Washington, D. C (Aug. 26)
Secretary of State Stimson at a conference with the press today, stated that he, on behalf of the American Government this morning cabled instructions to Ambassador Dawes in London requesting him to orally express to the British Government the earnest hope of the American Government that immediate and comprehensive steps may be taken for the restoration of order and the protection of lives and property of American citizens in Palestine. Secretary Stimson explained that this was a very extraordinary step as it is unusual to make such a request direct to a foreign government, this being usually addressed by the American Consular representative to the local authority and the action of communicating with the British Government through Ambassador Dawes is intended to impress that Government with the concern felt by the United States over the situation in Palestine especially the killing of 12 American citizens, students at the Slobodka Yeshiva at Hebron, the Kenesseth Israel Yeshiva.
Confirmation of the killing of the 12 American Jewish students, all citizens of the United States was received from Consul Knabenshue today. The names of these victims was not indicated but a further report giving these names is expected from the American Consul in Jerusalem momentarily and Secretary Stimson stated that these names will be made public as soon as they are received by the state department.
Secretary Stimson declared that from reports received by the state department the situation in Palestine is very serious.
Referring to Talpioth a suburb of Jerusalem, where several American families have been residing, Secretary Stimson said that better news was reported regarding the situation there. The population having evacuated Talpioth without casualties although afterwards it was looted by the Moslems.
Secretary Stimson also announced that the State Department had received satisfactory news this morning as to the action of the British troops. They have arrived by airplane and train from Egypt and Consul Knabenshue telegraphed this was expected to improve the situation in Jerusalem. The Secretary, asked for the number of the troops, replied that it was a fair number for police purposes and that they all came from Egypt.
Secretary Stimson further declared that the American Consul had reported that he requested the Government authorities in Palestine to take all necessary steps for the protection of American lives and properties and that the State Department telegraphed him to make further and more emphatic requests. The Consul Knabenshue reported to the State Department that an attack has been made on Tel Aviv by Moslems from Jaffa, and that a British war vessel was expected to arrive today.
It was indicated by the State Department that reports received in Palestine tended to show that the present conflict arising out of the Wailing Wall controversy was not only religious but racial as well and that this kind of a religious and racial clash always creates a serious situation.
Secretary Stimson, asked whether the American government intends to send a warship to Palestine in response to the request of American Jewish citizens there, replied that Palestine is under the British Mandate and that consequently the propriety of such a step is not apparent.
Allusion was also made to the unfavorable reaction in the United States when a British warship was sent to Nicaragua during the trouble in that country.
Asked whether a reply had been sent to Congressman Celler’s protest, the secretary stated that what he had already said covered the present attitude of the State Deparment with reference to the situation in Palestine, and indicated that he did not care to comment on Celler’s communication. He was also asked whether the American citizens who were killed were responsible for the trouble, to which the secretary replied that the only report received is that they are dead, and he also indicated in response to a question that it was not yet officially known which side was responsible for provoking the trouble.
CONGRESSMAN CELLER SENDS TELEGRAM
The following telegram was sent to Secretary of State Stimson by Congressman Emanuel Celler:
“The New York press carries dispatches that the general attitude of the State Department is that the British authorities have taken adequate measures of protection for the Palestine Jews and that the Department is loath to intervene, since no American interests are involved.
“The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports at 3 P. M. today (Sunday) that fighting has extended to the vicinity of Hebron where 45 Jewish students, some of them American citizens, studying at the school or Yeshiva supported by Americans, have been killed; furthermore that the British authorities have been unable to stop the Arab excesses, because fighting is now in progress in Beisan, near Haifa, and in Tel Aviv, on the seacoast, where thirteen Jews have been killed and hundreds wounded. American interests are large in Tel Aviv.
“The State Department cannot view (Continued on Page 7)
“American Jewry, which has been pouring millions of dollars into Palestine upon the British assurance of Jewish protection are deeply shocked and demand action. The whole Palestine movement hangs in the balance. Inaction of the State Department may be unforgivable. At least some definite statement of policy must be forthcoming. Please let me hear from you.”
The annual convention of the Middle Atlantic States Federation of Young Men’s and Young Women’s Hebrew Associations will be held in Baltimore September 1 and 2, according to an announcement by Burnett Simon, president of the Y. M. H. A., Washington, D. C.
The sessions of the convention will be held at the Baltimore Y. M. H. A. and at the Southern Hotel.
Eight more Jews were buried in Jerusalem Sunday night in the cemetery on the Mount of Olives including Sergeant Norka of the Jerusalem police force and Demantstein.
Chief Rabbi A. J. Kook visited the English Oxford student, Wenny, who is lying wounded at the Hadassah hospital. The Chief Rabbi blessed the patient.
The Polish Consul General at Jerusalem, Zbyszewski, called at the Hadassah hospital to express his sympathy.