The Official Journal of the League of Nations, dated June 1922, contained a statement by Lord Balfour (UK) in which he explained that the League's authority was strictly limited.
The article related that the 'Mandates were not the creation of the League, and they could not in substance be altered by the League.
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If the former German and Ottoman territories had been ceded to the victorious powers directly, their economic value would have been credited to offset the Allies' claims for war reparations.
Article 243 of the treaty instructed the Reparations Commission that non-mandate areas of the Saar and Alsace-Lorraine were to be reckoned as credits to Germany in respect of its reparation obligations.
United States Secretary of State Robert Lansing was a member of the American Commission to Negotiate Peace at Paris in 1919.
He explained that the system of mandates was a device created by the Great Powers to conceal their division of the spoils of war under the colour of international law.
A League of Nations mandate was a legal status for certain territories transferred from the control of one country to another following World War I, or the legal instruments that contained the internationally agreed-upon terms for administering the territory on behalf of the League of Nations.
These were of the nature of both a treaty and a constitution, which contained minority rights clauses that provided for the rights of petition and adjudication by the International Court.
have reached a stage of development where their existence as independent nations can be provisionally recognized subject to the rendering of administrative advice and assistance by a Mandatory until such time as they are able to stand alone.
The wishes of these communities must be a principal consideration in the selection of the Mandatory." The Class A mandates were: The second group of mandates, or Class B mandates, were all former Schutzgebiete (German territories) in West and Central Africa which were deemed to require a greater level of control by the mandatory power: "..Mandatory must be responsible for the administration of the territory under conditions which will guarantee freedom of conscience and religion." The mandatory power was forbidden to construct military or naval bases within the mandates.
The mandates were divided into three distinct groups based upon the level of development each population had achieved at that time.