Tag: <span>Jean Monnet</span>

Salvador De Madariaga Portraits of World Citizens.

Salvador De Madariaga: Conscience of the League of Nations.

Featured Image: The Spanish writer Salvador de Madariaga and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Argentina José María Cantilo talk during a session of the League of Nations (1936).

By Dr. Rene Wadlow.

The first two organizations using world citizen in its title “World Citizens Association” date from 1939, the eve of the Second World War when the dangers of aggressive nationalism became evident. Both organizations, one in the USA, the other in England, owe much to two friends who had worked together in the League of Nations: Henri Bonnet, a Frenchman living in 1939 in the USA and the better known Salvador De Madariaga of Spain living in England after General Franco came to power in Spain.

Salvador De Madariaga (1886-1978) was called, half ironically, half seriously, ‘the conscience of the League of Nations’; by Sir John Simon, the chief UK delegate to the League of Nations Council and Foreign Secretary. De Madariaga was chairing the Council at the time of the Japanese attack on Manchuria, and he was convinced that this attack, the first major violation of the Covenant by a Council member, Japan, was a key test for the League. He later chaired the League efforts to deal with this Manchurian crisis, as he did with the League efforts to deal with the Italian attack on Ethiopia (Abyssinia, as it was then called). 
Salvador De Madariaga had a free hand as chief delegate of Spain during the Republican years (1931-1936); before the Civil War and General Franco‘s victory ended Spanish influence in the League. Spain was not considered a ‘Great Power’; it was not a permanent member of the League Council, but it was large enough and had friends in South America (Spanish America as De Madariaga calls it), so that Spain was often chosen to lead League efforts when a ‘neutral’ state was needed.

Portrait of John Simon, 1st Viscount Simon, no later than 1922. By Unknown authorUnknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Morning Without Noon.

From the memoirs of De Madariaga, Morning Without Noon (London: Saxon House, 1974) written when he was 80 and recalling the period from 1921 to 1936; one gets a good view of the inner workings and the spirit of the League of Nations. They are memories rather than documented research as most of his personal papers were destroyed when Franco took control of Madrid; where De Madariaga had a house and office. Nevertheless, they are a vivid picture of the period and the early functioning of a world institution of which the UN is the continuation in the same buildings. The main League of Nations building for most of its Geneva history is now the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the Palais des Nations, finished just as the League was ending its life, is now the UN’s main European headquarters.

Salvador De Madariaga had a first-hand knowledge of the League, having joined its Secretariat in 1921 when it was being created as the first world civil service by Sir Eric Drummond and Jean Monnet. De Madariaga come from a distinguished Spanish family. His father was a military officer who believed that Spain had lost the Spanish-American war to the USA because of a lack of technology. Thus he encouraged his son to have an international technical education, and Salvador De Madariaga went to the elite Ecole Politecnique and the Ecole des Mines, both in Paris and ended with an mining degree which he never used.

Portrait of Eric Drummond, 16th Earl of Perth. By Harris & Ewing, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

However, it gave him a certain image of having technical knowledge and so he was chosen to head the Disarmament Department of the League in 1922 as some people mistakingly thought disarmament was a technical problem. As De Madariaga argues in his book Disarmament (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1929) written just after leaving the League Secretariat:

” disarmament is an irrelevant issue; the true issue being the organization of the government of the world on a co-operative basis.”

Jean Monnet à Londres en 1952. By AnonymousUnknown author (Keystone France), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

De Madariaga left the League Secretariat in 1928, largely because the League had accepted to fire Bernardo Attolico as Under Secretary-General and replace him by Paulucci di Calvoli Barone, a chief assistant of B. Mussolini. There were always persons from the Great Powers in influential League posts; but they were usually intellectuals who believed in the values of the League and not national civil servants. De Madariaga had met Mussolini twice in Rome during disarmament talks. It was De Madariaga’s habit of making quick instinctive judgements of people, and he did not like Mussolini from the start.

De Madariaga became a ‘premature’ anti-Fascist. The fact that the League would place a Fascist civil servant in a key position was for De Madariaga a step backward for a real world civil service. As he writes:

“Here began the downfall of the Secretariat. The Fascist Under-secretary’s room became a kind of Italian Embassy at the League (Save that the Ambassador’s salary was paid by the League), linked directly with Mussolini and openly accepting orders and instructions from him. Paulucci in himself an attractive and friendly person, was nevertheless zealous enough to go about even during official League gatherings sporting the Fascist badge on his lapel.”

As luck would have it, just as he was thinking about leaving the League Secretariat, Oxford University was looking for a professor of Spanish literature for a newly-created chair. Although he had never taught, through League friends, he was named Alfonso XIII Professor of Spanish Studies at Oxford. Once when asked when he had studied Spanish literature, he replied:

“I didn’t need it before, so I shall study it now in order to teach it.”

He held this chair until King Alfonso XIII, who had nothing to do with the chair, was pushed from power.

In 1931 the Spanish Republic was born. The new Spanish Republic leaders, divided among themselves along political lines, were united in wanting the Republic to be represented by intellectuals so that they could explain the aims and values of the Republic. De Madariaga was named Ambassador to France but also asked to represent Spain at the League of Nations since League duties were not considered as a ‘full time job’, and he had League Secretariat experience.

Thus De Madariaga returned to Geneva, one of the few government delegates who knew the workings of the League Secretariat. De Madariaga, when he had been in the Secretariat, because he spoke Spanish, English, and French and was an excellent speaker, had become the chief ‘lay preacher’ for the League and had travelled throughout Europe and the USA giving talks to present the work and the ideals of the League.

Alfonso XIII of Spain on Time magazine cover, 1928. By Time Magazine, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Geneva was a smaller city at the time and much of the intellectual life related to the League. The League had created the Committee for Intellectual Co-operation as an effort to build an intellectual network of support for the League. De Madariaga gives interesting pen portraits of people he had met in the League effort of intellectual cooperation: Paul Valery, R. Tagore, Albert Einstein, Bernard Shaw, H.G. Wells and others. Knowing leading intellectuals also opened doors to political figures in many countries. De Madariaga’s knowledge of a country’s politics went beyond his contacts with the delegates to the League.

Rabindranath Tagore. By Unknown authorUnknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

You might interest read: Rabindranath Tagore: The Call of the Universal Real.

Crisis Situations.

The highlights of De Madariaga’s League efforts were the complicated entry into League membership of Mexico which had been barred by Woodrow Wilson who had bad memories of the Mexican Revolution. Although the USA was not a League member, Mexico had been barred by an annex to the Covenant. De Madariaga had to work so that Mexico would accept League membership without asking for it – such is the craft of diplomacy!.
His two most crucial roles were the League efforts at the time of the Japanese attack on Manchuria and the Italian attack on Ethiopia. His detailed accounts merit reading as to the difficulties of multilateral responses to crisis situations.

De Madariaga resigned as Spain’s chief delegate to the League as the Republic disintegrated, and Franco took power. From 1936 on, he lived outside of Spain, mostly in England and Switzerland and only returned to Spain to visit after the death of Franco. He devoted himself to countering those forces of aggressive nationalism which had destroyed the effectiveness of the League. As he wrote:

“If peace and the spirit of Europe are to remain alive, we shall need more world citizens and more Europeans such as I tried to be.”

De Madariaga encouraged Henri Bonnet, who had been the League Secretariat member in charge of the Committee for Intellectual Co-operation and who was then living in the USA to create in 1939 the World Citizens Association which he did with the young lawyer Adlai Stevenson and Quincy Wright, a leading professor of international relations at the University of Chicago.
De Madariaga helped to create a World Citizens Association in London, also in 1939 – both efforts were too late to block the tide of war. After the Second World War, De Madariaga helped create the College d’Europe in Bruges as a training field for Europeans, especially for those thinking of working in European institutions.

Quincy Wright, Professor of International Law at the University of Chicago, from the 1940 MacMurray College Yearbook, where he was one of the speakers on “The Essential Elements of a Durable Peace” at the MacMurray Institute. By Unknown authorUnknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

You might interest read: Quincy Wright: A World Citizen’s Approach to International Relations.

Special Program in European Civilization.

He continued his literary and historical interests, writing especially on the founders of ‘Spanish America’. He did some teaching, and in 1955 spent a year at Princeton University in the USA where a new “Special Program in European Civilization” had just been created. His lectures covered the literary analysis of his  Portrait de l’Europe (Paris: Calmann-Levy, 1952). As his student that year, I was also interested in disarmament and the functioning of the League of Nations so we had many interesting talks. His was a witty and perceptive mind.

Here are other publications that may be of interest to you.

1 2 21
Gaza Economy Appeals

Ecologically-sound Gaza Development Programme.

Featured Picture: Photo by hosny salah in Pixabay

Jerusalem-Gaza 2021, An Effort is Needed For An Ecologically-sound Gaza Development Programme.

In early May 2021, Palestinians protesting the pending eviction of six  famlies from their home in East Jerusalem clashed with Israeli police.  For many Palestinians the eviction cases evoked a long history  of dispossesion.  Hamas, from its positions in the Gaza Strip, warned that it would “not stand idly by.” On 10 May, Hamas forces fired a fusillade of rockets and missils at Israeli villages and cities.  The Israeli Defense Forces responded with strikes on Gaza, inaugurating a conflict of depressing familiar dimentions after similar clashes in 2009, 2012, 2014.  After 11 days of destruction and loss of life and behind-the-scenes mediation by Egyptian diplomats, a ceasefire was declared. 

It is difficult to predict the political future of Gaza both in terms of relations between Hamas and Fatah as well as the future relations with Israel and Egypt.  What is certain is the Israel-Gaza conflict and the long embargos by Israel and Egypt for different national reasons have crippled and in some cases destroyed the manufacturing and agricultural sectors of the Gaza Strip;  where some one and a half million people depend on imports for most basic goods and on exports for livelihood.  The economic and social situation in Gaza distorts the lives of many with high unemployment, poor health facilities, and a lack of basic supplies.

Men take great decisions only when crisis stares them in the face.

As the political situation is so uncertain, it is important not to rule out in advance political and economic proposals even if at first sight, such proposals seem unlikely to be able to be put into practice. As Jean Monnet, one of the fathers of the European Common Market had said “Men take great decisions only when crisis stares them in the face.”  Just as the first steps of the European Common Market had to overcome the deep wounds of the Second World War, so in the situation of Gaza, there is a need to break strong psychological barriers with cooperative economic measures.

One possibility for socio-economic recovery of Gaza would be a trans-national economic effort that would bring together energy, knowledge and money from Gaza, Israel, the West Bank and Egypt, creating conditions which would facilitate the entry of other investors.

A Corporation clothed with the power of Government but possessed of the flexibility and initiative of a private enterprise.

TVA

TVA Logo: U.S. Government, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

A possible model is the trans-state efforts of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) of the US New Deal.  The TVA was a path-making measure to overcome the deep economic depression of the 1930s in the USA.  In May 1933, the Roosevelt administration and the Congress created the TVA.  In his message to Congress, Roosevelt suggested that the Authority should be a: 

“corporation clothed with the power of Government but possessed of the flexibility and initiative of a private enterprise.  It should be charged with the broadest duty of planning for the proper use, conservation and development of the natural resources of the Tennessee River drainage basin and its adjoining territory for the general social and economic welfare of the Nation…This in a true sense is a return to the spirit and vision of the pioneer.  If we are successful here, we can march on, step by step, in the development of other great natural territorial units.”

The central idea back of the TVA was that it should do many things, all connected with each other by the concrete realities of a damaged river full of damaged people.  To do all these activities well, it had to be a public corporation: public, because it served the public interest and a corporation rather than a government department, so that it could initiate the flexible responsible management of a well-run private corporation. 

Tennessee Valley Authority TVA

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Picture: Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

As Stringfellow Barr wrote in Citizens of the World:

“The great triumph of the TVA was not the building of the great dams.  Great dams had been built before. Its greatest triumph was that it not only taught the Valley people but insisted on learning from them too.  It placed its vast technical knowledge in the pot with the human wisdom, the local experience, the courage, and the hopes of the Valley people, and sought solutions which neither the Valley folk nor the TVA technicians could ever have found alone.  It respected persons.”

Only a New Deal is likely to break the cycle of violence and counter-violence.

The Gaza strip is not one of the great natural territorial units of the world, and respect for persons has been in short supply.  However, only a New Deal is likely to break the cycle of violence and counter-violence.  A Gaza Development Authority, an independent socio-economic corporation devoted to multi-sector and trans-national planning and administration  would be an important start in a new deal of the cards.  Such a Gaza Development Authority would obviously have Hamas members; but also persons chosen for their expertise as well as persons from community organizations.

Strong socio-economic structures are needed which can hold during periods of inevitable future tensions. A Gaza Development Authority can be a framework for such strong measures of cooperative effort.

 

Rene Wadlow, President Association of World Citizens.

Here are other publications that may be of interest to you.

The Uprooted.

Increasing numbers of people in countries around the world, have been forced from their homes, by armed conflicts and systematic violations of human rights. Those who cross internationally recognized borders…

1 2 28