London (Jun. 20)
(By Our London Correspondent)
New and interesting facts regarding the conquest of Palestine during the World War, are told by Field Marshall Sir William Robertson in his book “Soldiers and Statesmen,” which will soon be published.
“Impatient to present the country with a dazzling success, the new Mr. Lloyd George’s War Cabinet had been in existence only a few days when it directed the General Staff to examine the possibility of carrying the operations into Palestine during the current winter, the capture of Jerusalem being assigned as the chief objective,” writes Sir William Robertson.
“Unlike some of the other Eastern campaigns in which British troops were employed during 1914-1918, the operations directed against the Turkish forces based on Palestine were, in their early stages, both appropriate and profitable in that they helped to secure an important link in the Imperial communications-the Suez Canal. Later they became objectionable, for they absorbed troops which should have been sent to the Western Front, where every available man was needed to assist in the great struggle then approaching its decisive phase.
“The General Staff wished, as always, to keep the operations in secondary theatres subordinate to the demands of the main fronts, while the new Prime Minister, Mr. Lloyd George had no belief in the efficacy of offensive action on those fronts, and aserted that the principal enemy could easiest be brought to his knees by attacking the allies who supported him. This fundamental difference of opinion was particularly obtrusive in the case of Palestine, and it was the more prejudicial because the situation underwent some unexpected changes which were difficult to meet effectively, and with the necessary promptitude, when Ministers were constantly pulling one way and soldiers another.
“On January 11th Murray was informed that his primary mission for the present would be the defence of Egypt. The War Cabinet decided on March 30th that Murray’s mission should now be the defeat of the enemy’s forces south of Jerusalem and the occupation of that city.
“At the end of June Murray was succeeded in the chief command by General Allenby, who was directed by the War Cabinet to report on the situation as soon as possible after arrival in the country, so that the question of policy might be reviewed afresh. Previous to leaving England he had a conversation with the Prime Minister, in which future plans were discussed, and from the account which he gave me of what was said I gathered that the Prime Minister told him to demand to the full everything that he considered requisite for the prosecution of an offensive designed to achieve the occupation of Southern Palestine up to and including Jerusalem.
“The whole problem was very different from what it had been early in the year, and while the General Staff were anxious to meet the Prime Minister’s wishes they were compelled to pronounce the offensive policy he favored impracticable.
“Matters remained more or less in this position until the last week of September, when the War Cabinet instructed me to re-examine the old project for landing a force in Ayas Bay (Alexandretta) with the object of interrupting the Turkish communications. The idea was that the requisite troops could be spared from the Western Front during the coming winter, after the close of the operations in Flanders. and could complete their task in Asia in time to be back in France for the opening of active work in the spring. Rejected as unsound in 1914 and again in 1915, the plan was still more impracticable in the autumn of 1917. The Mediterranean was then more infected with hostile submarines; Russia was rapidly falling out of the war; and the additional Turkish troops thus set free placed the enemy in a superior position for opposing us. At least six divisions would be wanted, and there were no grounds for supposing that even then anything useful could be achieved.
“There was, too, as always, the question of sea-transport, which Ministers were so apt to forget when putting forward plans involving the movement of troops. For the conveyance of six divisions something like a million tons of shipping would be necesary, and no examination was needed to show that they could not be provided. Already our allies were constantly asking for more shipping; we required more for ourselves, the depleted state of food supplies being the cause of great anxiety; while tens of thousands of American troops were unable to cross the Atlantic because no shipping was available to convey them. From the standpoint of time the project was absurd. There was not. in fact, a good word to be said for the project, and the naval and military staffs combined in condemning it in the strongest possible terms.”
The United Jewish Appeal, the joint drive being held in Newark, N. J. in the interests of the United Jewish Campaign, the United Palestine Appeal and the Conference of Jewish Charities of that city, will continue until the full quota of $600,000 is raised. The campaign was to have closed early in June but to date $100,000 has been raised. At a juncheon meeting of drive workers last week, it was decided to extend the drive. Albert Hollander heads a special committee to solicit donations
A new Jewish synagogue. to be known as Temple Israel of Hollywood. Cal., is planned. according to an announcement made following a meeting of leading Jewish citizens of Hollywood.
Mass meetings by striking garment workers were held Tuesday in a score of halls in Manhattan, the Bronx and Brooklyn. The largest meetings were held at Webster Hall, Bryant Hall, Stuyvesant Casino, Manhattan Lyceum and Clinton Ilall in Manhattan and Vienna Hall and Brownsville Labor Lyceum in Brooklyn.
The speakers included Louis Hyman. Chairman of the General Strike Committee: Salvatore Ninfo. Chairman of the Settlement Committee; Vice President Julius Hochman of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union, Luigi Antonini, leader of the Italian dress workers and several representatives of other needle trades organizations.
The designers and fashion graders. who responded to the strike call in a body for the first time, met in the Central Opera House. Yesterday’s mass meetings were addressed by President Morris Sigman of the International Union and by General Secretary Abraham Baroc.
The Merchants Ladies Garment Association, meeting at the Hotel McAlpin Tuesday night, held that inasmuch as the jobbers did not employ the union workers the strikers had no right to picket the shops of the jobbers.
The capmakers went out on strike on Tuesday morning.
Members of the Tammany organization of the Fifteenth Assembly District. New York, have put forward Maurice B. Blumenthal for the Democratic nomination for Attorney General, it was learned.
Mr. Blumenthal, who is Chairman of the Democratic County Committee of this district, was Chairman of the Tammany Hall Speakers’ Bureau for many years. He was Deputy Attorney General in charge of the New York City office from 1902 to 1904. He is a lawyer and has refused several times in the past to be a candidate for Representative in Congress.
Mr. Blumenthal lost his sight in 1908 while on a campaign speaking tour, but has continued in active practice. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the American Society of International Law and the is general counsel in the United States of the Independent Order of the Free Sons of Israel.