With delegates from 16 nations present the Harvard International Assembly held its first formal sitting at the Liberal Club last night to discuss "The Status of the Island of Rhodes" and "The International Traffic in Opium".
Following a roll call and a short introductory speech by S. T. Tyng 3L., of the United States of America, President of the Assembly for the first question, the discussion regarding the status of the Island of Rhodes was taken up. C. S. Pezas 1G., delegate for Greece, who advanced the claims of his country to the island.
"The population of Rhodes" he said, "is about 36,000, three-fourths of whom are Greeks, with about 3,000 Turks. By the Treaty of Lausanne in 1912, Italy restored Rhodes to Turkey. Immediately the inhabitants of the islands protested against coming under Turkish sovereignty, expressing their desire to become a part of the Greek nation. During the World War demonstrations in favor of Greece were very powerful in the island, against which Italy took harsh measures. The status of Rhodes now is the same as in 1912. It is held by Italy, claimed by Greece, and technically belongs to Turkey. Common race, blood, and national feeling are the ties which bind Greece to Rhodes."
Lazzaro Presents Italian Side
Joseph Lazzaro 1G., of Italy, then took up the Italian side of the question. He stated that the principle of nationality, as advanced by Pezas, has no status in the Near East at the present time, for the sentiment there is one of religion, not of nationality. Under the rule of Greece the minority in Rhodes would not be protected, for the power of the Greek government at the present is not strong enough to do so.
Following the presentation of these opposing arguments, general discussion took place among the members of the Assembly. It was then voted that the question be referred to a committee to be appointed for further discussion.
Discussion on "The International Traffic in Opium" followed. After speeches by S. T. Tyng 3L., chairman of the Committee on Investigation for the question, V. S. Phen 2G., of China, and J. E. Asirvatham gr.T.S., of India, the committee proposed the following resolutions: (1) The use of opium for any purpose other than that of a medicinal character should be prohibited.
(2) The production and sale of opium and all related drugs should be subject to strict government regulation.
(3) All nations should immediately ratify the Hague International Opium Convention of 1912.
(4) A clause should be inserted in the treaty now being negotiated between certain European powers and Turkey, to the end that Turkey should become a party to the Hague Convention.
(5) All efforts should be made through diplomatic channels to secure the ratification by Persia of the Hague Convention.
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