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Eden Tells League Council Danzig Situation is “intolerable”

January 23, 1936
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Opening a spirited debate on Danzig before the League of Nations Council, Foreign Minister Anthony Eden of England, acting as Council rapporteur on Danzig, today described as “intolerable” the present situation in that League-supervised territory.

Blame for this condition, Capt. Eden pointed out, rests with the Free City’s Nazi-controlled Senate which he said has failed to keep its promise to the League Council to observe its recent recommendations on treatment of minorities.

Representatives of seven nations, France, Spain, Denmark, Soviet Russia, Turkey, Portugal and Poland, emphasized during the debate the necessity for preservation of the territory’s constitution against attempts at violation. The Polish representative, while joining with the others in this attitude, called special attention to the fact that friendly relations exist between Poland and the Danzig Senate.

A speech by Dr. Arthur Greiser, president of the Senate, in which he warned that peace of Europe would be endangered if Council members judged Danzig on “juridical” rather than “political” grounds, was greeted with ironic smiles.

A similar skepticism was apparent on the faces of Council members as they listened to Dr. Greiser reaffirm the Senate’s “absolute desire” to respect the constitution and that the Council’s apprehension on that score were “absolutely baseless.”

Dr. Greiser explained that “only secondary differences between jurists” formed the real ground for complaints, since the Danzig High Court had expressed opinions differing from those of the League jurists on many points. He contended that the Danzig Senate was forced to respect the opinion of the High Court which he characterized as “politically absolutely independent.”

Concluding his speech, Dr. Greiser eulogized Nazism which he said had turned Danzig from a “powder magazine into an island of peace,” and declared Danzig’s eternal allegiance to the League, “whose child Danzig considers herself.”

Capt. Eden, in reply to Dr. Greiser, stated he would “prepare a report that does not share Greiser’s views, but will base its conclusions upon the unanimous conviction of members of the Council.” It is expected that his report will be submitted tomorrow.

The Council accepted without debate a report on the Mandates Commission submitted by the Rumanian representative. The report preserves the right to consult with the Council at a later date on Japan’s declaration that, despite its non-membership in the League, it be accorded equal trade rights with League members in mandated territories such as Palestine.

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