Moscow News, Dec. 18, 1939:
Appraisal by Authoritative Soviet Circles Of Dec. 14 Resolution of League Of Nations Council
TASS has been authorized to transmit the following appraisal given by authoritative Soviet circles regarding the resolution of the Council of the League of Nations of Dec. 14 on the "expulsion" of the USSR from the League of Nations.
On Dec. 14 the Council of the League of Nations adopted a resolution on the "expulsion" of the USSR from the League of Nations and condemnation of the "action of the USSR against the state of Finland."
In the opinion of Soviet circles this absurd decision of the League of Nations calls forth an ironic smile and can only make a laughing stock of its ill-starred authors.
It must be emphasized, first of all that the ruling circles of Britain and France, under whose dictation the resolution of the Council of the League of Nations was adopted, have neither the moral nor the formal right to talk about "aggression" on the part of the USSR and condemn this "aggression." Britain and France lord it over vast territories of Asia and Africa seized by them a long time ago. Quite recently they resolutely rejected Germany's peaceful proposals aiming at the earliest termination of the war. They are basing their policy on the continuation of the war "to a victorious end." These circumstances alone, unmasking the aggressive policy of the ruling
circles of Britain and France, should have compelled them to use more discretion in defining aggression and to understand at last that the ruling circles of Britain and France have forfeited both the moral and the formal right to talk about anybody's "aggression" the more so about "aggression" on the part of the USSR.
It must further be noted that relations between the Soviet Union and Finland have been settled by the Treaty of Mutual Assistance and Friendship concluded on Dec. 2 between the People's Government of the Democratic Republic of Finland and the Government of the USSR. This treaty fully insures peaceable relations between the USSR and Finland and in a friendly manner solves to the satisfaction of both parties the problems of insuring the independence of Finland and the security of Leningrad, as well as problems of the extension of the territory of Finland at the expense of territory of the USSR through the reunion of the Karelian districts with Finland. It is known that under this treaty the USSR transfers to Finland an area of 70,000 sq, km. with a population of over 100,000 In exchange for less than 4,000 sq. km. of Finland's territory with a population of about 25,000. If the seizure of foreign territory and the forcible subjugation or the population of this territory to a foreign state forms the principal element of the idea of aggression, one cannot help admitting that the treaty between the USSR and the Republic of Finland testifies not to aggression but, on the contrary, to the peaceful, friendly policy of the USSR toward Finland, a policy aiming to insure the independence of Finland and increase her might by extending her territory. There can be no doubt that present day Britain and France would act differently under similar circumstances, namely, they would simply seize the territory of Finland just as in their time they seized the territories of India., Indo-China and Morocco or as they seized territory of the Soviet Union in 1918-19.
Lastly, it must be noted that the Treaty of Mutual Assistance and Friendship Between
the USSR and the Republic of Finland fully insures peace between these countries. And it is precisely because this treaty insures peace and friendship between the two countries that the USSR does not wage and is not interested in waging war against Finland. It is only the former rulers of Finland of the Mannerheim clique, who are now bankrupt, that do not desire the realization of this treaty and, under the dictation of third powers, thrust upon Finland a war against the USSR contrary to the genuine will of the people of Finland. The real purport of the decision of the Council of the League of Nations is not a striving for peace not support for the Finnish people, but to render support to the bankrupt Mannerheim clique against the Finnish people and thereby fan the war in which the people of Finland have been involved contrary to their will and as a result of the provocation of the Mannerheim clique.
Thus, instead of contributing to the termination of the war between Germany and the Anglo-French bloc, which, strictly speaking, should have formed the mission of the League of Nations if it was to remain an "instrument of peace," the present members of the Council of the League of Nations, having proclaimed a policy of support for the instigators of war in Finland-the clique of Mannerheim and Tanner-look the course of fanning the war to Northern Europe as well.
Thus, the League of Nations, thanks to its present stage managers, has been converted from some kind of "instrument of peace," which it could be, into a real instrument of the Anglo-French military bloc for keeping alive and fanning the war in Europe.
Considering such an inglorious evolution of the League of Nations, its decision on the "expulsion" of the USSR becomes fully comprehensible, Messrs. the imperialists, who conceived the intention of transforming the League of Nations into an instrument of their war interests, decided to seize upon the first pretext to get rid of the USSR as the sole force capable of opposing their imperialist machinations and exposing their aggressive policy.
Well, all the worse for the League of Nations and its undermined prestige.
In the final analysis, the USSR may prove the winner in this case. Firstly, it is now released from the obligation to bear moral responsibility for the inglorious deeds of the League of Nations, while responsibility for "leaving the USSR outside the League of Nations" fully rests with the League of Nations and its Anglo-French stage managers. Secondly, the USSR is now no longer bound by the Covenant of the League of Nations and will henceforth have its hands free.
One hardly needs to say that the very circumstances under which the resolution of the League of Nations directed against the USSR was prepared and passed unveil the scandalous machinations to which the Anglo-French representatives in the League of Nations resorted to attain the above-mentioned aim. As it is known, the Council of the League of Nations consists of 15 members, while only seven out of these 15 voted for the resolution on the "expulsion" of the USSR, i.e., the resolution was adopted by a minority of the members of the Council of the League. The remaining: eight members of the Council either abstained from voting or were absent from the meeting. The list of representatives of the seven states who voted for the "expulsion" of the USSR speaks for itself: these seven are Great Britain, France, Belgium, Bolivia, Egypt, the Union of South Africa and the Dominican Republic.
Thus Britain and France, counting only 89 million population between them, supported by Belgium, Bolivia, Egypt, the Union of South Africa and the Dominican Republic, counting altogether 38 million population, adopted a decision on the "expulsion" of the Soviet Union with a population of 183 million. Fortuitously, selected "representatives" of 127 million population "expelled" the USSR with its population of 183 million.
But to secure even these votes, the Anglo-French representatives were obliged to resort on the eve of the day of voting to special machinations in order to alter the composition of the Council of the League. On the eve of the Council meeting the representatives of the Union of South Africa and Bolivia (the latter having been reelected) were given through the Assembly of the League of Nations non-permanent seats on the Council and the representative of Egypt, a so-called temporary seat, Consequently, of the seven representatives who voted in the Council of the League for the "expulsion" of the USSR, three were specially selected. By these scandalous machinations the representatives of Britain and France in the League of Nations completely undermined all the political and moral weight of their voting of Dec. 14.
Undoubtedly such scandalous machinations could have been inspired only by the atmosphere of political reaction and moral degradation now reigning in the "spheres" of the League of Nations.
It is not difficult to see the true value of decisions of the League of Nations adopted in such an atmosphere.
Source: "Moscow News", Dec. 18, 1939. Original published in "Pravda" Dec. 16, 1939.
Other Soviet views: "A living corpse" and in a pictorial form in "Kansan Sana" (People's Word, Nr. 43, 1940) and "Kansan Valta" (People's Power, mid-January, 1940). All examples of propagandistic newspapers dropped into trenches and behind lines along the over 1,000 km long front-line of the defending Finns. Formally published by Soviet mandated new Democratic Government of Finland led by an emigré Finnish communist Otto Kuusinen.
In the picture titled as "In an international bar" the League of Nations is depicted as the dancing girl and French socialist leader Léon Blum as a dog.
A leading article of "The Times" commenting on this appraisal, on 18th of Dec. 1939.
To the resolution.
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