Thursday, June 25, 2015

There Went Transjordan

I quote from the "Agreement between His Majesty and the Amir of Trans-Jordan", signed in Jerusalem on February 20, 1928 and ratified on October 31, 1929 (and there is a supplement):

WHEREAS His Britannic Majesty in virtue of a Mandate entrusted to him on the 24th of July, 1922, has authority in the area covered thereby; and Whereas His Highness the Amir of Trans-Jordan has set up an Administration in that part of the area under Mandate known as Trans-Jordan; and Whereas His Britannic Majesty is prepared to recognise the existence of an independent Government in Trans-Jordan under the rule of His Highness the Amir of Trans-Jordan, provided that such Government is constitutional and places His Britannic Majesty in a position to fulfil his international obligations in respect of that territory bymeans of an Agreement to be concluded with His Highness.

There is also this

Article 7.      Except by agreement between the two countries there shall be no customs barrier between Palestine and Trans-Jordan...
Article 18.    No territory in Trans-Jordan shall be ceded or leased or in any way placed under the control of any foreign Power; ...

But allow me to also quote from that League of Nations 1922 decision:

ART. 5.The Mandatory shall be responsible for seeing that no Palestine territory shall be ceded or leased to, or in any way placed under the control of the Government of any foreign Power.

True, there was this there, too:

ART. 25.In the territories lying between the Jordan and the eastern boundary of Palestine as ultimately determined, the Mandatory shall be entitled, with the consent of the Council of the League of Nations, to postpone or withhold application of such provisions of this mandate as he may consider inapplicable to the existing local conditions, and to make such provision for the administration of the territories as he may consider suitable to those conditions, provided that no action shall be taken which is inconsistent with the provisions of Articles 1516 and 18.

I would think that the operative term there is "postpone".  Postpone does not mean something is not done or finished or resolved but there is a delay, and the original situation is still in place until all sides, which in this case means the Jews, agree.

Consider this

Britain Rejects Demand of Transjordan Cabinet for Abrogation of Mandate
June 23, 1944

The British Government has rejected a demand submitted by the cabinet of Transjordan asking abolition of the mandate and complete independence, it was learned here today.

Any new arrangements or treaties concerning the status of Transjordan must wait until after the war, the British Government informed Emir Abdullah...Sir Harold Michael, British High Commissioner for Palestine and Transjordan...made a flying trip from Jerusalem to Amman, the capital of Transjordan.

Under the terms of Article 25 of the mandate, Transjordan was included in the mandated territory of Palestine. But by virtue of a saving clause in the article, the British Government, as mandatory, was empowered to withhold application of any clauses of the mandate which she might consider to be inapplicable to Transjordan, and to provide it with such administration as she might think fit.

In the British view, Transjordan unlike Palestine fell within the area in which the McMahon promise of independence applied. The British Government, therefore, in 1922, secured approval by the Council of the League of Nations of a memorandum proposing that Transjordan be exempted from all those clauses dealing with the Holy Places and the Jewish National Home. On the strength of this, Jews have been refused immigration into Transjordan and the right to purchase land there, a step which they resent as being an infraction of the article of the joint mandate which provides against discrimination on grounds of race, religion or language.

And what was the reaction at the time?

Transjordan Independence to Be Recognized, is Rumor
September 7, 1927   Jerusalem
(Jewish Telegraphic Agency)
Sensational reports concerning a new treaty between Great Britain and Transjordania, recognizing the latter as an independent state were published by the Arab weekly, “El Yarmuk.”
The Arab newspaper publishes what is purported to be the draft of a treaty between Great Britain and Transjordania. The treaty provides for the recognition of Transjordania’s independence under Emir Abdullah and for the creation of a legislative council at Amman. Great Britain is to provide adequate technical advisers for the Transjordanian government.
The treaty is to be in force for two years, the paper states. 

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