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Conflict Between Council and Mandates Commission Before League Assembly

September 26, 1926
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(Jewish Telegraphic Agency)

The differences between the Council of the League of Nations and the Permanent Mandates Commission concerning the rights and privileges of the Commission in relation to the Mandatory Powers, were thrashed out today at a meeting of the Sixth Commission of the Assembly of the League of Nations.

A heated debate developed concerning the resolution introduced by Dr. Fridtjof Nansen concerning the controversy between the Commission and the Council regarding the proposal of the Permanent Mandates Commission to direct a new questionnaire to the Mandatory Powers and to be given the right of hearing petitioners from the Mandated territories.

M. Henri de Jouvenel, French High Commissioner of Syria, emphatically opposed the proposals of the Permanent Mandates Commission to admit petitioners. He complained that the method of the Permanent Mandates Commission in dealing with the Syrian situation has prolonged the Syrian war by three months. M. de Jouvenel charged Dr. Nansen with violating the League covenant. He asserted that the Permanent Mandates Commission has, according to the covenant, the character only of an advisory body and has not in any way been appointed as the critic of the Mandatory Powers.

During the discussion it became evident that a considerable amount of resentment exists among the representatives of the smaller states against the criticism of the Permanent Mandates Commission by Sir Austin Chamberlain and Aristide Briand.

Dr. Nansen insisted that the Mandatory Powers are denying the rights of the Permanent Mandates Commission. The argument that the granting of the right of petition to the populations of the mandated territories would undermine the authority of the Mandatory, is not a sound one, he stated. The facts have proved, particularly in Palestine, that the right of petition has improved the relations between the different racial and religious elements. The right of petition has acted as a safety-valve, he stated. Petitions are the only means whereby the Permanent Mandates Commission can obtain the necessary information.

The matter was temporarily settled by the appointment of a sub-committee which was entrusted with the task of preparing a new resolution.

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