New Zealand in the League of Nations

The Beginnings of an Independent Foreign Policy, 1919–1939

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About the Book

When New Zealand’s prime minister William Massey joined other heads of British Empire countries in signing the 1919 Treaty of Versailles to end World War I and join the League of Nations, he did not regard the act as a declaration of independence. On the contrary, while Canadian and South African leaders saw membership in the league as a rite of passage towards greater autonomy, New Zealand’s leader viewed it as an unwelcome burden and a potential threat to the British Empire. This history of New Zealand’s relations with the League of Nations from its inception in 1920 to its demise in 1946 follows the government’s transformation in attitude from its initial hostility to detached acceptance and, finally, passionate support in the late 1930s. By chronicling this complex movement, the book traces New Zealand’s first tiny, halting steps towards developing its own foreign policy.

About the Author(s)

A native of New Zealand, Gerald Chaudron is an archivist and assistant professor at Mississippi State University.

Bibliographic Details

Gerald Chaudron
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 278
Bibliographic Info: 14 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6639-9
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8898-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      v

Preface      1

Introduction      5

1. The Paris Peace Conference, 1919      9

2. Creating the Machinery of Foreign Policy, 1919–1939      20

3. A Narrow Vision, 1920–1926      32

4. Security, Arbitration and Disarmament, 1920–1925      46

5. An Imperfect Instrument, 1925–1928      64

6. Battling the British Labour Government, 1929–1931      75

7. Playing in the Air with the Angels, 1930–1935      89

8. The Italo- Ethiopian Conflict, 1935–1938      107

9. The Spanish Civil War, 1936–1939      129

10. The Sino- Japanese War, 1937–1939      145

11. Reforming the Covenant, 1936–1939      157

12. Samoa and the Permanent Mandates Commission, 1919–1939      176

Epilogue      198

Conclusion      203

Appendix 1: The Covenant of the League of Nations      209

Appendix 2: Mandate for German Samoa      218

Chapter Notes      221

Bibliography      259

Indexnbsp;     267

Book Reviews & Awards

“exhaustively notated and includes relevant primary documents”—Reference & Research Book News; “Chaudron has produced a scholarly and clearly written account”—H-Net Reviews; “essential”—The Journal of Pacific History; “valuable…throws new light on New Zealand’s path to independence”—New Zealand International Review; “Chaudron has clearly engaged in extensive research to bring to light the personal and party principles that drove the various governments’ responses to the League. This volume will be useful for anyone interested in the role New Zealand played in the League…valuable”—Political Science.