June 9, 1924

MAJOR J. B. HARDINGE

PRO

John Frederick Johnston

Progressive

Mr. JOHNSTON:

For a copy of all reports, correspondence, telegrams and other documents, passing between any officer or officers of the Indian Department, from September, 1922, to date with respect to the suspension, and subsequent resignation of Major J. B. Hardinge, Indian Agent of the Touchwood Agency at Punnichy, Saskatchewan.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   MAJOR J. B. HARDINGE
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MR. S. BRICKMAN

CON

Donald Sutherland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

For a copy of all correspondence, telegrams and other documents relating to charges of political partisanship preferred against S. Brickman, Postmaster at Sebring-ville, Ontario, together with a copy of the evidence taken, the investigator's report, and showing what action was taken by the government on said report.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   MR. S. BRICKMAN
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MR. WILLIAM BOYD

CON

Donald Sutherland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

For a copy of all correspondence, telegrams and other documents relating to charges of political partisanship preferred against Wm. Boyd, postmaster at Kagawong, Ontario, together with a copy of the evidence taken, the investigator's report, and showing what action was taken by the government on said report.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   MR. WILLIAM BOYD
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MR. W. L. TROTTER

CON

Donald Sutherland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

For a copy of all correspondence, telegrams and other documents relating to charges of political partisanship preferred against W. L. Trotter, postmaster at She-guinadah, Ontario, together with a copy of the evidence taken, the investigator's report, and showing what action was taken by the government on said report.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   MR. W. L. TROTTER
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NORTHWEST TERRITORIES ACT AMENDMENT


Hon. CHARLES STEWART (Argenteuil) (Minister of the Interior) moved that the House go into committee at the next sitting to consider the following proposed resolution: Resolved, that it is expedient to amend section eight of the Northwest Territories Act, Revised Statutes, 1906, chapter 62, by adding to the subjects on which the Commissioner in Council may make ordinances as therein designated, the levying of an export tax on furs within the Territories. Motion agreed to.


SUPPLY-LAUSANNE TREATY


The House in committee of Supply, Mr. Gordon in the chair. Department of External Affairs-Under Secretary of State for External Affairs, Deputy Head, $8,000.


CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Does the Prime Minister expect the discussion to take place under this item? If so, does he propose to make a statement respecting Canada's relationship to the Treaty of Lausanne and the recent controversy that has arisen upon it? As yet he has merely outlined the letters that have passed.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):

Mr. Chairman, as I mentioned to the House some days ago, I thought it would perhaps afford hon. members more latitude in discussing matters pertaining to the Lausanne conference and treaty if this subject were brought up when the estimates of the Department of External Affairs were under consideration. Perhaps it would facilitate discussion if I were at once to anticipate some of the points that may possibly arise in connection with the subject and endeavour to remove some misapprehensions and, I might add, misrepresentations, and also give to the House a clear statement of the government's attitude and position in regard to the treaty.

Hon. members have had placed before them in printed form a copy of most of the com-n munications that have passed between the British government and the Canadian government with reference to the conference and the treaty. I had better direct the attention of the House immediately to the communication in which the government was made aware of the holding of the conference and the nature of the invitations which were extended to the conference by the parties who had in hand the arrangements with reference thereto. The communication setting forth the essential facts in this regard will be found as the first in the return which has been brought down. It is dated London, October 27, 1922, and is from the Secretary of State for the Co! mies, addressed to myself as Prime Minister of Canada. It is as follows:

Yesterday invitations were sent by the governments of Great Britain, France and Italy to the Japanese, Roumanian, Jugoslav, Greek and Turkish governments, " both of Constantinople and Angora," to send representatives to Lausanne, November 13th to conclude treaty to end war in the East which will replace Treaty of Sevres. Russian Soviet government and Bulgarian government also being invited to send to Lausanne, at any date to be fixed, representatives to take part in discussion on question of the Straits which the conference will undertake at a later stage. Inquiry (?) is also being addressed

Supply-Lausanne Treaty

by the three governments to the United States expressing hope that they will permit United States representative to be present during Lausanne negotiations in a capacity similar to that in which United States representative was present during negotiations at San Remo in 1920, or to take more active part in the negotiations, specially on the question of the Straits. According to arrangements agreed upon with French and Italian governments each government would be represented at Lausanne by two plenipotentiaries. Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs will personally act as chief British plenipotentiary and it is proposed he should be accompanied by the British High Commissioner at Constantinople. Dominion governments will be kept informed from time to time on the general lines of policy on which British plenipotentiaries propose to proceed and of course of negotiations and in case of other treaties arising out of the peace will of course be invited to sign new treaty and any separate instrument regulating the status of the Straits. His Majesty's government trusts that this procedure will be in accordance with the wishes of your government. Plenipotentiaries are fully acquainted with the Imperial aspect of the problem and with the keen interest taken by the Dominion governments in its solution. Similar telegram sent to other prime ministers. Ends.

Devonshire.

Hon. members will observe that this communication begins with the words, "Yesterday invitations were sent"-not, as has been interpreted in some of the press discussions which I have seen on the subject, "are being sent" -which would indicate that the governments mentioned were considering sending certain invitations and were desirous of consulting in the first instance with the government of Canada in reference to them. Our informa-[DOT] tion was of un fait accompli-the statement given to us was to the effect that the invitations had been sent the day before. I would ask hon. members to notice the wording of the first sentence-"were sent by the governments of Great Britain, France and Italy." The dispatch does not say that the invitations were sent on behalf of the governments of the British Empire; the meaning is clear.

-were sent by the governments of Great Britain, France and Italy to the Japanese, Roumanian, Jugoslav, Greek and Turkish governments to send representatives to Lausanne on November 13, to conclude a treaty to end the war in the Near East.

A little further on in the dispatch is the paragraph:

According to arrangements agreed upon with the French and Italian governments, each government will be represented at Lausanne by two plenipotentiaries.

"Each government" refers to the governments mentioned in the opening sentence of the dispatch, namely, the governments of Great Britain, France and Italy. There is no mention there of the governments of the British Empire; in particular, there is no mention there of the Dominion of Canada, nor indeed, will there be found anywhere within the four corners of this dispatch the least

intimation that in any way it was intended that the Dominion government should be represented at this conference by the plenipotentiaries that are named therein.

My right hon. friend asked me early this afternoon if I intended to refer to any other communications. It is an embarrassing feature of this situation that all the correspondence cannot be placed on the Table of the House, but hon. members will appreciate that in matters of international concern there may be communications which, while there is no reason why they should not be known to the different governments of the same Empire, it might not be advisable to have made public as against the rest of the world.

There was, accompanying this dispatch, another communication, also of a confidential character, which had a distinct bearing upon the reply which was sent by this government. Indeed, both communications should be read together in order to enable those who are interested properly to appreciate the full significance of the reply which the.. Canadian government sent. Now, I am precluded from giving the text of the other communication to which I have referred, but when this matter first came up in the House I sent a copy of all the correspondence to my right hon. friend, the leader of the opposition so that he would be aware, being a member also of the privy council, of the full nature and extent of the correspondence that had passed between the two governments, and I wish to say in his hearing that that communication gave reasons why the government of Canada was not being invited and why representatives from this government should not and could not be present at the Lausanne conference. That fact, I think, should be made clear in view of the discussion that has taken place in the Old World as well as in this with respect to the stand taken by the government of Canada. I think it should have been made clear in the British House of Commons that there had been a communication which, in so many words, gave reasons why Canada could not be represented at the conference.

Having received this intimation, we had to consider the nature of the reply which we would send. Had we wished to create an embarrassing situation, we might possibly have taken strong exception to the manner in which this whole subject had been brought to our attention and to the course adopted, but we realized that there were many serious aspects of European politics which it was advisable for us to take into account. We were in no way anxious to add to the difficulties of the

Supply-Lausanne Treaty

British government in dealing with these matters; indeed, we were desirous of doing all in our power to assist in removing any sort of embarrassment, and in that spirit and wholly from that motive the following message, of date October 31, was sent by His Excellency the Governor General, as coming from myself, in reply to the Duke of Devonshire's message:

I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of Your Grace's dispatch of the 27th instant, informing our government of the invitations to the Lausanne Conference which have been sent to the governments of other countries by the governments of Great Britain, France and Italy, and setting forth the procedure in reference thereto.

Our government has no exception to take to the course pursued by His Majesty's government with respect to the conclusion of a treaty to end the war in the Near East. As, however, it is proposed to keep our government informed from time to time of the general lines of policy on which British plenipotentiaries propose to proceed, and of the course of negotiations, and to invite us to sign a new treaty and any separate instrument regulating the status of the Straits, we deem it advisable to avail ourselves of the earliest Opportunity to inform His Majesty's government that in our opinion the extent to which Canada may be held to be bound by the proceedings of the conference or by the provisions of any treaty or other instrument arising out of the same, is necessarily a matter for the parliament of Canada to decide and that the rights and powers of our parliament in these particulars must not be held to be affected by implication or otherwise in virtue of the information with which our government may be supplied.

This was signed by His Excellency, Lord Byng. I would direct the attention of the

House to the use in this dispatch of the words "a treaty to end the war"-

Our government has no exception to take to the course pursued by His Majesty's government with respect to the conclusion of a treaty to end the war in the Near East.

The intimation that had been given to us concerning the Lausanne conference was that it was a conference for the purpose of bringing the war to an end. When this first communication was being considered by council, the question naturally arose, how did Canada come to be in the war?-was it at the instance of some action of our Governor in Council, or was war declared by His Majesty the King on the advice of his ministers in Britain? I think the facts will disclose that His Majesty the King acted onthe advice of his ministers in Britain in declaring war against Turkey. That being the case, it did not seem to us an

unnatural thing that His Majesty's ministers in Great Britain should deem that they were in a position to conclude a treaty which would end the war without feeling the necessity of insisting upon other parts of the British Empire also sending representatives to Lausanne. We therefore made it clear that 185

we did not propose to take exception to the course which had been pursued, of arranging a conference to end the war. But, as the intimation went further than merely dealing with the question of ending the war, and indicated that there might be new obligations arising out of some new treaty, we felt it our duty at once to avail ourselves, as the dispatch says, of the earliest opportunity to tell His Majesty's government that, with respect to new obligations that might be created, obligations of a nature other than those which merely related to the question of the ending of the war, our parliament would wish to exercise its right to say to what extent it would be bound by those obligations-there being no representative of Canada at the conference and there being no opportunity for real conference or consultation in connection with its proceedings.

I think a great deal of the misunderstanding and misapprehension which has arisen in this matter has grown out of the circumstance that when the public were first informed in the British parliament of the attitude of the Canadian government they were informed in words that did not accurately represent the facts. Indeed, the Prime Minister of England, Mr. MacDonald, has given me authority to state to the House that if his words in any way conveyed the impression that Canada had been formally asked to be represented at the conference and that we had concurred in such a course, they were conveying a meaning which was not in accordance with the facts.

Let me read from a journal of high reputation which contains an article that has been much quoted and which I think will help to explain wherein the different parts of the British Empire have received an entirely erroneous impression of the Canadian government's action. I refer to the article which appeared in the London Times on Wednesday, April 9, 1924, headed "Lausanne and Canada," I shall not read the whole editorial, but in order that hon. members may have the context of the facts I desire to quote I will read the first part of it:

The House of Commons will have a further opportunity this afternoon to discuss the attitude of the Canadian government towards the Treaty of Lausanne, but the light which is needed can come only from the Canadian government itself, which undoubtedly has acted wisely in welcoming the publication of the correspondence which has passed on the subject between Great Britain and the Dominion. The question asked by the Montreal Star, "Is Canada at War with Turkey?" may seem absurd. Yet it is a legitimate constitutional comment on Mr. Mackenzie King's refusal to recommend ratification to his parliament, and really goes to the root of the Imperial problem. Nothing is easier than to pick holes in the

Supply-Lausanne Treaty

Turkish Treaty, and particularly in the Straits Convention, which forms part of it; but Mr. King's objection, on his own showing, is not so much to the treaty itself as to the manner in which it was negotiated. The history of the Lausanne Conference scarcely sustains that objection-

Now, this is the part to which I wish to direct special attention:

-for Mr. King himself appears to have been a party to the arrangements made for the representation of the British Empire in general and for Canada in particular. According to Mr. Ramsay MacDonald, all the Dominions, including Canada, were asked if they consented to Lord Curzon and Sir Horace Rumbold attending the conference as " Imperial representatives." To this they agreed-indeed, we have it on the authority of Mr. King himself that Canada " did not desire separate representation." In other words, to quote Mr. Ramsay MacDonald, " Canada was represented by Lord Curzon at Lausanne with her full knowledge and consent."

Those statements are entirely erroneous. Canada was not represented at Lausanne. I was not, as this editorial says, any party to representation. No word was sent to us in any dispatch asking us if we would accept Lord Curzon or Sir Horace Rumbold as " Imperial representatives." Language of that kind was not used in any of the dispatches. We were told that Lord Curzon would represent the government of Great Britain and we were given reasons why Canada could not be represented. These were the facts as they were before us at the time we were considering what reply we should send to the dispatch that had been received. The Times editoral goes on:

In due course the treaty was signed and if Mr. King had a word of protest or of criticism the people of this country and of his own have still to learn the fact.

The correspondence which has been brought down will show, I think, that so far as the British government was concerned there could be no mistaking our attitude. Such criticism as we had to make was set out in the clearest language in the communications that passed. I think I may leave it to the hon. members to judge for themselves whether there could have been in the minds of the British government, or to any of those to whom these dispatches may have been referred the slighest doubt as to our position. The Times article goes on:

Then came the Imperial Conference. On October 5 Lord Curzon delivered a very full explanation of the treaty and its terms to the Prime Ministers, with the happy result that, in the official words of the summary of the proceedings, " the Conference recorded its satisfaction at the conclusion of peace between the Allies and Turkey." If Mr. King dissented, the report is silent on the subject.

One would gather from this that at the Imperial conference I had not dissented from

the view that Canada was represented. Now here again I am placed in a position of very unfair embarrassment. The proceedings of the conference are, for the most part, secret. If I undertake to disclose to the House what took place at the conference then it is made to appear that I am betraying the secrecy of the conference itself, and be-4 p.m. cause I have not done this, where it suits the occasion or the par, ticular line of attack which opponents may wish to make, it is stated, because of my silence, I have acquiesced in all that has been done, that I have taken no exception to a particular course. Well, Mr. Chairman, I think I am right in saying that one understanding that existed at the time the conference held its proceedings was that while there was to foe secrecy with respect to the transactions from day to day, every member present at that conference was to have full liberty when addressing his own parliament to make perfectly clear to its members the position he took in regard to any matter of concern to them. I purpose to taike advantage of that right and privilege to tell this House and the country, and to tell the people of Great Britain-and I think it should have been told before this by a British minister-that at the Imperial conference I distinctly stated that Canada was not invited, I distinctly stated that Canada had not been represented at Lausanne, and I distinctly gave the reason why we did not take exception to not being represented, intimating that we had felt that probably these matters, in the opinion of those who had sent out the invitations, had not the same immediate and direct interest for Canada as matters such for example, as those which were discussed at Versailles were supposed to have. I think one will find in these dispatches here language which conveys unmistakably that view and impression. In order that there may be no doubt on this matter, let me say that I not only took this position at the conference, but more than a month or two ago I cabled the British government and directed the attention of the Prime Minister of Great Britain to the passage in the conference proceedings where my words would be found which asserted that Canada had not been invited and was not represented at Lausanne. I drew attention to a part of the proceedings which makes it clear that in the presence of the Prime Minister, in the presence of Lord Curzon the Minister for Foreign Affairs and of the president of the Privy Council and other British ministers,

Supply-Lausanne Treaty

I used words very much along the following lines:

In referring to International conferences, I stated that when we came into office the conference on the limitation of armaments was being held at Washington, that Sir Robert Borden was representing Canada, that Sir Robert's report had been made to the government, and that I would like to draw the attention of the members of our conference to two or three of its pages, more particularly where Sir Robert Borden sets forth his views on the matter of treaties, as they represented a point of view which I thought we in Canada all held in common: That at

Genoa and at The Hague we were represented -that we had been invited to be present at those conferences and, considering their nature, we felt it would perhaps be not only of interest and benefit to ourselves, but also to others if we were represented there; that at Lausanne we were not represented, that we were not invited; that we had taken and took no exception to not being invited; that we felt that the matters that were being discussed there were not of the same immediate and direct interest to ourselves as they were to those who were represented at the conference, and that therefore we had no exception to take to the course that we adopted.

That was the substance of my words at the Imperial conference, representing Canada's voice in this matter, and I think it was owing to our government and to our country that when the government and the country were being criticised in England for nothing having been said at the Imperial conference on this matter, it should have been made perfectly clear at Westminster exactly what statement was made by me on behalf of Canada at the Imperial conference.

Topic:   SUPPLY-LAUSANNE TREATY
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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

I do not like a misconception to go out on this point. Was the criticism which the Prime Minister himself read from The Times, not a criticism that there was no objection taken to the terms and provisions of the treaty? I did not read into it, as he read it, nor have I read elsewhere, the criticism that he did not state at the conference that Canada was not invited. The criticism was that he raised no objection to the terms of the treaty.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I think I can

point to a dozen papers which state emphatically that at the conference nothing was said by me as to Canada's attitude. I will read the wording of this particular editorial again; the wording may possibly bear out what my hon. friend has just said, but what

185i

I would like to make clear is this, that so far as the general public of Great Britain and of other parts of the British Empire are concerned, the impression that is left in their minds from its reading was that at the Imperial conference, when Lord Curzon and the Prime Minister of Great Britain were present, I, as Canada's representative, had said nothing as to Canada's attitude, whereas, as a matter of fact, I made the position very clear, as I have just intimated to this House. I quote from The Times again:

In due course the treaty was signed, and if Mr. King had a word of objection or of criticism, the people of this country and of his own have still to learn the fact.

I think after that statement was made and debates occasioned by it were taking place in the British House, when the attention of the British government had been drawn exactly to what I said at the conference, it was owing to an accurate and full statement of the posi-. tion that some explanation should have been made in this regard in the British House of Commons. The article continues:

Then came the Imperial Conference. On October 5 Lord Curzon delivered a very full explanation of the treaty and its terms to the Prime Ministers, with the happy result that, in the official words of the summary of the proceedings, "the Conference recorded its satisfaction at the conclusion of peace between the Allies and Turkey." If Mr. King dissented, the report is silent on the subject.

Lord Curzon did deliver a statement as to what had taken place at the conference. It was the first intimation, apart from the communications that had been received during the course of the conference itself, that the Dominions prime ministers had had of what had taken place, and when we were informed that a treaty of peace ending the war with Turkey had been concluded, when we were told this by Lord Curzon, naturally we expressed satisfaction at such an announcement, and we were only too pleased to have it recorded in the proceedings of the conference. But the point that attention is here being directed to is that the attitude Canada is now taking is something different from that which was taken at the conference, whereas the contrary is entirely the truth of the situation. The Times article goes on:

The Canadian parliament has now been asked to ratify the treaty and Mr. King has suddenly discovered that the Dominion was not even a party to the contract.

As though there had been a complete change! I have suddenly discovered we were never a party to the contract!-when from the very first dispatch up to the last, we were making our position absolutely and wholly clear on that point. The editorial goes on:

According to his argument, Canada was "not invited" to Lausanne, and therefore cannot be bound by the

Supply-Lausanne Treaty

treaty. That statement, which in itself implies a grievance, can hardly be reconciled with his admission that the Dominion "did not desire direct representation," and with his acceptance of Lord Curzon and Sir Horace Rumbold as "Imperial representatives."

Now if it were true that I or the government had taken any such position or had accepted Lord Curzon as an "Imperial representative," certainly we would be entitled to this kind of criticism and attack. But we have never at any time understood that Lord Curzon in any sense of the word was representing this Dominion; and, as I have already said, we had very special grounds for knowing that, so far as the Dominions were concerned, they were not being represented at Lausanne. Further than that, not only did I take that position in discussing foreign affairs at the main sittings of the Imperial conference, but at least at two subsidiary conferences I again spoke with reference to Canada's attitude on the Lausanne treaty, and the minutes of the proceedings of one of the conferences contains a direct statement which will be found in the Foreign Office at the present time to the effect that the Prime Minister of Canada intimated that it might not be possible for the Canadian government to express formal concurrence in the ratification. This statement will be found as part of the record of the proceedings of a conference called to consider amongst other things the Lausanne treaty.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Have these minutes

been laid on the Table of the House, or made public in any way?

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

No they have not, and that again evidences the limitations of the situation. I contend I am not violating any right of secrecy when I avail myself of the opportunity, as leader of this government, of telling parliament when the question is raised as to my not having said anything concerning representation or ratification at the Imperial conference, exactly what took place. I have communicated with the British government, directing attention to this statement, which will be found in the minutes of the conference. In the presence of the prime ministers of the other dominions and the members of the British government, I made it clear that because we were not represented, and because we had no part in the conference, this government did not feel that it could! bring into the House a treaty negotiated as this treaty had been negotiated, and expect to have the approval of parliament of the obligations it carried with it. I made that clear, but I also made clear that we did not intend to embarrass the British government in the matter when it came to the final

ratification of the treaty, and that whatever position the British government might wish to take with regard to it, we would raise no objection. In other words if the British government recommended the ratification of the treaty, so far as Canada was concerned, we were quite prepared that ratification should bind us. We never raised the question as to Canada not being bound by ratification. If hon. members will look through the correspondence, they will see that our attention was specifically drawn to the fact that the treaty when ratified would bind us. Let me refer to the dispatch which appears under date December 8, 1922, and which reads:

Any treaty resulting from the Lausanne conference will of course replace the treaty of Sevres, and until it comes into force, a state of war between the British Empire and Turkey will technically continue. Treaty must, therefore, be binding on the whole Empire when ratified.

There was a specific statement made to us. We have taken no exception at any time to that statement. We have never stated that the Lausanne treaty would not bind the whole empire. Out attitude is being construed at the moment as if in some way we were acting in a manner which would dismember the Empire; as if we were seeking to break away, and to have Canada separate herself into some little community by herself. We have never taken that attitude. We have never questioned the fact that when the treaty was signed it would bind us. When His Majesty the King declared war, Canada was brought into war as a consequence of the declaration, and -when the King ratifies the treaty, Canada will be brought out just as she went into war by the action of the sovereign without any consultation with our ministers in that regard.

Hon. members of the House may ask why the government has watched this matter so carefully, and why they take the particular position they do-

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LAB

Joseph Tweed Shaw

Labour

Mr. SHAW:

Before the Prime Minister

proceeds further: I understand from the

Prime Minister that the ratification of the treaty by the king will bind Canada. Do I take from his observations that Canada will be bound to maintain, for example, the demilitarized zone in the Thracian frontier, and also in the Dardenelles?

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June 9, 1924