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San Remo Resolution-Palestine Mandate 1920

April 25, 1920

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There are several "San Remo Conferences" and "San Remo Conventions" and documents that are called "San Remo Convention" but may not be related to the San Remo Conference of 1920.

The San Remo Conference was one of the conferences between the allies held following World War I. Its participants consisted of the four members of the Allied Supreme Council. It held in San Remo, Italy, from 19 to 26 April 1920. It was attended by the representatives of the four Principal Allied Powers of World War I who were represented by the prime ministers of Britain (David Lloyd George), France (Alexandre Millerand) and Italy (Francesco Nitti) and by Japan's Ambassador K. Matsui. It determined the allocation of Class "A" League of Nations mandates for administration of the lands formerly ruled by the Ottoman Empire in the Middle East.

The precise boundaries of all territories were left unspecified, to "be determined by the Principal Allied Powers"  and were not finalized until several years later. The conference's decisions were the basis of the never-implemented Treaty of Sèvres (Section VII, Art 94-97). Turkey rejected this treaty, after Kemal Ataturk revolted, overthrew the Sultan and  produced "facts on the ground" that nullified grants of territory to the Greeks and other concessions. The allies also quarreled over the mandates and their jurisdiction. The conference's decisions were finally confirmed, after considerable modification, by the Council of the League of Nations on 24 July 1922, and when Turkey accepted the terms of the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne.

This document, called "San Remo Resolution," refers primarily to the contemplated mandate over Palestine in some detail, with only summary references to other areas. Though it refers to the Balfour declaration, the document does not envision a British mandate necessarily. The San Remo Resolution is the first international recognition of the right of the Jewish people to a "national home." Class "A" mandates were mandates that were presumed to eventually become self governing and independent.

Significantly, Syria was envisioned as an independent country rather than a French Mandate. The French soon evicted the Arab government of Feisal however, and a French Mandate was established over Syria. The document below refers to Turkish agreement to its provisions, but it is not clear that Turkey was represented at the conference. The Italians noted that they reserve approval of the document pending settlement of Italian interests in Asiatic Turkey.  This document is the first of several agreements that evolved into the  British Mandate for Palestine.  

This document should not be be confused with the document that is called the "San Remo Convention" and that appears in many places on the Web. That document, as it states, was actually promulgated and signed in London in 1922 by the Council of the League of Nations. It appears to be identical in every respect with the The British Mandate for Palestine of the League of Nations, and may have been mislabeled at some time. 

 The document below is taken from http://web.archive.org/web/20071017031147/http://www.therightroadtopeace.com/infocenter/Heb/SamRemoRes.html

MidEastWeb assumes no responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the document below. The original Web site that posted it is no longer functioning and only archived copies are available online. It should be checked against archived hard copy sources.

Ami Isseroff (June 23, 2010)

Corrected October 17, 2010


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San Remo Resolution - April 25, 1920

It was agreed –

(a) To accept the terms of the Mandates Article as given below with reference to Palestine, on the understanding that there was inserted in the process-verbal an undertaking by the Mandatory Power that this would not involve the surrender of the rights hitherto enjoyed by the non-Jewish communities in Palestine; this undertaking not to refer to the question of the religious protectorate of France, which had been settled earlier in the previous afternoon by the undertaking given by the French Government that they recognized this protectorate as being at an end.

(b) that the terms of the Mandates Article should be as follows:

The High Contracting Parties agree that Syria and Mesopotamia shall, in accordance with the fourth paragraph of Article 22, Part I (Covenant of the League of Nations), be provisionally recognized as independent States, subject to the rendering of administrative advice and assistance by a mandatory until such time as they are able to stand alone. The boundaries of the said States will be determined, and the selection of the Mandatories made, by the Principal Allied Powers.

The High Contracting Parties agree to entrust, by application of the provisions of Article 22, the administration of Palestine, within such boundaries as may be determined by the Principal Allied Powers, to a Mandatory, to be selected by the said Powers. The Mandatory will be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 8, 1917, by the British Government, and adopted by the other Allied Powers, in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

La Puissance mandataire s’engage a nommer dans le plus bref delai une Commission speciale pour etudier toute question et toute reclamation concernant les differentes communautes religieuses et en etablir le reglement. Il sera tenu compte dans la composition de cette Commission des interets religieux en jeu. Le President de la Commission sera nomme par le Conseil de la Societe des Nations.

The terms of the mandates in respect of the above territories will be formulated by the Principal Allied Powers and submitted to the Council of the League of Nations for approval.

Turkey hereby undertakes, in accordance with the provisions of Article [132 of the Treaty of Sèvres] to accept any decisions which may be taken in this connection.

(c) Les mandataires choisis par les principales Puissances allies sont: la France pour la Syrie, et la Grande Bretagne pour la Mesopotamie, et la Palestine.

In reference to the above decision the Supreme Council took note of the following reservation of the Italian Delegation:

La Delegation Italienne en consideration des grands interets economiques que l’Italie en tant que puissance exclusivement mediterraneenne possede en Asie Mineure, reserve son approbation a la presente resolution, jusqu’au reglement des interets italiens en Turquie d’Asie.




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