Preliminary Proposals

A number of proposals for an association of nations were developed under government auspices prior to the 11 Nov 1918 armistice which ended the war.1

  • In January 1918, shortly after Wilson’s Fourteen Point speech, British Foreign Secretary, Lord Balfour, appointed a Committee “on the League of Nations”, chaired by Sir Walter Phillimore.2  The Committee was directed to inquire into the various schemes for establishing “by means of a League of Nations, or other device”, some alternative to war as a means of settling international disputes. An interim report was circulated to the War Cabinet, and its final proposal submitted on 20 Mar 1918.
  • Bourgeois Committee [in French with English trans.]
  • Colonel House Draft
  • Wilson’s First Draft
  • Smuts Proposal

1 See, F.P. Walters, A History of the League of Nations (1952) pp. 26-30; David Hunter Miller, The Drafting of the Covenent (1928) Vol. 1, Chap. 1.
See the comment on the Phillimore Committee by Lord Davies during a debate in the British House of Lords on 5 Aug 1942.