Geneva (Sep. 9)
The silent fight between Great Britain and the Mandates Commission is considered here to have been settled with a full and complete victory for the Mandates Commission, after the open admission by Arthur Henderson, British foreign secretary, that the Mandates Commission was justified in its criticism of the British government. Even the last British effort, which consisted of Mr. Henderson’s two-day negotiations with M. Procope, the rapporteur of the League’s Council on Mandates, to get the latter to tone down his observations before reading them to the Council, and which assumed a serious character, is considered to have been unsuccessful.
The text of M. Procope’s observations as read before the Council yesterday shows practically no differences from the original draft of his report. The modified text presented to the Council emphasizes, as did the original, that the Mandates Commission’s report was a thorough and judicial presentation of the Palestine events. Procope’s report also partly blames the Palestine government for the Palestine disturbances, although admitting the difficulties in administering the Mandate.
VAN REES SOUNDS VICTORIOUS NOTE
The victorious note was evident throughout M. Procope’s closing remarks, held after the general discussion, in which he again found it necessary to praise the Mandates Commission’s report. The same note of victory, and even of reproach, was openly sounded in the speech of Daniel van Rees, vice-chairman of the Mandates Commission, who went so far as to indicate that the Mandates Commission may yet take up Great Britain’s antagonistic comments on the Commission’s report.
M. van Rees, speaking in the name of the Mandates Commission, was brief and sharp, and he could afford to be so, after Mr. Henderson’s declaration, which amounted to an open apology on the part of Great Britain for its disagreeable comments. To those present at the Council’s session it was clear that Mr. Henderson’s diplomatic backing out from the dispute with the Mandates Commission was due in large part to the attitude of the other powers. Although they did not participate in the discussions after M. Procope had delivered his observations, they nevertheless had sufficient interest in the prestige of the Mandates Commission, and thus silently supported Procope.
On the other hand it was also clear that Mr. Henderson was not keen on offering an opportunity for a long discussion centering around the Mandates Commission issue, because such a discussion would have given Italy an opportunity to publicly attack Great Britain from the League’s tribune on the Palestine Mandate in which Italy is now interested from the pro-Vatican point of view.
PERSIAN MEMBER SUPPORTS PROCOPE
All this created for Mr. Henderson a situation by means of which Procope’s resolution was unanimously adopted at the last minute, even though it had not been previously much changed to Mr. Henderson’s liking. The only one finding fault with the report of the Mandates Commission was Khan Ala, the Persian member of the Council, who is known to be much influenced by the Arabs. League circles were aware of his animosity towards the Commission’s report, and were even afraid that he might not vote for M. Procope’s resolution, in which case the resolution would fail, since, according to rule, it must be adopted unanimously.
However, even the Persian, although asking more protection for the non-Jewish communities in Palestine, declared himself for the report and for the resolution. The result of M. Procope’s observations was another repetition on the part of Great Britain that the suspension of immigration to Palestine was absolutely temporary and that the question may be solved after Sir John Simpson’s report has been studied.