Henri De Jouvenel, French High Commissioner, Declares He Offered Peace to Syrians, but They Rejected

(Jewish Telegraphic Agency)

An explanation of the present situation in Syria was offered by Senator Henri de Jouvenel, French High Commissioner of Syria, who arrived in Jerusalem yesterday, in an interview with the correspondent of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

“Quiet returns to Syria gradually,” the High Commissioner declared. “The Syrians had a possibility to choose their own government and chiefs, had they surrendered their arms and accepted the conditions of General Andreas. The ‘People’s Party,’ however, did all in its power to prevent peace in order to gain arbitrary power over the Syrian people, which I refused to grant them. They retarded all my conciliatory attempts. One thing must be clear: I did not come from the country of the French Revolution for the purpose of promoting the affairs of some feudalists, who are leading their people to misery and famine.

“I asked the populations under the Mandate to agree among themselves. If, however, the abolition of the differences among the Lebanese and Syrians is impossible, they should accept the arbitration of the Mandatory power. This was a method of peace respecting all their rights. However, the People’s Party did not employ this occasion and I place upon it the responsibility for the distress of the country,” he declared.

“The Syrian and Turkish frontier is quite safe. The Mandatory power will take the necessary measures to restore Damascus from its ruins. I am quite satisfied with the attitude of the British towards the events in Syria. I never doubted the loyalty of Great Britain. France is a friend of Zionism and I personally have the greatest admiration for the Zionist efforts. This defines my attitude toward the pro-Palestine work in Syria,” he concluded.

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