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League’s Council Approves Commission to Investigate Wailing Wall Question

The Council of the League of Nations yesterday adopted unanimously the proposal of Arthur Henderson, British Foreign Secretary, to appoint a special commission of three to investigate and settle the Wailing Wall dispute between Jews and Arabs. The proposal of the British government was adopted in the form of a resolution introduced by the Finnish member of the League Council, Procope.

The resolution which was adopted contains the following clauses:

1. The Commission which will be appointed will determine definitely the respective rights of Jews and Moslems to the Wailing Wall at Jerusalem.

2. None of the three members of the Commission is to be British, and at least one of them is to be a prominent jurist.

3. The names of the persons whom the Mandatory Power wishes to appoint as members of the Commission should be placed before the League Council for its approval. The President of the Council will then advise with the other members with regard to these men.

4. The duties of the Commission should terminate as soon as it will have issued its decision with regard to the claim of the respective parties (i.e., Jews and Arabs).

After Procope had read the resolu-

tion, Ala Khan Foroughi, Persian representative on the League Council, stated that he abstained from voting on the resolution because he had had no opportunity to study the proposal thoroughly and confer with his government about it. He asked, however, that his abstention be not interpreted as approval of the resolution.

Foreign Secretary Henderson then thanked the members of the Council on behalf of the British government for the manner in which the proposal to name the Commission was approved.

“I can assure the members of the Council, including the representative of Persia,” said Henderson, “that we take very seriously our responsibilities with regard to this question and earnestly desire to carry out the terms of the Mandate in the interest of all parties. I hope that the decision of the Council will lead to satisfactory results in the settlement of the question.”

The British proposal to the League Council to appoint a commission to settle the Wailing Wall controversy was based on Article 14 of the Palestine Mandate. The resolution, however, which approved the British demand, based itself upon Article 13, since the Catholic countries interposed objections.

After prolonged discussions, the League Council also adopted the proposal of the British government to call a special session of the Mandates Commission of the League of Nations in March for the purpose of discussing the general situation in Palestine. This session, however, may have to be postponed until the British parliamentary commission, which has investigated the August riots, will have brought in its report.

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