February 19, 1929 (16th Parliament, 3rd Session)


William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)



Reservations? Yes, I would Say what Sir Austen Chamberlain said, for where I am able to do so, I like to follow the example of the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Great Britain. Sir Austen Chamberlain said, when asked the question that my hon. friend has asked me, that there were no reservations so far as Great Britain or the United States were concerned. But may I say this: If my hon. friend .has in mind possible interpretations as they have been made but which have not been recognized by governments as a part of the treaty, assuming that he wishes them to be taken into consideration, I do not wish to eliminate them. But this treaty will have two effects: One effect within the nation concerned will be to arouse its conscience to a pretty close examination of how far any interpretation or alleged reservation may run counter to the spirit of peace Which is the underlying principle of this document, and any government that seeks through an interpretation, or alleged reservation, to resort to war, with the nation's honour binding the country to a course of peace,

International Peace-Mr. Bennett
will find itself in a very difficult position. The other effect will be in relation to the League of Nations, a body that is continuing from day to day and from year to year. The League of Nations may be expected to examine more Closely than otherwise would have been the case any alleged reservation or interpretation, and in so doing, the league will be in a position to mobilize all the countries that are members of the league against any country that seeks by means of an interpretation of its own to evade what obviously might be considered to be its obligation under this solemn covenant.

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