chapter  6
24 Pages

Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations and the Principle of Self-Determination

ByIsaiah Friedman

Article 22 was one of the points on which the Arabs, or rather the Palestinians, based their case. Following the February/March revolution in Russia and the entry of the United States into the War on 6 April 1917, however, the Allied Powers had to change their war aims drastically. Self-determination became the hallowed principle by which the war was to be given a new lease on life. It was to animate the idealists and serve as a tonic for those affected by war weariness. In February 1918, the Inter-Allied Labor and Socialist Conference pronounced itself in favor of instituting under a "league of nations" a system of international trusteeship by advanced nations for backward peoples. The idea of trusteeship made a strong appeal to the Allied Powers. There was yet a pressing need to create an instrument for the practical application of these new ideas and to clothe them within a legal framework. This was done by Jan Smuts.