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The Manchurian invasion showed that a Great Power using force, contrary to the Covenant, could only be stopped bygreater force, of which was found lacking.1.) The Corfu Incident (1923)In the Corfu Incident of 1923 involving Italy and Greece, Italy refused to accept the authorityof the League.Mussolini over-reacted to the news of the murder of the Italian soldiers. He used force todemand compensation from the Greek government.When this was not immediately forthcoming, he shelled and then captured the Greek islandof Corfu. Greece protested to the League of Nations.The League seemed unable or unwilling to respond. Italy was one of the four permanentmembers of the Council and so the League trod carefully.The Corfu Incident was seen as serious failure for the League in the 1920s. It showed thatpowerful nations could still bully a less powerful neighbour.The dispute was finally settled through the mediation of Britain and France.2.) Invasion of Manchuria (1931)Japan ignored the League when it seized Manchuria in 1931 and whenit invaded China in 1937.In 1931, China appealed to the League of Nations which condemnedJapan and ordered its troops to be withdrawn.When Japan refused, the League appointed a commission under LordLytton which decided in 1932 that there were faults on both sides andsuggested that Manchuria be governed by the League.However, Japan rejected this and withdrew from the League in March1933.The League had some points to its CREDITover Manchuria. Japan’saggression had been fairly assessed, and then made public to thewhole world. Japan had been condemned and from 1932 onwards,Japan was to be isolated until it found friends in the Fascist dictators.
07/05/16 09:45The League of Nations - IGCSE HistoryPage 6 of 12The sanctions did not include a ban on exports of oil, coal and steel to Italy. Moreover, Britain and France dragged their feet over ascheme to prevent Italy’s obtaining oil.Members not only feared that the Americans would not support the sanctions, they also feared their own economic interestswould be damaged. Some nations like Germany and the USA were not involved. Their firms continued their trade with Italy.The sanctions were thus incomplete: they caused some shortages in Italy but failed to halt the Italian war effort.More important still, the Suez Canal which was owned by Britain and France was not closed to Mussolini’s ships although the canalwas the Italians’ main supply route to Abyssinia and closing it could have ended the Abyssinian campaign very quickly. Italy wasallowed to make use of the Suez Canal to reach their supply ships. This could only have been enforced by Britain and France, butthey did not suggest it. This failure was fatal for Abyssinia.