Geneva (Mar. 5)
The minutes of the November session of the Permanent Mandates Commission of the League of Nations, made public here today following the approval by the League Council of the Commission’s report, show the trend of the discussion in the Commission on the Wailing Wall issue.
The Commission decided not to discuss the petitions and telegrams received from Jewish organizations and individuals in various countries, because most of the communications were couched in general terms and were covered by the petition of the Zionist Organization on the subject. Petitions were received from 45 bodies in all parts of the world, although no petitions were received from America or England. From these two countries petitions were presumably submitted only to the British government.
The discussion was carried on by the (Continued on Page 4)
Prof. William Rappard acted as rapporteur. He observed that after having carefully considered the question, he regards as insufficient the declaration by the Palestine government that if it is approached by both parties, it would agree to act as intermediary.
He thinks it is expedient and even imperative that the Palestine government take active steps to induce the conflicting parties to reach a voluntary agreement, expressing at the same time the hope that neither party, through unreasonable demand or intolerant refusal, will assume the responsibility of rendering it impossible to achieve a just settlement.
The Commission’s discussion dealt with the question as to what extent the Palestine government was responsible for the incident, M. Van Rees voicing the opinion that the Palestine authority acted without sufficient wisdom and tact, because since the time of the Turkish regime, on which the Jewish Wall restrictions were based, many matters have changed, particularly the coming into being of the Balfour Declaration. The Palestine Mandate confirmed this by according to the Jews a special legal position and conditions. With this in view, M. Van Rees stated that he doubts whether it was really necessary to recourse to the Turkish method, instead of trying to pacify the Arabs and not insist upon the removal of the screen on the Jewish holiest day.
The Commission finally accepted M. Rappard’s report to be annexed to the report to be presented to the Council, but not as expressing the view of the Commission. The Commission adopted a resolution regretting the incident and noting with satisfaction that the Palestine government had already approached both parties, hoping further that the Mandatory power would succeed in allaying the feelings.