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Guarantee of PeaceThe League of Nations in British Policy 1914-1925$
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Peter J. Yearwood

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199226733

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199226733.001.0001

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‘A Genuine and Energetic League of Nations Policy’

‘A Genuine and Energetic League of Nations Policy’

Lord Robert Cecil and the Treaty of Mutual Assistance, 1922–1923

(p.211) 5 ‘A Genuine and Energetic League of Nations Policy’
Guarantee of Peace

Peter J. Yearwood

Oxford University Press

The success of the League was widely seen as depending on its formulating a scheme for international disarmament. Lloyd George had this in the back of his mind when offering a security treaty to Paris. Lord Esher, his man on the League's Temporary Mixed Commission, was pushed aside by Cecil, whose appointment had been arranged by H. A. L. Fisher, the British representative on the Council. Cecil hoped to repair Anglo‐French relations, which had rapidly deteriorated after Poincaré came to power, by agreeing with the French representatives a plan which would formally link security and disarmament. Once this had been adopted at Geneva, Cecil hoped to impose it on the British government, which he had himself joined when Stanley Baldwin became Prime Minister in May 1923. However, he was on bad terms with Curzon, who remained Foreign Secretary. The league did not endorse the Draft Treaty of Mutual Assistance, and the consensus in the Conservative Cabinet was strongly against it.

Keywords:   Disarmament, security, Anglo‐French relations, Lord Esher, Raymond Poincaré, H. A. L. Fisher, Stanley Baldwin, Treaty of Mutual Assistance

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