Oral Answers to Questions — Minority Treaties (Polish Proposal).

– in the House of Commons on 25th March 1935.

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Photo of Mr Rhys Davies Mr Rhys Davies , Westhoughton

5.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether His Majesty's Government will declare their position on the generalisation of minority treaties as proposed by the Polish Government; and whether they will consider recommending the setting up of a commission of inquiry?

Photo of Mr Ramsay Macdonald Mr Ramsay Macdonald , Seaham

The attitude of His Majesty's Government towards this question was fully explained by the United Kingdom representative in the Sixth Committee of the Assembly of the League on the 21st September last. My right hon. Friend the Lord Privy Seal pointed out that the treaties in question were created to deal with the specific problem of safeguarding the minorities living in territory which was transferred by the peace treaties from one State to another and who were racially akin to the population of the neighbouring State. This problem was a specific and a temporary one and the object of the minorities treaties was not to perpetuate but to solve it; nor was there any similar world problem which would justify the extension to the world at large of the procedure involved. As regards the second part of the question, this is clearly a matter for the League of Nations as a whole, but for the reasons which I have stated His Majesty's Government do not consider that a commission of inquiry would serve any useful purpose.