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J.G. Starke interviewed by John Farquharson [sound recording]
Bib ID 2841037
Format AudioAudio, OnlineOnline [sound recording]
Starke, J. G. (Joseph Gabriel), 1911-2006, interviewee
Online Versions
Access Conditions Access open for research, personal copies and public use. 
Description 1996 
8 digital audio tapes (ca. 12 hr. 45 min.) 

J.G. Starke, barrister and author, Professor of Law, Australian National University, speaks of his family life growing up in Perth, his education, his legal studies at the University of Western Australia, contemporary of "Nugget" Coombs and Paul Hasluck, Rhodes Scholar for 1932, took honours in civil law at Oxford University, winning the Vineria scholarship how he became interested in the League of Nations, his post-graduate studies at Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, his entry into the League and his work on the Assembly Credentials Committee, the relationship between International Labor Organisation and the League, his work for Dr. Evatt, press coverage of the activities of the League, Plebiscite on Future of the SAAR, the first international peace-keeping force formed duty in SAAR, Opium Traffic Subcommittee of the League Secretariat, the speech by Samuel Hoare on the SAAR, the causes of war.

Starke discusses the international law and the Opium Convention, Montreux Conference, Dr Evatt on the rights of minorities, Einstein, William Jenks on the ILO, the Spanish Civil and the Non-Intervention Agreement which Australia supported, two League Missions sent to Spain encountered unidentified submarine attacks on their ships, how a conference in Geneva resulted in a 9 power Agreement, how Chamberlain on becoming the British Prime Minister made an agreement with Italy, technical cooperation with China, the Conference on Intellectual Cooperation became the predecessor of UNESCO, how the Secretary-General of the League visited the Baltic States, the reception in 1937 to mark the completion of the Palais des Nations, how gloom clouded the activities of the League as war clouds gathered.

Starke talks about the Conference on Terrorism, the letter from Trotsky, how ILO continued their good work by setting minimum hours of work and safety standards for buildings, how the National Committee on Nutrition was set up in 1938, the commencement of the Status of War Committee, how Germany annexed Austria without any objection being lodged with the League and the legal opinion on Germany's action, the dispute between Turkey and Syria, the League starts undergoing dramatic changes such as ceasing to recruit staff and is stunned by Chamberlain travelling to Munich to sign a non-interference agreement with Hitler, Disarment meetings cancelled and Japan ceases international cooperation, League's budget cut.

Starke speaks of Germany taking over Czechoslavakia and Italy annexing Albania, Spain withdraws from the League, Britain declares war when Germany bombs Warsaw, Russian invades Finland which is condemned by the League, his account of the differences between the League and the United Nations, how the League operated in establishing treaties, how the issue of women's rights developed, the League and human rights with Evatt proposing a European Court of Human Rights, Joseph Avenol as the Secretary-General of the League, his decisions and treatment of his staff, ten major achievements of the League plus eight lesser ones, nine reasons why the League failed, how he finished with the League and moved to London, later became a lecturer in law at University of Sydney, his work as a commentator for the Australian Broadcasting Commission and Smith's Weekly, his service in the Army and the RAAF and his tour of Western Europe, his academic work at the Australian National University, his editorship of the Law Journal from 1974, his memories of Evatt, his visiting professorships overseas, his description of the League as an "intellectual Camelot", his views of old and new Oxford.


Also available online

Index/Finding Aid Note Summary as a list of topics available (3 p.), uncorrected transcript (typescript, 267 leaves) + biographical data available. 
Subjects Evatt, H. V. (Herbert Vere), 1894-1965.  |  Starke, J. G. (Joseph Gabriel), 1911-2006 -- Interviews.  |  League of Nations -- History.  |  Historians -- Australia -- Interviews.  |  Lawyers -- Australia -- Interviews.  |  World War, 1939-1945 -- Causes.  |  Europe -- Politics and government -- 1918-1945.
Other authors/contributors Farquharson, John M., 1929-2016, interviewer

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Copy: Recording
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ORAL TRC 3524 (transcript)
Copy: Transcript
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ORAL TRC 3524 (summary)
Copy: Summary
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