GENEVA (Jan. 24)
The League of Nations Council today adopted provisional measures for aiding refugees, empowering Stanley M. Bruce, its president, to appoint a successor to James G. McDonald as High Commissioner for German Refugees and voting credits to the extent of $16,500 for the office.
Acting on the recommendations of its subcommittee submitted by Gonzalo Zaldumbide of Ecuador, the council announced the appointment of Michael Hansson of Norway, member of the Hague Permanent Court of Arbitration, as president of the Nansen international office to succeed the late Professor Werner of Switzerland.
The Council decided to refer to the September meeting of the Assembly the recommendations for permanently aiding refugees contained in the report of its expert committee on international assistance to refugees.
The Council’s resolution authorized the new high commissioner, who is not expected to be named until the Council session ends, to call an inter-governmental conference on refugee aid to which the United States will be invited.
The Council confined itself strictly to provisional measures. It called attention of the assembly to the experts’ report, ” particularly to those parts of the report setting forth clauses relating to measures of lasting character.”
Thanking Mr. McDonald for his work as commissioner for refugees, the council resolution stated that the new commissioner would be provided with the technical services of the League.
The duties of the High Commissioner were outlined as follows:
(1) To arrange in agreement with the Secretary General of the League an inter-governmental conference with a view to setting up a system of legal protection for refugees coming from Germany. In addition to the League members, the United States and Brazil will be invited to the conference.
(2) To undertake consultations with different governments with a view to ascertaining possibilities for finding homes and employment for refugees.
(3) To establish such liaisons as he may consider desirable and in the manner which he considers most suitable with private associations dealing with assistance to refugees, emigration and employment, ” the activities of these associations being regarded as useful by the League of Nations.”
One of those being mentioned as a possibility for the commissionership is Sir Neill Malcolm, noted British military leader and retired major-general. It is understood that Lord Lytton, former Viceroy of India, declined the position when privately approached.
Reporting to the council, M. Zaldumbide pointed out that “the committee first of all recognizes that actions of the League in favor of refugees should be confined to persons having left the country of origin.” This was taken as a rejection of the recommendation in Mr. McDonald’s letter of resignation that the League extend refugee aid to include aid to the Jews in Germany.
Discussing the duties of the High Commissioner, M. Zaldumbide stated: ” It seems to the committee that the High Commissioner’s mission should be confined to seeking the assistance of the governments in order to find solutions to the problems raised in connection with the legal status of the refugees and to study conditions for finding them homes and employment.”
He added that the committee considered the tasks connected with assistance to refugees were in the province of private organizations with which, however, the High Commissioner might set up any system of liaison considered effective.
The proposals for permanent aid to refugees, which were referred to the Assembly, ask that the refugee organization be attached to the Nansen office to which an ” outstanding personality” be appointed president. An alternative proposal provides that an autonomous international refugee organization be set up under League auspices.