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League to Seek Shelving of Citizenship Decree

January 28, 1938
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The League of Nations will seek to induce Rumania to defer enforcement of its decree for citizenship revision, aimed at denationalizing postwar Jewish immigrants, until a proposed Council committee of three has had an opportunity to examine the situation, it was learned tonight.

The Secretariat, it was understood, will try tomorrow to induce Foreign Minister Istrate Micescu to persuade his Government to postpone action, and if he refuses, it is possible that a Council member may force League action by raising the question on the Council floor.

British, Belgian and other members of the Council today indicated to Secretary-General Joseph C. Avenol that they desire to see Jewish petitions charging Rumanian violation of the 1919 Minorities Treaty handled fairly and in the spirit of the treaty.

The Council members intervened after visits by the Jewish delegation here, which was cordially received. However, Mr. Avenol has so far not received the Jewish delegation. The head of the League’s Minorities Department received the World Jewish Congress delegation, which stressed the importance of emergency action on the Jewish petitions in view of the pending revocation of Jewish citizenships. The delegation also sent a letter to the Secretariat regarding the de-nationalizations.

Should Rumania defer action on the citizenship revision, the Jewish petitions would be referred to a special committee of three, and thus the issue would probably not be publicly aired at this session of the Council. But if Rumania refuses, and Council member raises the question, the Council would be obliged to apply the “urgency procedure” reserved for cases of discrimination and threatened discrimination against minorities.

Foreign Minister Micescu has indicated that if this procedure is applied, Rumania will tear up the Minorities Treaty, which she signed in 1919 when the Allies permitted her to annex the Russian province of Bessarabia and the Austro Hungarian provinces of Transylvania and Bukowina.

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