Geneva (May. 15)
Eliel Loefgren, former foreign minister of Sweden; Charles Barde, a Swiss jurist, and A. Van Kempen, a former Dutch colonial official, were today announced as members of the international Wailing Wall Commission to investigate the Moslem and Jewish claims to the Wailing Wall. The names were submitted to the Council of the League of Nations by Arthur Henderson, British foreign secretary.
Pointing out that an accredited British representative would make a full statement regarding Palestine before the forthcoming session of the League of Nations Mandates Commission, Mr. Henderson said he wanted to touch on certain aspects of the situation of special interest to the members of the Council.
Regarding the evidence given before the Inquiry Commission the British Foreign Secretary said that it forms a fast bulk of about 2,000 pages and that he could not guarantee its going to the printer earlier than the middle of June, but except for that evidence taken privately, it would be published as soon as it was ready and simultaneously handed to the League for distribution to members of the Mandates Commission.
PRESERVATION OF ORDER, PRIMARY DUTY
Touching on matters arising from the Commission’s report, Mr. Henderson said that the “primary duty of the Mandatory power is similar to that of any government, the preservation of order and for this purpose the British government has increased its military forces in Palestine and now has under consideration with expert advisers the question of the garrison permanently required in the country. Pending a clear decision on this point it is not proposed to make any reduction in the present force.”
As to the police reorganization report of Inspector General Dowbiggin, Mr. Henderson said it had not yet been received in full but that certain interim recommendations for the better protection of the Jewish colonies had been adopted and carried into effect and the British section of the police, already increased by 400, will be further strengthened by 79 men who are now on their way.
Impressed with the importance of the land and immigration problems, Mr. Henderson told the Council that the British government had selected Sir John Simpson to go to Palestine in order to confer with the High Commissioner and to report on land settlement, immigration and development.
As for the presence of the Arab delegation in England “with whom discussions as to the future policy in the country had taken place,” Mr. Henderson declared “it is enough to say that the discussions place the British government in full possession of the views of leading Arabs regarding the interests and aspirations of the Arab community. The British government is now engaged in an examination of the problem and is devising means within the framework of the Mandate of satisfying the legitimate aspirations and removing any aspirations which may still be entertained.”
The importance of Mr. Henderson’s declaration as throwing light on the Palestine situation was pointed out by H. J. Procope, Finnish member of the Council, who expressed confidence that the Mandatory would execute the Mandate justly. He expressed the hope that the British government would soon submit to the Mandates commission all the material in connection with the future policy in Palestine so that the Council would be able to consider the future policy in Palestine thoroughly after the Mandates Commission had submitted its recommendations.
Mr. Procope moved that Henderson’s declaration be accepted and it was adopted with only the Persian, Khan Ala, abstaining from voting but he expressed his confidence in the sense of justice of the Mandatory and attached importance to the fact that the just aspirations of the Moslems would be seriously considered.