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Czecho-Slovak Declaration of Independence 193

right of assembly and petition. The Church shall be separated from the State. Our democracy shall rest on universal suffrage; women shall be placed on an equal footing with men, politically, socially, and culturally. The rights of the minority shall be safeguarded by proportional representation; national minorities shall enjoy equal rights. The government shall be parliamentary in form and shall recognize the principles of the initiative and referendum. The standing army will be replaced by militia.

The Czecho-Slovak nation will carry out far-reaching social and economic reforms; the large estates will be redeemed for home colonization; patents of nobility will be abolished. Our nation will assume its part of the Austro-Hungarian pre-war public debt; the debts for this war we leave to those who incurred them.

In its foreign policy the Czecho-Slovak nation will accept its full share of responsibility in the reorganization of eastern Europe. It accepts fully the democratic and social principle of nationalism and subscribes to the doctrine that all covenants and treaties shall be entered into openly and frankly without secret diplomacy.

Our constitution shall provide an efficient, rational, and just government, which will exclude all special privileges and prohibit class legislation.

Democracy has defeated theocratic autocracy. Militarism is overcome, democracy is victorious; on the basis of democracy mankind will be reorganized. The forces of darkness have served the victory of light, the longed-for age of humanity is dawning.

We believe in democracy, we believe in liberty, and liberty

evermore.

Given in Paris on the eighteenth of October, 1918.1

1 Signed by Thomas G. Masaryk, prime minister, M. R. Stefanik, minister of national defense, and Edward Benes, minister of foreign affairs.

33. COVENANT OF THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS, 1919 1

As soon as the Peace Conference met at Paris steps were taken to organize a League of Nations. A committee of delegates, representing fourteen countries and including President Wilson and Mr. E. W. House (United States), Lord Robert Cecil and General Smuts (Great Britain), M. Léon Bourgeois (France), Premier Orlando (Italy), and Baron Chinda (Japan), held daily sessions and on February 14, 1919, presented a unanimous report to a plenary session of the Conference. The preliminary draft of the constitution or covenant was subsequently modified as the result of world-wide discussion and on April 28 was again laid before the Conference. This amended document then became the first part of the peace treaty with Germany. The signing of the treaty by the Allied and Associated governments and its subsequent ratification set up the League of Nations in active operation. The original members of the League are twenty-six Allied belligerent powers (counting separately the British Empire, Canada, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, and India) and four powers (Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, and Uruguay) in a state of diplomatic rupture with the enemy. Thirteen neutral countries were also invited to accede to the covenant. China, which did not sign the peace treaty, and the United States, which did not ratify it, were consequently excluded from the list of original members of the League.

COVENANT OF THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS, 1919 The high contracting parties, in order to promote international co

operation and to achieve international peace and security, by the acceptance of obligations not to resort to war, by the prescription of open, just, and honorable relations between nations, by the firm establishment of the understandings of international 1 Senate Document, No. 49 (66th Congress, ist Session), pp. 8–17. Washington,

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law as the actual rule of conduct among governments, and by the maintenance of justice and a scrupulous respect for all treaty obligations in the dealings of organized peoples with one another, agree to this covenant of the League of Nations

ARTICLE I

The original members of the League of Nations shall be those of the signatories which are named in the annex to this covenant and also such of those other states named in the annex as shall accede without reservation to this covenant. Such accession shall be effected by a declaration deposited with the Secretariat within two months of the coming into force of the covenant. Notice thereof shall be sent to all other members of the league.

Any fully self-governing state, dominion, or colony, not named in the annex, may become a member of the league, if its admission is agreed to by two-thirds of the Assembly, provided that it shall give

effective guarantees of its sincere intention to observe its interna$ tional obligations, and shall accept such regulations as may be pre

scribed by the league in regard to its military, naval, and air forces, and armaments.

Any member of the league may, after two years' notice of its intention so to do, withdraw from the league, provided that all its international obligations and all its obligations under this covenant shall have been fulfilled at the time of its withdrawal.

ARTICLE II

The action of the league under this covenant shall be effected through the instrumentality of an Assembly and of a Council, with a permanent Secretariat.

ARTICLE III The Assembly shall consist of representatives of the members of the league.

The Assembly shall meet at stated intervals, and from time to time as occasion may require, at the seat of the league or at such other place as may be decided upon.

The Assembly may deal at its meetings with any matter within the sphere of action of the league or affecting the peace of the world.

At meetings of the Assembly each member of the league shall have one vote, and may have not more than three representatives.

ARTICLE IV

The Council shall consist of representatives of the principal Allied and Associated powers, together with representatives of four other members of the league. These four members of the league shall be selected by the Assembly from time to time in its discretion. Until the appointment of the representatives of the four members of the league first selected by the Assembly, representatives of Belgium, Brazil, Spain, and Greece shall be members of the Council.

With the approval of the majority of the Assembly, the Council may name additional members of the league whose representatives shall always be members of the Council; the Council with like approval may increase the number of members of the league to be selected by the Assembly for representation to the Council.

The Council shall meet from time to time as occasion may require, and at least once a year, at the seat of the league, or at such other place as may be decided upon.

The Council may deal at its meetings with any matter within the sphere of action of the league or affecting the peace of the world.

Any member of the league not represented on the Council shall be invited to send a representative to sit as a member at any meeting of the Council during the consideration of matters specially affecting the interests of that member of the league.

At meetings of the Council each member of the league represented on the Council shall have one vote, and may have not more than one representative.

ARTICLE V

Except where otherwise expressly provided in this covenant, or by the terms of the present treaty, decisions at any meeting of the Assembly or of the Council shall require the agreement of all the members of the league represented at the meeting.

All matters of procedure at meetings of the Assembly or of the Council, the appointment of committees to investigate particular matters, shall be regulated by the Assembly or by the Council, and may be decided by a majority of the members of the league represented at the meeting.

The first meeting of the Assembly and the first meeting of the Council shall be summoned by the President of the United States of America.

ARTICLE VI

The permanent Secretariat shall be established at the seat of the league: The Secretariat shall comprise a Secretary General and such secretaries and staff as may be required.

The first Secretary General shall be the person named in the annex; thereafter the Secretary General shall be appointed by the Council, with the approval of the majority of the Assembly.

The secretaries and the staff of the Secretariat shall be appointed by the Secretary General, with the approval of the Council.

The Secretary General shall act in that capacity at all meetings of the Assembly and of the Council.

The expenses of the Secretariat shall be borne by the members of the league, in accordance with the apportionment of the expenses of the International Bureau of the Universal Postal Union.

ARTICLE VII

The seat of the league is established at Geneva.

The Council may at any time decide that the seat of the league shall be established elsewhere.

All positions under or in connection with the league, including the Secretariat, shall be open equally to men and women.

Representatives of the members of the league and officials of the League, when engaged on the business of the League, shall enjoy diplomatic privileges and immunities.

The buildings and other property occupied by the league or its officials, or by representatives attending its meetings, shall be inviolable.

ARTICLE VIII

The members of the league recognize that the maintenance of peace requires the reduction of national armaments to the lowest point consistent with the national safety, and the enforcement by common action of international obligations.

The Council, taking account of the geographical situation and circumstances of each state, shall formulate plans for such reduction for the consideration and action of the several governments.

Such plans shall be subject to reconsideration and revision at least every ten years.

After these plans shall have been adopted by the several govern

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