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J. D. B. News Letter

In view of the imminence of Iraq’s admission to membership in the League of Nations, the conditions agreed upon by the Council of the League of Nations, on which Iraq may dispense with the mandates system and enter the League as a full member of the family of nations are of interest.

Iraq’s change of status will be completed if and when the Iraq government accepts the Council’s proposals, which were elaborated in consultation with the Iraq Prime Minister.

The declaration which was approved by the Council and which, if accepted by the government of Iraq becomes an international obligation that can only be changed by agreement between Iraq and the League, provides for the protection of minorities in Iraq on the lines of the minorities treaties and declarations that already bind a number of League members. There is special provision for the settlement of questions of family law and personal status for non-Moslem minorities in accordance with the customs and usages of the communities to which those minorities belong, and for the use of the Kurdish language as an official language in the Kurdish districts, and the recruitment of officials. A special article guarantees the freedom of conscience and worship and the free exercise of the religious, educational and medical activities of all religious missions, subject to the requirements of public order and morality.

The Council noted with satisfaction that “many of the constitutional and legislative provisions of Iraq are based on a very liberal conception of the rights to be accorded to racial, linguistic or religious minorities,” and that the Government had explicitly and formally declared its intention “to pursue the liberal policy which has already been applied in relation to the Kurdish population and which ensures the latter’s cooperation in the work of the Government and the general administration of the State.”

PROVISIONS OF THE DECLARATION

In order to give the new State time to frame its commercial policy and treaty relations, without incurring the risk of economic discrimination or pressure during the interim period, the declaration provides that:

(a) Iraq undertakes to grant most favored nation treatment to members of the League, subject to reciprocity, for ten years from the date of its admission to the League, but that

(b) Should measures taken by any League member, whether in force at this date or adopted subsequently, adversely affect Iraq’s balance of trade by seriously affecting Iraq’s chief exports, the

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