London (Dec. 18)
Specific clauses of the international treaties, resulting from the Versailles Peace Conference, for the purpose of protecting the national minorities in Eastern Europe were in danger of being abolished during the Fifth Assembly of the League of Nations in its last session at Geneva. This was made known with the publication today of the report of Mr. Lucien Wolf, Secretary of the Joint Foreign Committee, concerning his work during the Assembly as representative of the Jewish organization.
It appears that in leading circles of European statesmen a plan was discussed by which new international agreements concerning the national minorities were to be proposed for the purpose of introducing a uniform international minority law. Prof. Gilbert Murray took the view that the minorities question is a matter of internal law, it is not of international concern and states have no right to interfere with each other.
Although the Fifth Assembly of the League of Nations was a memorable event, due to the participation of the British. French and Belgian Prime Ministers and the discussion of the problem of world peace, “the League’s obligation towards the minority treaties, which is of such great importance to the Jewish communities of Central and Eastern Europe was discussed only as a secondary matter. The specific Jewish questions were not discussed before the Assembly itself, but were largely dealt with in private conversations and negotiations with the League’s Secretarial and the delegations of the various governments concerned”, Mr. Wolf’s report stated.
The report of the Joint Foreign Committee further deals with the representations made by Mr. Wolf concerning the compulsory Sunday Closing Law in Greece, the Numerus Clausus in Hungary, the nationality laws in Roumania and Poland. With regard to the numerus clausus in Hungray, the report states that notice has already been given that the matter will be appealed before the Permanent International Court of Justice at The Hague. With regard to the Roumanian Nationality Law, which threatens to depatriate large numbers of Jews, particularly in Bukowina, the report states that the Roumanian Government has appointed a commission of inquiry, but this commission has not yet concluded its investigations. A similar situation exists with regard to the Nationality Law in Poland.
The Committee of Jewish Delegates in Paris has obtained the opinion of the eminent French jurist, Lapadelle, that the Polish Nationality Law is contrary to the stipulations of the Polish Minority Treaty. Mr. Wolf also intervened with Count Skrzynski in the matter. Nothing has resulted as yet.
The Alliance Israelit Universelle and the Joint Foreign Committee, representing a number of Jewish deputies and the Anglo-Jewish Association, will not permit the matter to be dropped, the report states.
Mr. Wolf has also taken up the matter of the proposed calendar reform and urged Jewish representation in the League’s Commission dealing with this. It is probable that this request will be granted.