Tuesday, 18 June, 2024
14December 1939

League of Nations expels Soviet Union over invasion of Finland

On this day, the League of Nations voted to expel the Soviet Union for invaded Finland.

The vote took place in the League of Nations Council. The Council was made up of the four permanent members (Great Britain, France, Italy, and Japan) and nine non-permanent nations that were elected every three years. China, Greece, Yugoslavia and Finland all abstained from the vote. Apart from these four nations, the council voted unanimously to expel the Soviet Union.

Representatives of Britain and France spoke before the League in support of the resolution. The resolution passed.

The resolution was:

The Council having taken cognisance of the resolution adopted by the Assembly of December 1939, regarding the appeal of the Finnish government.

(1) Associates itself with the condemnation by the Assembly of the action of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics against the Finnish State, and

(2) For the reasons set forth in the resolution of the Assembly finds in virtue of article 16, paragraph 4, of the Covenant that by its acts the U.S.S.R. has placed itself outside the League of Nations.

It follows that the U.S.S.R. is no longer a member of the League.

League of Nations resolution expelling the Soviet Union. 14th December 1939.

The Soviet Union was the first country to ever be expelled. The Soviet Union, Iran and Peru were not present at the vote.

The Chinese representative on the Council, Dr. Wellington Koo, chose to abstain from the vote as he was both frustrated at the lack of support by the League for China’s needs, and reluctant to criticise the Soviet Union, which had earlier supported China. Many of the other member countries were also harbouring mixed feelings about the ineffectualness of the League.

The League of Nations was formed after the end of World War 1, in an effort to prevent another global war. Despite helping to found the League of Nations, the United States never joined the organisation. Since the founding of the League of Nations, it proved to be ineffectual, being unable to protect China from a Japanese invasion or Ethiopia from an Italian one. The League was also unable to act to prevent Germany from rearming prior to the start of WW2.

Founder, owner and developer of WW2 Daily.

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