Geneva (Sep. 24)
Praise for the achievements of the Permanent Mandates Commission of the League of Nations and appreciation for the tact and devotion of its members was expressed by speakers at yesterday’s session of the Assembly’s sixth or political commission of the League.
Britain’s great respect for the Mandates Commission was voiced by the British representative, Charles Roden Buxton, who stated that his country was following the work of the Mandates Commission with general approval and was cordially supporting the principles of the mandatory system as advanced by the Commission. He cited the Palestine question, recalling what the British representative, Arthur Henderson, Secretary of Foreign Affairs, had recognized in his reply to the report of the Mandates Commission on the riots of 1929 in Palestine that the Commission had every right and even the duty to criticize the conduct of a mandatory power, This statement, Buxton said, was a very significant one for the work of the Mandates Commission.
Recalling the events which occurred in Palestine in August 1929, the Italian representative stated that it was due to the efforts of the Mandates Commission that the situation has been completely changed. “The Commission occupied itself not only with the geographical and economic interests but also with memories dear to all Christians and the civilized world,” he stated. “Thanks to the clever and energetic efforts of the Mandates Commission the situation in Palestine has been completed changed. This year the results are satisfactory,” he concluded, with the hope that the events would not be repeated.
Francois Poncet, French representative, voiced his agreement with the Italian representative, saying that France was happy that peace had been established in Palestine, firstly as neighbors who were not willing that a friend should have difficulties in an adjoining country, and secondly because of the historic memories which France attaches to the Palestine holy places.
The fact that the Mandates Commission studied so thoroughly the Palestine problem is of great interest, Koch Weser, German representative to the Assembly stated. He voiced the opinion that every League friend would thank Henderson for his declaration regarding the Mandates body. He hoped, he said, that a suitable solution conforming to the interests of both parts of the Palestine population would be arrived at as a result of the consultations of the Mandates Commission and the Council.
Stressing the interests of Poland in Palestine, M. Tarnowski, Poland’s representative to the Assembly, stated that he hoped no obstacles would in the future prevent the development of the Jewish National Home in Palestine as well as the development of general prosperity.
The composition of today’s session differed considerably from the session which discussed the minorities. Today’s absentees included Aristide Briand, Augustus Zaleski, Dr. Edward Benes and M. Kurtins. Hjalmar Procope, rapporteur for the Assembly was replaced by M. Valvanne of Finland as M. Procope will be unable to remain in Geneva until the end of the sessions.
The rumor that the Catholic powers under the influence of the Vatican would raise the question of a commission to supervise the Palestine holy places at today’s session proved unfounded.