London (Sep. 6)
The London press receives with favor the appointment of a Commission of Inquiry into the Palestine events, headed by Sir Walter Shaw. Shaw is generally described as highly experienced and a man of impartial viewpoint.
The “Times,” commenting editorially, sees in the appointment of the Commission evidence that the worst part of the outbreak is over. It will be able to work under favorable conditions, undisturbed by tumults and repression. The entire failure of the political and religious leaders of the Arabs to check the initial disturbances and to condemn the crimes committed in Hebron against Jews who were unconnected with Zionism, and against American students of the Yeshiva, has aroused suspicion which cannot be allayed by Arab propaganda.
The Arab accusation that British troops committed the massacres, and their attempt to minimize the Hebron atrocities, suggests that the Arabs may soon assure us that the Jews slaughtered each other, the paper continues. Similarly unreasonable are their assumptions that the scales of British justice are weighted against the Arabs. Perhaps the appointment of the Shaw commission and the publication of the declaration which accompanied it, will be taken to heart in Palestine, since it makes clear no intention of modification of the policy laid down by the Balfour Declaration for the establishment of a Jewish National Home.
The reference of Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald in Geneva, it proceeds, makes it equally clear that the British Government will not be deterred from the fulfillment of its international pledges by the violence of political offenders.
It is possible, the editorial states, that our methods of administration may eventually be modified within the terms of the Mandate and the Balfour Declaration, but this issue has still not arisen and may not arise.
The “Telegraph” writes that it thinks the statement of the Colonial Office regarding the appointment of the Shaw Commission of Inquiry requires further elucidation. It supposes that the Commission will also inquire into the reasons for the unpreparedness in dealing with the outbreaks which, it states, was perhaps a contributory cause.
In the meantime, it says, the world is more interested in “our inability to cope with the situation than in the existence of ill feeling between the Jews and the Arabs.” Although the Colonial office statement excludes consideration of major policy, the “Telegraph” believes that no alteration of policy is contemplated. It may make necessary the extension of the Commission’s inquiries, certainly to face the Wailing Wall problem and mollify at least that dangerous irritant, it points out. Shaw, the paper adds, is not widely known, but has had varied experience in different parts of the Empire, and an acquaintance with Eastern mentality and Eastern law which will stand him in good stead.
The “Post” regards Sir Walter Shaw as an appointment to which no exception can be taken, but is disappointed that the Government is not reconsidering its Palestine policy.
The “Chronicle,” gratified with the selection of Shaw, declares that the inquiry is going along in the right direction. The Commission, it states, must discover how arms suddenly appeared in the hands of the Arabs who conducted the massacres. This fact points to an organized movement, it says. It is gratified that no change in the policy of the Balfour Declaration is contemplated. It concludes with the hope tha the malcontents in Palestine, “who are too often duped into false hopes by irresponsible utterances in this country, may learn that Britain has set her hand to the plow and will not look back.”