League of Nations mandateMandates in the Middle east and Africa. Mandates in the Pacific.
A League of Nations mandate refers to several territories established under Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations, 28 June 1919. Upon the entry into force of the Charter of the United Nations in late 1945, the mandates of the League of Nations (except for South-West Africa) became United Nations Trust Territories, as agreed to later at the Yalta Conference.
- 1 Generalities
- 2 Types of mandates
- 3 Rules of Establishment
- 4 Later history
- 5 Sources and References
- 6 References
All the territories subject to League of Nations mandates were previously controlled by states defeated in World War I, principally Imperial Germany and the Ottoman Empire. The mandates were fundamentally different from the protectorates in that the Mandatory power undertook obligations to the inhabitants of the territory and to the League of Nations.
The process of establishing the mandates consisted of two phases:
- the formal removal of sovereignty of the previously controlling states
- the transfer of mandatory powers to individual states among the Allied Powers.
Germany's divestiture of territories was accomplished in the Treaty of Versailles of 1919 and allotted to the Allied Powers on May 7, 1919. Ottoman territorial claims were first dispensed with in the Treaty of Sèvres of 1920 and later finalized in the Treaty of Lausanne of 1923. The Turkish territories were allotted to the Allied Powers in the Conference of Sanremo of 1920. While most mandate territories were situated in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, the régime was also applied in Europe, notably to the Danzig, Memel and Saar territories of Germany.
Types of mandates
The exact level of control by the Mandatory power over each mandate was decided on an individual basis by the League of Nations. However, in every case the Mandatory power was forbidden to construct fortifications or raise an army within the mandate and was required to present an annual report on the territory to the League of Nations.
Despite this, mandates were seen as de facto colonies of the empires of the victor nations.
The mandates were divided into three distinct groups based upon the level of development each population had achieved at that time.
Class A mandates
The first group or Class A mandates were areas formerly controlled by the Ottoman Empire deemed to "...have reached a stage of development where their existence as independent nations can be provisionally recognized subject to the rendering of administrative advice and assistance by a Mandatory until such time as they are able to stand alone. The wishes of these communities must be a principal consideration in the selection of the Mandatory."
The Class A mandates were:
- Iraq (United Kingdom), 10 August 1920 - 3 October 1932, then an independent kingdom.
- Palestine (United Kingdom), from 25 April 1920 (effective 29 September 1923 - 14 May 1948 to the independence of Israel), till 25 May 1946 including Transjordan (the Hashemite emirate, later kingdom of Jordan).
- Syria (France), 29 September 1923 - 1 January 1944, including Lebanon; Hatay (a former Ottoman Alexandretta sandjak) broke away from it and became a French protectorate, until it was ceded to the republic Turkey.
By 1948 these mandates had been replaced by new monarchies (Iraq, Jordan) and republican governments (Israel, Lebanon, Syria).
Class B mandates
The second group or Class B mandates were all former Schutzgebiete (German territories) in the Subsaharan regions of West - and Central Africa, which were deemed to require a greater level of control by the mandatory power: "...the Mandatory must be responsible for the administration of the territory under conditions which will guarantee freedom of conscience and religion". The mandatory power was forbidden to construct military or naval bases within the mandates.
The Class B mandates were :
- Ruanda-Urundi (Belgium), formerly two separate German protectorates, joined as a single mandate from 20 July 1922, but 1 March 1926 - 30 June 1960 in administrative union with the colony Belgian Congo, since 13 December 1946 a United Nations Trust Territory (till their separate Independences on 1 July 1962)
- Tanganyika (United Kingdom) from 20 July 1922, 11 December 1946 made a United Nations trust territory; from 1 May 1961 enjoys self-rule, on 9 December 1961 independence (as dominion), on 9 December 1962 a Republic, in 1964 federated with Zanzibar, and soon renamed together Tanzania
and two former German territories, each split in a British and a French League of Nations mandate territory, according to earlier military occupation zones:
- Kamerun was split on 20 July 1922 into British Cameroons (under a Resident) and French Cameroun (under a Commissioner till 27 August 1940, then under a Governor), on 13 December 1946 transformed into United Nations Trust Territories, again a British (successively under senior district officers officiating as Resident, a Special Resident and Commissioners) and a French Trust (under a Haut Commissaire)
- the former German colony of Togoland was split in British Togoland (under an Administrator, a post filled by the colonial Governor of the British Gold Coast (present Ghana) except 30 September 1920 - 11 October 1923 Francis Walter Fillon Jackson) and French Togoland (under a Commissioner) (United Kingdom and France), 20 July 1922 separate Mandates, transformed on 13 December 1946 into United Nations trust territories, French Togo Associated Territory (under a Commissioner till 30 August 1956, then under a High Commissioner as Autonomous Republic of Togo) and British Togoland (as before; on 13 December 1956 it ceased to exist as it became part of Ghana)
Class C mandates
A final group, the Class C mandates, including South-West Africa and certain of the South Pacific Islands, were considered to be "best administered under the laws of the mandatory as integral portions of its territory"
The Class C mandates were former German possessions:
- former German New Guinea (Australia) from 17 December 1920 under a (at first Military) Administrator; after (wartime) Japanese/U.S. military commands from 8 December 1946 under UN mandate as North East New Guinea (under Australia, as administrative unit), until it merged into present Papua New Guinea.
- Nauru, formerly part of German New Guinea (Australia in effective control, formally together with United Kingdom and New Zealand) from 17 December 1920, 1 November 1947 made into a United Nations trust territory (same three powers) till its 31 January 1968 independence as a Republic - all that time under an Administrator
- former German Samoa (New Zealand) 17 December 1920 a League of Nations mandate, renamed Western Samoa (as opposed to American Samoa), from 25 January 1947 a United Nations trust territory till its 1 January 1962 independence
- South Pacific Mandate (Japan)
- South-West Africa (South Africa);
Rules of Establishment
According to the Council of the League of Nations, meeting of August 1920: "draft mandates adopted by the Allied and Associated Powers would not be definitive until they had been considered and approved by the League ... the legal title held by the mandatory Power must be a double one: one conferred by the Principal Powers and the other conferred by the League of Nations,"
Three steps were required to establish a Mandate under international law: (1) The Principal Allied and Associated Powers confer a mandate on one of their number or on a third power; (2) the principal powers officially notify the council of the League of Nations that a certain power has been appointed mandatory for such a certain defined territory; and (3) the council of the League of Nations takes official cognisance of the appointment of the mandatory power and informs the latter that it [the council] considers it as invested with the mandate, and at the same time notifies it of the terms of the mandate, after assertaining whether they are in conformance with the provisions of the covenant."
After the abolition of the League of Nations, all but one of those which remained under the control of a (colonial) power were re-qualified by its successor, the United Nations, as UN Trust territory, a roughly equivalent status, but now vested in victorious colonial powers on the allied side in World War II (Japan, now on the losing side, lost its South Pacific Mandate to the USA).
The only mandate which retained that old status until gaining sovereignty was South-West Africa, which gained independence as Namibia in 1990, after a long guerrilla war of independence against the Apartheid regime of South Africa.
Nearly all the former mandates were sovereign states by 1990, including those which had become UN Trust territories except some successor entities of the gradually dismembered Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (formerly Japan's South Pacific Trust Mandate) - notably the Northern Mariana Islands becoming a USA Commonwealth (still administered by a Governor, without their own Head of State, which remains the US President) - while remnant Micronesia and the Marshall islands, the heirs of the last territories of the Trust, attained on 22 December 1990 final independence (the UN Security Council ratified termination of trusteeship, effectively dissolved on 10 July 1987), and the Republic of Palau (split-off from the Federated States of Micronesia) became the last to get its independence effectively on October 1, 1994).
Sources and References
- Anghie, Antony "Colonialism and the Birth of International Institutions: Sovereignty, Economy, and the Mandate System of the League of Nations" 34(3) New York University Journal of International Law and Politics 513 (2002)
- WorldStatesmen - links to each present nation
- ^ (p109–110)
- ^ a b Quincy Wright, Mandates under the League of Nations, Univ. of Chicago Press, 1930.
- ^ See also: Temperley, History of the Paris Peace Conference, Vol VI, p505–506; League of Nations, The Mandates System (official publication of 1945); Hill, Mandates, Dependencies and Trusteeship, p133ff.
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