1932-1934: The World Disarmament Conference

What were some proposals made?

  • France wished for the League of Nations to have greater power through having their own arms. They wanted the large-type aircraft to be under the league’s possession (and storage) and the intermediate type aircraft to be controlled by the League, but stored by the member countries who manufactured them.

  • France wanted “a protocol, binding those who sign it, to come to the assistance of the victims of aggression in a very definite way”. Thereby, France also wished for greater security for the members of the League of Nations, believing other members should have to agree to provide assistance and defend the victim country from attacks of an aggressor. France could have had this in mind as they needed their own security against Germany, but also because they wished for the countries around Germany to be protected.

What was Soviet opinion?

  • According to a soviet newspaper, the Soviets believed that the proposals put forward by France were not their true beliefs and proposals, as they wished for other countries to believe they were peaceful.

  • They opposed the League having more power and weapons.

  • They believed that only the Soviet Union presented a clear and exact programme of disarmament, pointing out that disarmament alone will safeguard the people of the world from the unheard-of calamities of modern warfare”. This suggests that the Soviet Union was the only country who was actually committed to making peace through disarmament and that they were a moral and peaceful country who cared about protecting people’s lives.