Oil in World Politics

December 24, 1935

Report Outline
Oil and the Future of League of Nations Sanctions
Distribution and Control of World's Oil Supplies
Struggle of Great Powers for Petroleum Resources
Petroleum as Source of American-Mexican Conflicts
Special Focus

Oil and the Future of League of Nations Sanctions

Premier Mussolini's defiant attitude toward the proposed application of an oil sanction against his country has made abundantly clear where lies Italy's point of greatest vulnerability. At the same time, it has placed the League of Nations in the unenviable position of having to decide whether it will restrict the sanctions program to the present comparatively ineffective limits, thus foregoing any serious attempt to bring a halt to Italian-Ethiopian hostilities by methods consistent with the principles of the Covenant, or whether it will proceed with a logical extension of the sanctions policy at the risk of armed resistance by Italy. The ill-starred Hoare-Laval plan of settlement was projected in an effort to avoid this dilemma. Now that it has fallen, along with one of its authors, before the indignation of the British public and the protests of members of the League, the Geneva organization is back where it started. The system of sanctions as a means of curbing an aggressor stands on trial. Failure to apply it now in the one place where it is known to be most dreaded might easily destroy its whole future usefulness and gravely impair the authority of the League in future crises.

British Government's Position in the Present Crisis

The question of an oil sanction is being held in abeyance for the moment, but it is understood that the Committee of Eighteen will meet in Geneva early in January to consider not, only that proposal but sanctions on coal and steel as well. In the absence of some new development in the meantime, the committee's recommendations will go before the Council on January 20. In the debate on the Hoare-Laval episode in the House of Commons on December 19, Neville Chamberlain. Chancellor of the Exchequer, said:

If the League should decide that oil sanctions should be applied to Italy, and if this government is satisfied that all members of the League are not only prepared to give assurances but to take part in meeting an attack, which might be sudden and unexpected, this government would he willing to agree to the imposition of oil sanctions.

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Oct. 30, 1951  Oil Nationalization
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Mar. 09, 1944  Oil Supply
Dec. 24, 1935  Oil in World Politics
May 07, 1931  Control of Production in the Oil Industry
Mar. 27, 1929  The Oil Leasing Policy of the New Administration
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