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Find Arab Demand for Parliamentary Government Against Mandate

Telegrams received from Arab communities in Santiago, Chile and Paris, protesting against the Balfour Declaration, were not considered by the Permanent Mandates Commission of the League of Nations during its November session. The reason that these protests were considered unacceptable was that they were directed against the terms of the Mandate, the minutes of the Commission made public after presentation to the League Council, show.

William Rappard, was Rapporteur on the Palestine report, on the petition of the Moslem Christian Congress, claiming to represent all Arab parties in Palestine amalgamated in the Congress. The petition demanded the right to establish in Palestine a democratic parliament sysem of government, declaring that it was the duty of the League, after ten years of absolute colonial rule, to create a government system in Palestine similar to that of neighboring Arab countries, who enjoy certain forms of parliamentary government.

The Palestine people cannot and will not tolerate the present absolute colonial system, the petition stated, and urgently insist upon the establishment of a representative body. (Continued on Page 4)

The observation of the British Government on this petition stated that the government does not desire to offer any observations on the petition, because full statements on the development of self-governing institutions in the country were already presented to the Mandates Commission with the annual report.

M. Rappard recommended that the Mandates Commission, as trustees of the principles of the covenant and the Mandate, is not called upon to recommend any particular form of government in mandated territories, which only the Mandatory Power is entitled to determine. So long as the regime is not inconsistent with the covenant and the Mandate, it is not for the Commission to criticize. He further explained that if free democratic government were installed, the powers of the Mandatory government would disappear, causing a breach in the terms of the Mandate.

This last explanation the Commission found superfluous, being a repetition. Otherwise, it approved M. Rappard’s report.

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