Rome (Nov. 6)
A preliminary foreshadowing of what will be one of the most important events in deciding the ultimate destiny of the Saar took place here today when French and German delegates conferred with members of the League of Nations Saar Territory Commission on the problem of policing the district during the plebiscite next January 13.
Reliable reports stated that use of French troops was under consideration by the Commission, which is headed by Baron Pompeo Aloisi, who led today’s discussion.
Expectation of widespread disturbances on the day of the plebiscite, because of intense feeling among members of the various Saar factions, has induced the Commission to give serious thought to the policing problem.
Several neutral countries are known to have been approached with requests to supply guards for the polls, but thus far all have shunned the responsibility.
France, it is believed, would be eager to take over the task, under the conviction that, although it entertains no hope of being selected by Saar voters as the nation of their future allegiance, its troops could at least keep Nazi intimidation to a minimum, with a possible resultant vote in favor of maintenance of the status quo, under League jurisdiction.
Whatever the outcome of the plebiscite, the Commission also looks forward to bitter feeling, which may take a serious turn, during the period following the actual balloting.
NAZIS WILL ACT
If the Saar returns to Germany, Nazi agitators, according to present indications, will swing into immediate action against minority groups, including the 5,000 Jews residing there.
Even more serious consequences, observers feel, are likely to be attendant on a victory for the status quo. Hitler, it is pointed out, definitely has promised his subjects that the Reich will regain the Saar in January, and failure to bring that promise to materialization would be a blow his prestige could not survive.
For this reason many competent analysts are convinced that if the plebiscite goes anti-Nazi, Der Fuehrer will waste no time in resorting to force in his determination to recapture the rich territory.
Today’s Commission session was a prelude to a session which will take place in Geneva on November 23, when the Council of the League of Nations will frame its final resolutions prior to the plebiscite. On that date the Council is expected to define the various proposed minorities safeguards, in the event the Saar should return to Germany.