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League Reaffirms Obligations to Minorities After Stormy Clash

December 18, 1928
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Angry Scenes Between German and Polish Representatives (Jewish Telegraphic Agency)

The sacredness of the obligation undertaken by the League of Nations in protection of the national minorities was reaffirmed by Aristede Briand, French Foreign Minister, who presided over the last public session of the fifty-third Council of the League of Nations Saturday afternoon, after a bitter clash between Dr. Stresemann, German Foreign Minister, and August Zaleski, Polish Foreign Minister.

The cause for the clash was the complaint of German minorities in Upper Silesia against the Polish authorities in regard to the German parents’ rights to send their children to German schools.

“Nothing would permit anybody to suppose that the League of Nations or its Council would abandon the sacred cause of minority peoples. On the contrary, treaties exist which must be scrupulously followed and perhaps some method might be found for a more rapid settlement of minority difficulties, M. Briand stated in commenting upon the most stormy incident which has occurred in the history of the League of Nations Council.

Dr. Stresemann, who banged on the table with his fist during the Polish Foreign Minister’s address, exclaimed: “If the League of Nations supports the view that parents cannot make use of their legal rights of protest, then one of the strongest pillars of the League will have crumbled The Minority peoples are looking to to the League for protection and if they get the idea that the League is not disposed to listen to them, then perhaps many people will reconsider their opinions and reconsider their reasons for joining the League.”

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