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The GuardiansThe League of Nations and the Crisis of Empire$
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Susan Pedersen

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199570485

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199570485.001.0001

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Rules of the Game

Rules of the Game

(p.45) Two Rules of the Game
The Guardians

Susan Pedersen

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes how the mandates system was revived and took shape in the early 1920s. It shows how the League's first Secretary-General Sir Eric Drummond, League officials Philip Noel-Baker and William Rappard, and British activists (e.g. the Anti-Slavery Society Secretary J. H. Harris and the politician William Ormsby-Gore) established the League's authority over the mandates regime. It spells out the roles of the Assembly, Council, and Mandates Section of the Secretariat in the work of oversight, and introduces the members and procedures of the Permanent Mandates Commission. Although those experts often sought to promote the interests of their own states, public scrutiny and an evolving institutional spirit led the Commission to chart an independent course. Through early controversies over the national status of inhabitants of territories under mandate, the disposition of Nauru's phosphates, and the border between Tanganyika and Rwanda, the Commission sought to limit the sovereignty of the imperial powers in the mandated territories and to articulate new international norms.

Keywords:   Mandates Commission, William Rappard, Philip Noel-Baker, William Ormsby-Gore, Anti-Slavery Society, Erich Drummond, mandates system, League of Nations

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