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J.D.B. News Letter

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(By our London correspondent)

The terms of the new agreement between the United Kingdom and Transjordania, signed at Jerusalem on February 20, were outlined in the government White Paper issued today.

His Britannic Majesty, the agreement says, is prepared to recognize the existence of an independent Government in Transjordan under the rule of His Highness the Amir of Transjordan provided that such Government is constitutional and places His Britannic Majesty in a position to fulfil his international obligations in respect of that territory by means of an agreement to be concluded by His Highness.

His Highness the Amir agrees that His Britannic Majesty shall be represented by a British Resident acting on behalf of the High Commissioner for Transjordan and that communications between His Britannic Majesty and all other Powers on the one hand and Transjordan Government on the other shall be made through the British Resident and the High Commissioner aforesaid. The ordinary expenses of civil government and administration and the salaries and expenses of the British Resident and his staff will be borne entirely by Transjordan.

The powers of legislation and of administration entrusted to His Britannic Majesty as Mandatory for Palestine, the Agreement proceeds, shall be exercised in that part of the area and under Mandate, known as Transjordan, by His Highness the Amir through such constitutional government as defined and determined in the Organic Law of Transjordan and any amendment thereof made with the approval of His Britannic Majesty.

Throughout the remaining clauses of this Agreement, the word “Palestine,” unless otherwise defined, shall mean that portion of the area under Mandate which lies to the west of a line drawn from a point two miles west of the town of Akaba on the gulf of that name up the centre of the Wady Araba, Dead Sea and River Jordan to its junction with the River Yarmuk; thence up the centre of that river to the Syrian frontier.

For the period of the present agreement no official of other than Transjordan nationality shall be appointed in Transjordan without the concurrence of His Britannic Majesty. The numbers and conditions of employment of British officials as appointed in the Transjordan Government shall be regulated by a separate Agreement.

All such laws, orders or regulations as may be required for the full discharge of the international responsibilities and obligations of His Britannic Majesty in respect of the territory of Transjordan shall be adopted and made and no laws, orders or regulations shall be adopted or made in Transjordan which may hinder the full discharge of such international responsibilities and obligations.

His Highness the Amir agrees to be guided by the advice of His Britannic Majesty tendered through the High Commissioner for Transjordan in all matters concerning foreign relations of Transjordan, as well as in all important matters affecting the international and financial obligations and interests of His Britannic Majesty in respect of Transjordan.

Except by agreement between the two countries there shall be no customs barrier between Palestine and Transjordan, and the Customs tariff in Transjordan shall be approved by His Britannic Majesty.

So far as is consistent with the international obligations of His Britannic Majesty no obstacle shall be placed in the way of the association of Transjordan for customes or other purposes with such neighboring Arab States as may desire it.

His Britannic Majesty may maintain armed forces in Transjordan, and may raise, organize and control in Transjordan such armed forces as may in his opinion be necessary for the defense of the country and to assist His Highness the Amir in the preservation of peace and order.

His Highness the Amir agrees that he will not raise or maintain in Transjordan or allow to be raised or maintained any military forces without the consent of His Britannic Majesty.

His Highness the Amir recognizes the principle that the cost of the forces required for the defence of Transjordan is a charge on the revenues of that territory. At the coming into force of this Agreement, Transjordan will continue to bear one-sixth of the cost of the Transjordan Frontier Force, and will also bear, as soon as the financial resources of the country permit, the excess of the cost of the British forces stationed in Transjordan, so far as such forces may be deemed by His Britannic Majesty to be employed in respect of Transjordan, over the cost of such forces if stationed in Great Britain, and the whole cost of any forces raised for Transjordan alone.

So long as the revenues of Transjordan are insufficient to meet such ordinary expenses of administration as may be incurred with the approval of His Britannic Majesty, arrangements will be made for a contribution from the British Treasury by way of grant or Ioan in aid of the revenues of Transjordan. His Britannic Majesty will also arrange for the payment of the excess of the cost of the British forces stationed in Transjordan and deemed by His Britannic Majesty to be employed in respect of Transjordan, insofar and for such time as the revenues of Transjordan are insufficient to bear such excess.

His Britannic Majesty may exercise jurisdiction over all members of armed forces maintained or controlled by His Britannic Majesty in Transjordan.

The term “armed forces” shall be deemed to include civilians attached to or employed with the armed forces.

His Highnes the Amir agrees to be guided by the advice of His Britannic Majesty in all matters concerning the granting of concessions, the exploitation of natural resources. the construction and operation of railways, and the raising of loans.

No territory in Transjordan shall be ceded or leased or in any way placed under the control of any foreign Powers this shall not prevent His Highness the Amir from making such arrangements as may be necessary for the accommodation of foreign representatives and for the fulfillment of the provisions of the preceding Articles.

This Agreement has not yet been ratified. It will come into force so soon as it shall have been ratified by the High Contracting Parties after its acceptance by the Constitutional Government to be set up in Transjordan under the Agreement. The Constitutional Government shall be deemed to be provisional until the Agreement shall have been so approved.

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