A History of the United Nations: Volume 1: The Years of by Evan Luard

By Evan Luard

This, the 1st quantity of a big paintings, describes the institution of the United international locations, the controversies and debates in the association and the political elements surrounding those in the course of the first ten years of its lifestyles.

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The result was that some features of the Charter were accepted which would never have come into being if the Conference had started from scratch. Because discussion began from the Dumbarton Oaks plan, the Charter emerged rather as a 44 A History of the United Nations variation of this theme than as an independently conceived creation. The surprising feature of the Conference is not that the Charter as it finally emerged was so close to the Dumbarton Oaks draft - for in the final resort, the Big Four, if only they kept united, had only to dig in their heels and threaten non-eo-operation to make this inevitable - it is that, with a few notable exceptions, all the essential features of that draft were accepted almost without resistance, even without serious challenge, from the rest.

This was turned down by the United States and Britain. l1 Both the Soviet Union and China proposed that fully international air forces (rather than national forces offered for the purpose) should be available to the Council, and the British suggested that at least this idea should be examined in depth after the Conference. This, however, was rejected by the United States, which held that the holding of national air-force contributions 'immediately available' for emergency use by the Council was the most that could be realistically envisaged: since the United States had by far the most powerful air forces to provide; this position, though perhaps realistic, also kept a greater degree of control in her own hands.

There was a particular aspect of the veto power which came in for heavy criticism at the Conference. This was the provision under the Dumbarton Oaks proposals that the permanent members should be able to veto amendments to the Charter. This was another special privilege of the great, of a kind that was highly unpopular with many smaller states. But it was not one which was likely to be easily relinquished. There would be little point in the permanent members' bitterly debating every article of the Charter if it could be easily amended later to their disadvantage.

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