to the unanimity which always prevailed at the meetings which he attended, and which is bound to prevail in all the decisions reached by the Council of Nine. I also understood him to say that if the representative of Canada were invited to sit at the Council of Nine, not as one of the Nine, he would have the right to express an opinion and to register a vote on a decision. Some doubt has been expressed in this House o.n more than one occasion whether the member of the Assembly of the League of Nations who is invited to sit in the Council of Nine has the right to vote when a question affecting his country is under consideration.
As I understand it, if it was a question in which Canada was vitally interested, and Canada was invited to have her representatives sit at the table for the discussion of the question, Canada's vote cast against the decision would prevent its ratification. A short time ago we had a discussion relating to Poland. The Polish delegates were invited to sit at the Council table. As I understand it, if a decision had been arrived at to which the Polish delegates objected, that decision would not have been persisted in.
We will take it for granted that what the hon. member states is correct. His opinion is of weight in the 'matter, though no clause in the covenant justifies the categorical expression of that opinion. The hon. member has referred also the action taken with regard to the Saar Basin. He did not, however, find it opportune this evening to tell the House what particular
arrangement had been made with regard to the Saar Basin.
No decision on that matter has as yet been arrived at. The understanding is that for fifteen years the Saar Basin will be governed by the League of Nations, presumably through the Commission which is at present operating. At the end of the fifteen years a decision will be reached whether the Saar Basin will become part of Germany, part of France, or an independent state.
That is all set forth in the Treaty. I can give the hon. member, if he desires to study it, a copy of all the special regulations that relate to the Saar Basin as extracted from the Treaty and as interpreted by the various regulations, and reports that the Commission has made during the past three months. It is all laid down in the Treaty; it is quite voluminous.
But can the hon. gentleman tell the committee in a few words whether these mines are going to be exploited for the profit of France exclusively, or for the profit of Germany? I believe that France has retained the power to exploit those mines.
ll think I can only tell the hon. member that that is all set forth in the Treaty. A commission of five members to administer the Saar Basin was appointed at the first and second meetings of the Council of the League of Nations. For the time being they have very wide powers in the Saar Basin. They administer practically all the affairs of that district; the civil service, railways, telephones and telegraphs are all under their control. It is their duty to see that the stipulations in the Treaty with respect to the coal and the proportion of it which will reach France
shall be strictly adhered to. Under their guidance I think they are adhered to.
Possibly the hon. member has in mind a subject that was dealt with at the sixth meeting otf the League of Nations, namely, help to Persia. Persia has been invaded by the Russians. Persia has apealed to the League of Nations. The League of Nations found that Persia was negotiating (with the Bolsheviks at the time for terms of peace. While awaiting the reply from Moscow it was impossible for the League to take on definite responsibility, but at its meeting the Council notified Persia that if the attack was persisted in the League would stand behind Persia. Now, as to the method by which it is done let me give an illustration. In New York city you have a fire brigade and you have a municipal service that taxes the people and pays for that fire brigade. But there are fire stations scattered all over New York city from the Battery to the Bronx. If a fire should break out at the Battery they would not send the engines from the Bronx to put it out; they would send the engines that were nearest to where the fire originated. But the expense would fall upon the whole of the citizens of New York city because the expense of the fire brigade is paid by the citizens as a whole. If it becomes necessary in the defence of members of the League of Nations that various sister nations come to the rescue of a nation which is unjustly attacked, naturally the forces used will be the forces nearest the spot; but when it becomes necessary to determine how much the expedition cost the expense will be levied proportionately on all members of the League.
The hon. member has laid stress upon the judicial functions of the League of Nations. Now, the very essence of judicial function is that the judges shall have no interest whatever in the suit or matter laid before them for decision. How, therefore, do you carry out the parallel, when the nations concerned have, perhaps, very much of a private national interest in the matter to be determined?