that the Security Council give prompt consideration to formulating the practical measures, according to their priority, which are essential to
provide for the general regulation and reduction of armaments and armed forces and to assure that such regulation and reduction of armaments and armed forces will be generally observed by all participants and not unilaterally by only some of the participants. The plans formulated by the Security Council shall be submitted by the Secretary-General to the Members of the United Nations for consideration at a special session of the General Assembly. The treaties or conventions approved by the General Assembly shall be submitted to the signatory States for ratification in accordance with Article 26 of the Charter.
“3. As an essential step toward the urgent objective of prohibiting and eliminating from national armaments atomic and all other major weapons adaptable now and in the future to mass destruction, and the early establishment of international control of atomic energy and other modern scientific discoveries and technical developments to ensure their use only for peaceful purposes,
The General Assembly,
Urges the expeditious fulfilment by the Atomic Energy Commission of its terms of reference as set forth in section 5 of the General Assembly resolution of 24 January 1946.
"4. In order to ensure that the general prohibition, regulation and reduction of armaments are directed towards the major weapons of modern warfare and not merely towards the minor weapons,
The General Assembly,
Recommends that the Security Council expedite consideration of the reports which the Atomic Energy Commission will make to the Security Council and that it facilitate the work of that Commission, and also that the Security Council expedite consideration of a draft convention or conventions for the creation of an international system of control and inspection, these conventions to include the prohibition of atomic and all other major weapons adaptable now and in the future to mass destruction and the control of atomic energy to the extent necessary to ensure its use only for peaceful purposes. “5. The General Assembly,
Further recognizes that essential to the general regulation and reduction of armaments and arined forces, is the provision of practical and effective safe guards by way of inspection and other means to protect complying States against the hazards of violations and evasions.
Recommends to the Security Council that it give prompt consideration to the working out of proposals to provide such practical and effective safeguards in connection with the control of atomic energy and the general regulation and reduction of armaments.
-“6. To ensure the adoption of measures for the early general regulation and reduction of armaments and armed forces, for the prohibition of the use of atomic energy for military purposes and the elimination from national armaments of atomic and all other major weapons adaptable now or in the future to mass destruction, and for the control of atomic energy to the extent necessary to ensure its use only for peaceful purposes,
There shall be established, within the framework of the Security Council, which bears the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, an international system, as mentioned in paragraph 4, operating through special organs, which organs shall derive their powers and status from the convention or conventions under which they are established.
“7. The General Assembly,
Regarding the problem of security as closely connected with that of disarmament,
Recommends the Security Council to accelerate as much as possible the placing at its disposal of the armed forces mentioned in Article 43 of the Charter;
Recommends the Members to undertake the progressive and balanced withdrawal, taking into account the needs of occupation, of their armed forces stationed in ex-enemy territories, and the withdrawal without delay of their armed forces stationed in the territories of Members without their consent freely and publicly expressed in treaties or agreements consistent with the Charter and not contradicting international agreements;
Further recommends a corresponding reduction of national armed forces, and a general progressive and balanced reduction of national armed forces.
“8. Nothing herein contained shall alter or limit the resolution of the General Assembly passed on 24 January 1946, creating the Atomic Energy Commission. “9. The General Assembly,
Calls upon all Members of the United Nations to render every possible assistance to the Security Council and the Atomic Energy Commission in order to promote the establishment and maintenance of international peace and collective security with the least diversion for armaments of the world's human and economic resources.”
9. Atomic Energy Commission. Official Records. Special Supplement. Report to the Security Council (New York, 1946), p. 37.
10. Cf. Madariaga, op. cit., p. 84.
13. Madariaga, op. cit., pp. 11 ff. says: “ 'If you want peace, prepare for war.' That is, if you want something, get ready for the reverse of it. Such is the slogan generally opposed to disarmament efforts. Now, there was a time when circumstances may have given some practical justification to this theoretically untenable position. Nations small and sparsely distributed over unorganized territories, small armies, simple weapons, little or no international faith, unstable compacts, personal influence on international policies, may have made the method of preparedness the cheapest, safest, and most practicable, nay, the only one available. To-day, the situation is the very reverse. The world has grown small for our power and resources. Only one opinion and only one market cover the face of the earth. Wars absorb the whole population of the countries which engage in them, exact all their resources and consume all the raw materials which human ingenuity has wrung from the recesses of the earth: In this condition, preparing for war means securing indefinite stocks of food and raw materials of all kinds and/or absolute control over the sources of supply and communications. Short of that, preparing for war is a worthless slogan or a misleading falsehood. Preparedness leads therefore to the scramble for raw materials and territories, and thence to increasing causes of friction and possibilities of war.”
14. Doc. A/AC.50/2, p. 40.
18. The Problem of pre-military training and military training given outside the army was considered by the Technical Committee of the League of Nations