HC Deb 23 June 1930 vol 240 cc819-20W

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs the present position of minorities in Jugoslavia. Macedonia and Bulgaria; and what efforts are being made by the League of Nations to secure to the populations concerned their Treaty rights?


The position of minorities in Yugoslavia is governed by the Treaty concluded at St. Germain-enLaye on the 10th September, 1919, between the principal Allied and Associated Powers and the Serb-Croat-Slovene State. Articles 7 and 8 of this Treaty declare that Serb-Croat-Slovene nationals who belong to racial, religious or linguistic minorities shall enjoy the same civil and political rights and the same treatment and security in law and in fact as the other Serb-Croat-Slovene nationals. Under Article 9, which is intended to apply to Southern Serbia annexed after the Balkan Wars as well as to the territories transferred to the Serb-Croat-Slovene Kingdom after the Great War, such minorities are accorded special privileges in the matter of education and the enjoyment and application of public funds. Furthermore, under Article 11 the Serb-Croat-Slovene State agrees that the stipulations in the Treaty, so far as they affect the minorities, constitute obligations of international concern, and should be placed under the guarantee of the League of Nations. Corresponding provisions for the protection of minorities in Bulgaria are contained in Articles 53, 54, 55 and 57 of the Treaty of Peace between the Allied and Associated Powers and Bulgaria, concluded at Neuilly on the 27th November, 1919. Inasmuch as Macedonia is not an autonomous political entity, there are no special treaty rights relating to its inhabitants.

As regards the latter part of the question, I am sending the hon. Member the report of the Committee of the Council of the League of Nations of the 18th May, 1929 (League Document G.C.M.I. 1929), which shows the measures which the League have taken to ensure the due observance of the rights secured to minorities under these and other treaties, and a copy of the resolution of the Council taken thereon in June, 1929.