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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States diplomatic papers, 1934. Europe, Near East and Africa

Turkey,   pp. 894-990 PDF (36.1 MB)

Page 989

the strongest Black Sea fleet is reported to the Secretary-General by
a letter from the Straits Commission which is forwarded to the in-
terested governments and appears in the Official Journal of the
  On July [June] 5, 1928, the Council decided that reports of the
Straits Commission should not be included in its agenda unless one
of the countries to which they are regularly communicated wished to
raise a question in regard thereto. A brief summary of the informa-
tion contained in the Commission's Annual Report has nevertheless
been regularly included in the Secretary-General's report on the work
of the League. This was, however, omitted from the last report of
the Secretary-General. I am unable to ascertain whether any special
motive occasioned this omission.
  League relations with the Straits Commission are handled by the
Political Section of the Secretariat. It is understood that this sub-
ject will be assigned to M. Prunas, an Italian who has recently been
appointed to this Section.
League Procedure in Exceptional Circumstances.
  Since the Council has never acted under the Convention, other
than as indicated above, the question of its procedure under Article
18 of the Convention has never been settled. In the event of a serious
violation of the Convention, the Commission would no doubt imme-
diately notify the League and would directly inform the interested
powers as well. It appears to be clear that this action would not in
itself be sufficient to require action by the Council under Article 18
of the Convention but it is probable that the Council could become
seized of the question on its own initiative as well as by the action of
a state signatory to the Convention.
  The Convention does not stipulate whether the Council would have
to decide upon what action it would recommend to the guarantor states
by unanimity or by a majority vote; but it would seem that under the
provisions of the League Covenant a unanimous decision of the Coun-
cil would be necessary. This view is emphasized by the circumstance
that at the time the Straits Convention was being drafted a proposal
to provide for a two-thirds vote by the Council in certain circum-
stances was put forward but was not incorporated in the final Con-
Political Considerations.
  The regime of the Straits is guaranteed by all states signatory to
the Convention, but four states, Great Britain, France, Japan, and
Italy are made particularly responsible. At the time the Convention
was signed all four were members of the Council, while Turkey and
Russia were not members of the League. Both Turkey and Russia now
hold Council seats, while Japan has given notice of her withdrawal

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