— Robert Cecil, 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood lawyer, politician and diplomat in the United Kingdom 1864 - 1958
Context: We see the world as it is now, after these defeats of the League, and we can compare it with what it was six or seven years ago. The comparison is certainly depressing; the contrast is terrible. And we have not yet reached a time when we can estimate the full material losses and human suffering which have been the direct result of the ambitions of one set of powers and the weakness of the others. Nor is there any purpose in attempting to do so. Let us, rather, examine where we now stand and what steps we ought to take in order to strengthen the international system and thrust back again the forces of reaction.
In the first place, let us admit that the first ten years of the League were in a sense unnatural. The horror of war to which I have already alluded was necessarily far more vivid than it can be expected long to remain. That tremendous argument for peace, the horror of war, was a diminishing asset. Most of us, at that time, were, I think, quite well aware that unless we could get the international system into solidly effective working order in the first ten years, we were likely to have great difficulties in the succeeding period, and so it has proved.