Geneva (Jun. 18)
(Jewish Telegraphic Agency)
A statement characterizing the explanations of Henri de Jouvenel concerning the situation in Syria as “good comedy” was issued by the Syrian delegation, under the leadership of Chekib Arslan, to the Permanent Mandates Commission of the League of Nations.
At a private session of the Permanent Mandated Commission, High Commissioner de Jouvenel was subjected to severs cross-examination. It was said that the High Commissioner convinced the Commission that the French policy in Syria was to serve the best interests of Syria and France.
M. de Jouvenel replied in detail to the seven charges of the Syrian Nationalists against the French Administration. He defended the Syrian-Turkish Convention, the French action in Damascus, the French police work, the establishment of the Republic of Lebanon and the use of forces against the Djebel Druse tribe, and answered charges that people were executed without trial and of brutality to prisoners and civilians.
He said that the greatest opponent to the French administration in Syria was Prince Lotfallah, who, he said, was neither Syrian, Palestinian nor prince. If he wished to speak in the name of the Syrians he should start out by becoming one, M. de Jouvenel said.
He followed with a reference to Chekib Arslan, referring to him as a “trouble maker.” This brought the latter to his feet. One of the private detectives employed to keep order forced Chekib Arslan back into his seat. The detective had to threaten to expel him from the room before he quieted down. The High Commissioner asked how the Commission could place faith in Chekib Arslan’s charges in view of the fact that during the war for the rights of man he was a secret agent for a Turkish general.