How far was the League a complete failure?
There were both successes and failures of the league. The Corfu incident of 1923 was a huge failure and demonstrated the weakness of the league. There was an incident at the Greek Albanian border where an Italian General, Tellini and his team were ambushed and killed. The league made a decision that compensation would be paid to the league and when the people responsible were found, it would go to Italy. Formally Mussolini accepted the decision but got it overturned by the conference of Ambassadors. This was not a body of the league but was constantly undermining it. Disarmament was failure as the disarmament of Germany meant to be the first step towards a more general one, but it never happened. In July 1932 at the disarmament conference it imposed rules, to prohibit the bombing of civilian populations to limit the size of the tanks and to forbid chemical warfare. All three were hard to enforce and fairly ineffective. The failures of the league can be attributed to the fact that economic sanctions did not work due to the self-interest of leading members. Many defeated countries saw the league as part of the treaties and so associated it with their defeat. In the Vilna incident of 1920, the Poles simply seized Vilna which belonged to Lithuania. However, the league took no action, so was seen as weak and ineffective. However, the league did some good work. The work of its agencies were very successful. The slavery commission brought about the condemning of slave traders in Burma and reduced the death rate of 50% to 4% on an African railway. The health commission began the global extermination of mosquitoes to prevent malaria and gave advice to Russia regarding the plague in Siberia. The refugee’s commission worked quickly in the refugee crisis and in Turkey to stamp out dysentery in camps and provide sanitary conditions. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) banned poisonous white lead from paint and child labour. It sorted out border disputes. In Upper Silesia it held a plebiscite to ask whether they wanted to pin Poland or Germany. The industrial areas voted mainly for Germany and the rural for Poland. They divided the region down these lines and safeguarded rail lines and power and water supplies. In Bulgaria 1925, the league condemned the Greeks and they pulled out without fuss. The league was certainly not a complete failure. It worked effectively for a better world through its agencies and achieved some success. However, in many cases it was seen as weak and could be undermined by the conference of Ambassador, which was meant to be a temporary body but lasted until 1933. It can also be said that it had one rule for big states and another for small. Perhaps with the presence of the USA it could be more effective. The rise of the aggressive military dictatorship did not help the league.
'The weaknesses of the League were so great that it was bound to fail’ Do...