Geneva (Oct. 27)
A second extraordinary session of the Mandates Commission within a year to deal with the problem of Palestine in view of the situation that has arisen from the British government’s new statement of policy is seen as a distinct possibility in well-informed League of Nations circles in view of the fact that the agenda, as made public today, of the forthcoming session of the Mandates Commission opening November 4 contains no reference to Palestine.
There is a possibility that some member of the Mandates Commission may raise the question of Britain’s new Palestine policy at the next session of the Commission since the Passfield White Paper is considered here to be contradictory to the promises made to the League of Nations by Arthur Henderson, British foreign secretary, and also to the conclusions of the Mandates Commission itself at its extraordinary session on Palestine last June.
The secretariat of the League of Nations believes, however, that since Mr. Henderson promised to bring up the question of Palestine at the January session of the Council of the League, the Commission will await the decision of the Council which will perhaps find it necessary to call another extraordinary session of the Mandates Commission. In the event that the Palestine problem is not dealt with at the January session and an extraordinary session is not convened the Mandates Commission would be unable to tackle it until its session next June.
Meanwhile League circles are rather puzzled over the British government’s Palestine policy which has been a complete surprise to Geneva which is of the opinion that it contravenes the Mandate. William Martin, editor of the Journal de Geneva, today wrote that anyone who supposes that Dr. Chaim Weizmann’s resignation is an event which does not imply any consequences will soon be proven wrong.
M. Martin draws attention to the fact that while Dr. Weizmann was the champion of cooperation with the British government, he always met with the opposition of the Zionist Revisionists whose attitude will now make itself felt. Asking “what has happened to British empiricism,” M. Martin points out that everything went well in Palestine while Lord Plumer was High Commissioner because he “as an old general knew what he wanted.”
M. Martin severely criticizes the Passfield White Paper as a statement which is “a complete negation of the Balfour Declaration as one can hardly suppose that all that Declaration meant was that the Jews would be treated in Palestine merely as they are treated in other countries.”