Menu JTA Search

Lord Passfield Reassures Jewish Delegation National Home Policy Will Not Be Renounced; Admits Police

SIGN UP FOR THE JTA DAILY BRIEFING

The British Colonial Office issued the following statement late Thursday evening:

The Secretary of State for the Colonies received this afternoon a deputation consisting of representatives of the Administrative Council of the Jewish Agency and the General Council of the Zionist Organization. The deputation included O. E. D’Avigdor Goldsmid, Dr. Selig Brodetsky, Miss Nettie Adler, Meyer Dizengoff, M. M. Ussishkin, H. Farbstein, Dr. Leo Motzkin, Dr. Chaim Soloweitchik, Gedaliah Bublick and Mr. Ochberg of South Africa.

Messrs, Goldsmid, Brodetsky and Dizengoff spoke in behalf of the deputation and expressed appreciation for the promptitude with which the government acted during the recent crisis. They pointed out, however, that a feeling of anxiety has been engendered by the fact that after eight years of peace it was possible for such an outbreak to gather head at all. As representing a large number of Jews who are directly connected, both by immigration into Palestine and investment of capital there, they were anxious to obtain assurance from the government that the state of security will be maintained in the future, which would justify them in advising their friends to continue and increase their work in assisting the Jewish National Home in Palestine.

The Mayor of Tel Aviv, speaking with thirty-five years of experience of Palestine, laid emphasis on the excellent relations in normal times between the Jews and Arabs of Palestine and expressed his confidence that these relations will be restored in due course.

Lord Passfield said there could be no question of the British government giving up the Palestine Mandate or departing from the policy embodied in the Balfour Declaration of facilitating the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people. He expressed appreciation for the practical achievements of the Jews in Palestine, which are regarded as beneficial not only to themselves but also to the Arab inhabitants of the country. He certainly hoped these activities would continue, but felt bound to point out that the development must depend upon the power of absorption of the country. He appreciated the point about security. It was obvious that no government in any country could give an absolute pledge that tranquility would never be disturbed, but they might rest as sured that the British government is earnest about the maintenance of order in Palestine and would do all they could to prevent further disturbances. He realized that alterations in the public security arrangements would be necessary. This applied particularly to the police force which already has been strengthened by the appointment of a hundred British constables recruited in England who had actually started for Palestine in the last few days. A hundred more were being enlisted and would go out as soon as possible.

He referred to the question of the troops which were drafted into Palestine to deal with the disturbances. He could give no positive information with regard to their future movements, but could undertake that their departure would take place only as and when it was considered they could safely be withdrawn.

In reply to a question Lord Passfield said he could not undertake that the sittings of the Commission of Inquiry in Palestine would be public in the sense that the press and public would always be present. It must be for the Commission itself to decide upon its procedure. But he had no doubt that the proceedings would be “quite open” in the sense that both sides would be represented.

Lord Passfield further expressed appreciation of what the Mayor of Tel Aviv had said about the relations of the Jews and Arabs in Palestine. He hoped such relations would soon be reestablished as the future of Palestine depended upon their living side by side in peace and friendliness.

NEXT STORY