Palestine White Paper Not to Be Considered by League of Nations Council Till September: No Extraordi
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Palestine White Paper Not to Be Considered by League of Nations Council Till September: No Extraordi

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The British White Paper on Palestine Policy and the Hope Simpson Report which were published in October, will not come up before the League of Nations Council till the September session, almost a year after their issue.

This is the upshot of to-day’s meeting of the League of Nations Council, which adopted the Report on Mandates presented by M. Marinkovitch, the Yugoslavian Foreign Minister, who is this year’s Rapporteur on Mandates to the Council, since the Report contains no provision for the summoning of an extraordinary session of the Permanent Mandates Commission of the League before its unsual date of meeting in June, without which it is impossible for the Council to deal with these two documents earlier than September. In order that the Council should be able to consider them before September, the Mandates Commission would have had to meet in time to be able to submit its report on them to the Hay session of the Council, as M. Marinkovitch in his interview with the J.T.A. representative last week (given in the J.T.A. Bulletin of the 16th. inst.) suggested he might recommend to the Council. He personally thought it desirable, he said, that the Council should be able to take up the consideration of the White Paper at its next session in May, instead of delaying it until the September session, the agendas for which, he added, is already heavily loaded, apart from the date being too far removed. For what are understood to be technical reasons, however, M. Marinkovitch did not make the suggested recommendation. The calling of an extraordinary meeting of the Mandates Commission would have involved considerable difficulties, it is pointed out.

The British Government has communicated to the Council its Statement of Policy in Palestine and the Report of Sir John Hope-Simpson on Immigration, Land Settlement and Development in Palestine, M. Marinkovitch said in submitting his report. The Mandates Commission, he went on, while emphasising the importunes of the two documents, decided, however, to postpone their examination until the June session, when it will have the opportunity to consider them with the assistance of the accredited representative of the Mandatory Power at the same time as the annual report on Palestine Administration for 1930.

The Report of the Mandates commission on presented to the Council also refers to this question, stating that “a few days before the opening of the session, the commission received from the British Government two important documents dealing with Palestine (Statement of Policy by His Majesty’s Government, October 1930 – Cmd, 3692. Report by Sir John Hope Simpson on Immigration, Land Settlement and Development in Palestine, 1930. Cmd. 3686). As stated by the Chairman at the public meeting on opening this session, the agenda did not include the examination of the annual report on Palestine: these documents reached the members of the Commission too late for their perusal. The commission decided to postpone the consideration of these documents until its next session, when it will have an opportunity to examine them with the assistance of the accredited representative of the mandatory Power at the same time as the annual report”.


The minutes of the last session of the Permanent Mandates Commission, which have just been released according to procedure, for the league’s Council meeting, contain a full report of the discussions which took place at the meeting on the Observations made by the British Government in reply to the Report of the Mandates commission on the Palestine outbreak of 1929.

Mr. Van Rees had expressed the opinion that it would be inexpedient, and apparently, in his view, superfluous, to examine the British note in detail, M. Orts, one of the members of the Commission said. On this point he would fall in with the judgment of his colleague, but there were two allegations made in the note to which, in his view, attention must nevertheless be drawn, since otherwise the reputation of the Mandates Commission would suffer. These Allegations were as follows: The note said that the Mandates Commission’s attitude to the findings of the Shaw Commission was “the more striking when contrasted with the fact that at the same time criticisms taken from a Jewish memorandum (which reached the mandatory Power too late for an accompanying comment to be made upon it) have been adopted, and when it is freely admitted by the Commission that account has been taken of criticisms from various sources upon which also no opportunity of comment could be open to the mandatory Power”. This implied neither more nor less than a censure of the Mandates Commission for having failed to observe the rules of common courtesy. The mandatory Government said that it had not had time to reply to the memorandum from the Jewish Agency. The accredited representative, however, had been warned at the second meeting that the Mandates Commission would consider the memorandum and had used the following terms: The memorandum was worthy of consideration and the Mandates Commission was perfectly entitled to consider it”, and had added that: “The accredited representatives were prepared to reply, to any statements in the memorandum”.

There was equally little justification for the charge made by the mandatory Power against the mandates Commission of having taken into account criticisms on which the former had had no opportunity of making observations, or which, as the British note stressed, “His Majesty’s Government had insufficient opportunity of rebutting, or in some cases none at all”. Contrary to the arguments advanced by the mandatory Power, the Mandates Commission had therefore used no document and no document and no information on which the accredited representatives of the Mandatory Power had not had an opportunity of expressing their opinion. The members of the Mandates Commission owed it to themselves, he said, not to let the present session go by – the first since the publication of the British note of August 2nd. – without recording in the Minutes a protest against a method of discussion which could obviously not be accepted.

M. Van Ress, Vice-Chairman of the commission, observed had dealt and with which, for reasons there was no need to state, it had been possible for him to deal at the council. He considered that on this point the Council had entirely met the wishes of the commission. If, however, the latter desired to examine in detail the British Government’s reply to the Mandates Commission’s report, M. Van Rees would be obliged to supplement M. Orts’ very significant observations with other objections which would strengthen them bearing not only on the particular point which he had raised but on the British comments as a whole. He persisted in thinking, however, that it was neither expedient nor absolutely necessary to do so. He ventured to propose that the Commission should decide to refrain from examining the comments.

The Chairman, the Marquis Theodoli, said he agreed to the proposal suggested by M. Orts. I would suffice if his statement was recorded in the Minutes as expressing the unanimous feelings of the Commission. To this the Cd

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