Almost from the creation of the League of Nations, there have been proposals for its reform; a few amendments to the Covenant have actually been adopted. Discontent with the League's achievements in the recent dispute between Japan and China and that between Italy and Ethiopia have of late brought the discussion to a head, and have led to official action by the League itself. According to the British Foreign Minister, in a speech before the Assembly on September 25, 1936:
The underlying motive for the work on which we are now engaged, of examining the Covenant and the procedure of its application, is the recent failure of the collective action of the Members of the League to achieve the prime object for which it was undertaken.
And M. Litvinoff, speaking three days later, asserted that the question
did not arise in any academic way, but was brought into existence and imposed upon us, both by the unhappy outcome of the Italo-Ethiopian conflict and by the whole course of the political events of recent years.
At the meeting of the Council on June 26, 1936, the Chilean delegate proposed that a study of the reform of the Covenant be undertaken; and he proposed it likewise at the 16th Ordinary Session of the Assembly, in July, 1936. Discussion at this session did not reveal much enthusiasm for reform.