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LEAGUE CHALLENGED.

     

ITALO-GREEK CONFLICT.

Mussolini Still Obdurate.

GENEVA, Sept. 4.

The Council of the League of Nations has adjourned further examination of the Italo-Greek conflict until to-morrow, at the       request of Signor Salandra (the Italian dele- gate), pending the return of Signor Giuriati (Italian Minister), who is ex- pected to-day from Rome with fresh in-    

structions    

The Assembly of the League of Nations has elected M. Motta (Switzerland) as chair-   man of the committee of legal questions, instead of Signor Scialoja (Italy), who was chairman last year. This is regarded as a demonstration against Signor Mussolini's attitude in the present conflict. The six vice presidents elected include Lord Robert   Cecil (Britain), Viscount Ishii (Japan), and M. Hanotaux (France). Lord Robert   Cecil received 42 out of 44 votes

fchgnor Salandia (Italy) has issued a state-   ment contending that the military governor of Corfu was responsible for the deaths of innocent victims, because the casualties oc- curred within a fortress where troops were reported to be billeted, and the governor had declared that he would resist a landing force, and had been warned that fire would be directed against military objectives.  

Lord Robert Cecil's insistence on the   Greek delegate (M. Politis) being heard led to Italian protests. M. Politis was finally allowed to submit written proposals namely, that the council should appoint one or more neutral representatives to   superintend a judicial inquiry and the trial of accused, and to assist a commission of in- quiry; also that the council should instruct a commission, composed of one Greek, one Italian and neutral judicial authorities, to meet, as soon as possible at Geneva, with the object of deciding the indemnities to be paid to tho families of the victims. The Greek Government, it was proposed, should   deposit forthwith in the Swiss bank 50 mil- lion Italian lire as a guarantee for the immediate payment of whatever indemni-

tie were fixed. The feeling in League circles is much easier in consequence of M. Politis's proposals.  

"An Incompetent Judge."'

ROME, Sept. 4.

In an address to the Cabinet the Prime Minister (Signor Mussolini) claimed that public opinion in Europe was becoming more favourable towards the action taken by Italy relative to Greece. Public opinion in Italy had been deeply grieved and sur- prised by the standpoint of a large por- tion of the British press.

" I hope that this sharp lesson of political realism", continued Signor Mussolini, "will permanently cure the Italians of the disease of conventional phrases." Signor Musso-     lini went on to declare that it was abso- lutely inadmissible for the council of the League of Nations to assume tho task of deciding the question. The Italian dele-   gallon would maintain that the council was   an absolutely incompetent judge of the question which went beyond the clauses     invoked by Greece. Should the council, notwithstanding declare its competence, he had already decided in favour of Italy leav- ing the league.

The Cabinet unconditionally approved of   Signor Mussolini s attitude.

League's Responsibility.

ATHENS, Sept. 4.

The Greek Minister for Foreign Affairs   (M. Alexandris) in an interview with the Australian Press Association, states that he   insisted upon the competence of the League of Nations which was morally responsible   for the protection of the territory of its members. "We are," he continued, "con- vinced that Italy, after the first flush of emotion, will recognise in calmer moments that Greece acted in good faith and spirit and conciliation and in a desire to give complete satisfaction. When this is realised   Italy will end the occupation of Greek islands, which cannot be justified by argu- ment or right. Aftee the burial of the victims resulting from the bombardment of Corfu, demonstrators unsuccessfully at-   tempted to take the Italian Legation by  

storm."

A Reuter message states that the Greek Government has offered a reward of 1,000,000 drachmas for information which will lead to tho arrest of the Janina mur- derers. It is stated that three shepherds have been arrested. One witnessed tho murder, and the others saw six suspects crossing the Albanian frontier.

The New Frontier.

LONDON, Sept 4

The Rome correspondent of the "Daily     Express"' states that the Jugo-Slavia dele-     gates on the Albanian Frontier Commission bus sent an urgent message to the head of   the French Mission, urging him to remove the posts marking the new firntier, as   the population does not intend to give up the territory allotted to Albania and Jugo- Slavia, and the Government feels powerless   to ensure the safety of the lives of the French Mission.

Reports from Albania say that there are greatactivities on the part of the Greek       soldiers.

PRESS COMMENTS.

Divided Opinions.

( Australian Press Atcociatlon )

LONDON, Sept. 5.

While the Prime Minister of Greece (Colonel Gonatas), in an interview with the the Athens correspondent of the "Daily Express," reiterates that the League of Nations must decide the dispute with Italy, the Italian Primo Minister (Signor Musso-   lini), in an interview with "II Messagero,"

says emphasis on the announcement of the Cabinet meeting by intimating that the amout of the indemnity will be increased next week if Greece does not pay.

"II Messagero" adds - Signor Musso- lini has decided not to tolerate any ob- structionist or temporising maneuvres by Greece in collaboration with her protec-

tors ."

Commenting on the latest phase of the situation the diplomatic correspondent of the "Daily Chronicle" says: -"The view is   firmly held in British circles that the League of Nations must adjudicate upon the Greco-Italian conflict and upon the   question of a member withdrawing from the league in anger. If Italy does so, the present framers of the Treaty of Ver- sallies will regard it as a breach of the

covenant"

The "Daily Chronicle," in a leading article, states :- "All the nations of the world arc vitally interested in the attitude     of the League of Nations, which, challenged at its foundations, must take up the chal-

lenge or abdicate If this be not done it will be due to failure of co-operation     between France and Britain. Divided as they are, each is under temptation to betray the league in order to buy Italy's   support. If the worst comes to the worst, let Britain keep her hands clean. No breath of disloyalty to the league must rest on her name."

The Paris correspondent of the "Daily     telegraph" says: - "England has chosen the league as the arbiter. France favours the Council of Ambassadors. It is re- called here that the league submitted the Vilna question and the frontier dispute be- tween Jugoslavia and Albania to the Council of Ambassadors winch was em-

powered to act as arbiter. If this has been done now the league's authority will be   safeguarded.

Opposition from France.

Other messages from Paris say that the Greek reply to the Note from the Am-   bassadors' conference has been received and will be considered on Wednesday. 'The French official opinion is still opposed to the League of Nations arbitrating in the dispute as the conference of Ambassadors is deal-

ling with the matter, but it is doubtful if France will go so far as to support Italy   against the league if Italy refuses to accept   the Leagues arbitration.

"Le Temps" is leading a campaign   against the league, declaring, "Those now wanting the league's intervention are those who would not have tolerated it during the Greek offensive in 1921. If the league can- not be impartial, how can France mit on

it!'"

The "Journal des Debats," however, sup- ports the league.  

A message from Geneva states that the     Norwegian, Swedish, and Little Entente    

delegues have intimated their intention

of withdrawing from the league unless it deals with the dispute.  

The "Exchange Agency" telegraphs from Geneva that the Greek proposals will be submitted to-night, and, generally, will be favourably received. It is now believed that unless Italy tomorrow refuses to dis- cuss tho matter a way out of the crisis can easily be found. The method to be pur- sued will consist of accepting the Greek proposals as a basis for the discussion, and then refer them first to the Ambassadors' Conference for immediate report on the ground that that body took the first step after the murders were committed. It is expected that the ambassadors will be able to report within a week, leaving the league council to take a final decision, which would not lessen the league's authority. Italy holds the key of the situation. If she accepts a decision to-morrow the inci- dent will be easily arranged. If she re- fuses to abide by the covenant she will

find a majority present at the assembly, ready to compel the council to act or wreck  

the league.

"On Precipice of War."

The "Daily Express," in a remarkable leading article, says:-"The League of Nations is entering a most dangerous course for its members and the peace of the world. If Italy is declared a defaulting member, what will happen? Firstly, there

will be strained relations between the judges and the unsuccessful litigant. Then

will follow the application of a moral and economic boycott. This in turn spells war between Italy and the principal members of the league. In applying the sanctions,

Britain and France, as the great Powers on the spot, will be compelled to app|y

the sanctions and do most of the fight- ing. It is a perfect scandal that there   should be a British representative at Geneva who is taking, part in setting our feet on the slippery slope of the precipice

of another war. Any British Government

following Lord Robert Cecil's lead in this matter will fall as surely as the adven- turers of Chanak. As the "Daily Express" anticipated, the league has ceased to be a pretty toy, and has become an active menace and mischief, and must be stopped, or Britain will be involved in some whole- sale Mediterranean blaze."

Mr. J. A. Spender, editor of the "West- minster Gazette," say»:-"Signor Musso- lini and his jingo competitors, having squelched d'Annunzio, could not long have kept his prestige unless he could do in the least as well as that romantic hero of Fiume. The business was acute when the Janina murders occurred. It was re- cently predicted that Signor Mussolini was seeking a pretext to annex Fiume, despite, the Treaty of Versailles, but, thanks to the murders of the Greek territory, he found an oportunity of seizing Corfu, which ¡s even more coveted by Italy than Flume, because it would enable her to close the

Adriatic. "    

BOMBARDMENT OF CORFU.

Defenceless Town.

"Harsh and Discreditable."  

LONDON, Sept. 4.   Router's special correspondent at Corfu, who was an eye-witness of the bombard- ment before the landing of the Italians,

in a vivid account says:-The Italian squad-, ron, in battle formation, arrived at 3 o' clock in the afternoon, and was preceded, by a dirigible, which flow over the eastern part of the island. Three blank shots were fired from a destroyer at 5 o'clock, and the bombardment began six minutes later. It was directed at an old fort on the right of the town, and the civil police school on the left of the town. The British vice consul, and Mr. Graves (the American Near-East relief official) rowed to the Italian flagship, and told Admiral Solari that the firing was absolutely unnecessary,

as the town was undefended. Mr. Graves protested against receiving only a quarter of an hour's warning of the bombardment, also against the bombardment of the cita- del, which was full of refugees, who were receiving American relief. An official pro- tested against the bombardment of the police school, which imperilled 1,150 orphans in his care, and in the vicinity of the shool. Admiral Solari replied that the fire was directed at the fort behind the school. The correspondent says, "The sight of dying refugees, mostly children, with dreadful wounds, was heartrending. Eight thousand troops were landed."

"More Callous Than Scarborough." Tho Athens correspondent of the "Daily Telegraph," who has interviewed British and American eye-witnesses, states that the bombardment of Corfu was a plain tale

of something more callous than the Scar- borough and Hartlepool affairs of the Ger- mans in the Great War. There the Ger-

mans did run the risk of being caught. Here, it was simply pointblank shooting at an absolutely defenceless town, without tho slightest danger of interference from the sea. Dr. Kennedy, who is connected with the children's fund, told the corre- spondent:-"The action was ill-considered, harsh, and discreditable. There was no excuse for it. A single destroyer could have seized the place without firing a shot on Friday afternoon. After a dirigible bad flown backwards and forwards over the, town, a destroyer conveying Captain Fos-' chini, chief of the naval staff, entered the harbour. Captain Foschini uncerimoni- ously presented the prefect with the

ultimatum, stating that the occupation1 would take place 30 minutes later, so that the foreign consuls could have time to warn their nationals to get into a place of safety. Captain Foschini refused the prefect's re- quest that he might communicate with Athens. The prefect then pointed out that, force was unnecessary, as there was only, a signal gun at the fort, which was occu-, pied by 6,000 refugees, and the admiral had only to proceed to occupy it. Most of the residents were indulging in their afternoon siesta. Fire opened within seven minutes of the British Consul's receipt of, the warn- ing. Five or six inch high explosive sheIIs, were used. One shell dropped in the grounds of Prince Andrew's palace over two miles distant. Officials in charge of the "Save the Children" fund were at the moment feeding 2,500 Children from the Hazelmere soup kitchen. The panic which ensued can be imagined. The whole of the population and the refugees made for the open country. At night the populace re-   turned, but the refugees could not be per-

suaded to enter the dreadful fort again. While the panic-stricken multitude fled, airmen swooped over and around them, adding terror.    

Dr. Kennedy added that he had examined, a number of bodies, and he certified that the wounds were caused by shellfire. He, with assistants, tended to 32 wounded. There was no attempt to land troops until

the firing ceased. Thus, no attempt was made to see if resistance would be offered.

The quarters of Mr. Sloman the British officer in charge of the police training school, were looted by Italian soldiers. The Australian Press Association understands, that Mr. Sloman is a brother of a former head master of the Sydney Grammar School.    

Who Were Murderers?   Neutrals to Act on Tribunal

GENEVA, Sept. 4.  

The Greek Cabinet has agreed that the

council of the League of Nations shall nominate neutrals to participate upon the tribunal which is inquiring into the murder

of General Tellini and his companions. It has also been agreed by Greece that the indemnity to be paid to the families should be fixed by a commission, composed of Italians and Greeks, with a neutral magis- trate. Greece in the meanwhile íb deposit-

ing 50,000,000 lire in the Swiss Bank.    

Dollar Exchange Lower.

NEW YORK, Sept. 4.

The pound sterling is quoted at 4.52 dollars to the pound, the lowest rate reached this year.    

Mark at 70,000,000 to £1.  

LONDON, Sept. 4.

The German mark slumped to 63,000,000 to the £1 sterling, but later the quotation declined to 70,000,000 marks to the £ 1.  

W.A. PARLIAMENT.  

Reduced Gold-fields Representations

PERTH, Wednesday.-In the House of Assembly the debate was continued on the

Redistribution of Scats Bill. This increases the number of metropolitan seats from 12 to 15, and the agricultural seats from 21 to 23, while the goldfields seats are to be reduced from 13 to eight.  

The measure was vigorously attacked by the leader of the Opposition (Mr. Collier) and other Labour members, while several supporters of the Ministry were also critical.

The Opposition divided the House on the motion for the adjournment, but was

defeated by 23 votes to 12.    

             

Orchard Economy.-

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