« EelmineJätka »
The CHAIRMAN. No; I am assuming that we do write it in, that the status is to be determined by the council of the league of nations, When they get in there they will find themselves in the presence of men representing the United States who are estopped by the President's recognition.
Mr. FOLK. I do not think so, if you will write it in the treaty that way.
The CHAIRMAN. All you write in the treaty is to give them the right to go to the council.
Mr. FOLK. And give the council jurisdiction. Great Britain would then be estopped from treating Egypt as an internal question. The treaty expressly includes that idea.
The CHAIRMAN. The President could turn around and say with great force, "The authority of the United States, which has the power to recognize—that is, the executive authority-has recognized this protectorate."
Mr. Folk. Absolutely. And the answer would be, "Temporarily.” And the treaty has expressly given jurisdiction to the council over Egypt, and the treaty is the document that covers the council and not an executive temporary recognition.
The CHAIRMAN, I should be sorry to have to take that chance if I was an Egyptian. .
Senator SWANSON. And Egypt agrees with confidence to the covenant of the league of nations?
Mr. Folk. If you do not have a league of nations, Egypt would be hopeless. She would be in the grasp of Great Britain to be ground under her heel forever. Her only hope is through some sort of a league. You gentlemen here would have no concern about Egypt if you were about to make a treaty.
Senator JOHNSON of California. Is it not a fact that your only hope in the league of nations is in the amendment? Mr. Folk. In the amendment.
Senator JOHNSON of California. And you have no hope in the league of nations unless we amend this treaty ?
Mr. FOLK. Absolutely. Unamended, Egypt would be worse than hopeless because she would have no remedy. She would have not only Great Britain to contend with, but other countries, including the United States. But with this amendment adopted she would have some remedy.
The CHAIRMAN. Merely as a matter of speculation, if Egypt comes into that forum, the council of the league, Great Britain would not vote to change her status? Mr. FOLK. No, sir. The CHAIRMAN. Do you think Japan would ? Mr. FOLK. Well, I would not like to go over the different members of the court and try to determine in advance how they might vote. Of course the league is founded on justice. You could not tell in advance how each member is going to vote, and if this league is not founded on justice, then it will be the greatest curse to mankind.
Senator MOSES. You have already pointed out that Great Britain and France already had an agreement with respect to Egypt. Would not that prevent France from voting with the Egyptians ?
Mr. FOLK. If that is true, then indeed they are hopeless. But if the league of nations is to be formed on the basis of justice, that is a
different proposition. Now we do not know what is in this agreement spoken of here, and we do not know what might be in secret agreements. I have an article here in the Century Magazine, where the writer says there are six agreements between Great Britain, France, and Italy respecting these eastern countries.
Senator JOHNSON of California. Who is the author ?
Mr. FOLK. This is written by Herbert Adams Gibbons. He discusses article 23 of the covenant.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Gibbons has sent to the committee and asked to lay a mass of papers before them in regard to Egypt, which I think you have covered.
Senator Moses. You feel certain about this provisional agreement? Mr. Folk. What provisional agreement?
Senator Moses. That you have been telling us about, for the disposition of overseas possessions.
Mr. Folk. I do not know anything about it. I have never seen it, but I merely called your attention to the clause in the answer of the President to Senator Fall's question 13. I asked if you had not seen this provisional agreement, and whether it included Egypt or not. The chairman says he has not seen it. He does not know that he will see it.
Senator HARDING. The President says there is such an agreement? Mr. Folk. To use his exact language again (reading]:
There has been a provisional agreement as to the disposition of these overseas possessions whose confirmation and execution is dependent on the approval of the league of nations, and the United States is a party to that provisional agreement.
Senator Moses. What date is that?
Senator Moses. What is the date of the President's statement, in the paper of August 21 ?
Mr. Folk. His statement is dated August 21, and is published in the afternoon papers of August 21.
Senator Moses. I call your attention in that connection, Gov. Folk, to the stenographic report of the meeting held at the White House, Tuesday, August 19. Toward the conclusion of it I spoke to the President about our taking only an undivided one-fifth part of the German overseas possessions, and asked him if there had been any plan made for the disposition of those overseas possessions, and he said, “I have not thought about that at all.” I then asked him: You have no plans to suggest or recommendation to make to Congress? And he answered: Not yet, sir; I am waiting until the treaty is disposed of.
And yet the next day or two days after, he makes the statement which you read, that the United States is a party to a provisional agreement for the disposition of the overseas possessions.
Mr. Folk. Of course I am not here to discuss the answers of the President except in so far as he has mentioned a provisional agreement, and to ask if that provisional agreement covers the case of Egypt, and if it does, whether we would not be in this position, as Senator Lodge has intimated, the members of the Supreme Court might go outside and agree on how they will decide a case, subject merely to entering it up when they get on the bench, and then ask
for an argument. The litigant would have very little show. But I assume that the character of the contracts the President is speaking of is of a different nature. I assume that. I can not believe that he would have made a contract giving away these countries contrary to principles in the covenant.
The CHAIRMAN. Governor, do you regard the council of the league of nations as a judicial body?
Mr. Folk. If it is not judicial, then God help them.
Senator MOSES. Mr. Chairman, my only purpose in calling attention to this is to show the tremendous contradictions which are involved in all our attempts to get any information as to what has been done, and what stipulations we are bound by in all these numerous treaties and secret treaties and other documents which have been made.
Mr. Folk. Of course you have to see the treaty made with Turkey to see what has been done with Turkish territory. That is, I understand, to be turned over to Great Britain. Of course you want to see these agreements before you can decide.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes; they are closely bound together.
(Thereupon, at 12.05 o'clock p. m., the committee adjourned to meet to-morrow, Tuesday, August 26, at 10.30 o'clock a. m., in executive session.)
(The following letters from Mr. Folk were subsequently ordered printed in the record :)
August 30, 1919,
United States Senate.
DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: The status of Egypt which has arisen out of the war just closing becomes properly a subject to be considered in any general treaty that may be made. Supplementing what I said to your honorable committee the other day and epitomizing the relief then asked for in behalf of the Egyptian commission, in the alternative, the first relief being the most desirable, the second the next, and the third next, that relief expressed in the alternative form is as follows:
1. Amend by inserting a new clause after section 6, article 147, to be known as article 147-A, to read as follows:
“The independence of Egypt is hereby recognized, and the British Government will withdraw the British troops from Egypt within one year from the effective date of this treaty."
2. Amend by inserting a new clause after section 6, article 147, to be known as article 147-A, to read as follows:
“The protectorate proclaimed by Great Britain over Egypt is hereby declared to be temporary, and this protectorate shall in no wise interfere with the independence of Egypt, which is hereby declared to be free to enter into diplomatic relations with other nations."
3. Amend by inserting a new clause after section 6, article 147, to be known as article 147-A to read as follows:
The status of Egypt is hereby declared to be a matter within the jurisdiction of the council of the league of nations, and shall not be considered an internal question of Great Britain."
In behalf of the Egyptian commission appointe! by the Legislative Assembly of Egypt, consideration of vour committee is asked for the relief above prayed for in the hope that Egypt may be accorded that self-determination for which the Egyptian troops fought and which has so far been denied. Respectfully,
Jos. W. FOLK, Counsel for the Commission Appointed by the Legislative Assembly of Egypt.
AUGUST 31, 1919.
Washington, ). C.
Dear Mr. (HAIRMAN: In behalf of the commission appointed by the Legislative Assembly of Egypt, I call your attention further to article 152, section 6, of the Versailles treaty. The first clause of this article reads as follows:
"Germany consents, in so far as she is concerned, to the transfer to his Britannic Majesty's Government of the powers conferred on his Iniperial Majesty the Sultan, by the convention signed at ('onstantinople on October 29, 1888, relating to the free navigation of the Suez Canal."
This may mean almost anything from the transfer of the territorial sovereignty in the Suez Canal to the transfer of sovereignty in Egypt. The convention signed at Constantinople on October 29, 1888, is to be found in the Congressional Library (T.C. 791, G. 77). Sections 12 and 13 of this convention apparently recognize the territorial sovereignty of the Sultan of Turkey in the Suez Canal. There appear to be no specific powers conferred upon the Sultan other than the sovereign rights.
For reasons heretofore given, we ask that the words "His Britannic Majesty's Government” be stricken from the paragraph in question and that the words "the Egyptian Government” be substituted therefor. Very truly,
Jos. W. FOLK.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 28, 1919.
UNITED STATES SENATE,
Washington, D.C. The committee met, pursuant to the call of the chairman, at 10.30 o'clock a. m., in room 246, Senate Office Building, Senator Henry Cabot Lodge presiding.
Present: Senators Lodge (chairman), Brandegee, Knox, Harding, New, and Moses.
The CHAIRMAN. The hour having arrived, and our time being short, I will ask these gentlemen who have come here to proceed. I want to say this, that the committee gives this hearing on matters relating to the treaty and for nothing else excepting matters relating to the treaty, and there is nothing else before this committee. The time of the committee is limited. We can not sit beyond 12 o'clock. I have here the list which has been handed to me, and I understand that 45 minutes are to be given to the Equal Rights League and 45 minutes to the disposition of the German-African colony. We will hear those for the Equal Rights League first. STATEMENT OF MR. WILLIAM MONROE TROTTER, SECRETARY
OF THE NATIONAL EQUAL RIGHTS LEAGUE, 34 CORNHILL, BOSTON, MASS.
The CHAIRMAN. I understand the Equal Rights League proposes an amendment to the treaty; is that correct?
Mr. TROTTER. That is correct. Do you object to that amendment to the treaty being in the form of an amendment to an article, or Part I of the treaty ?
The CHAIRMAN. If you have an amendment to offer to the treaty, of course you can offer it at any point.
Mr. TROTTER. We have two propositions, because we wanted to be in accord with the wishes of the committee as to whether we should offer it to Part I or Part II. In fact, we would like, if it is in order, Mr. Chairman, to offer two amendments, either one of which would be satisfactory to the league. Is that in order?
The CHAIRMAN. Certainly. Are these the amendments offered in Paris on equal rights? Mr. TROTTER. They are similar. The CHAIRMAN. On what was called “race equality" there? Mr. TROTTER. Yes; and protection of racial minorities. Senator MOSES. You are a former Register of the Treasury? Mr. TROTTER. No, sir. My father was recorder of deeds in the District of Columbia.