London (Oct. 31)
With the understanding current today that the British government were preparing a statement that would be somewhat in the nature of a retreat from the White Paper pronouncements on Palestine, pro-Jewish leaders in Parliament strained very effort to align their forces for the Palestine debate in Parliament. A full day debate has been definitely fixed for the second week in November, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency learned today.
Participation in the debate by a
large number of members sympathetic to the Jewish cause is expected. While the sympathy of a majority of the house seems to be with the Zionist aims and with the strong attitude adopted by Chaim Weizmann, the Arab strength cannot be disregarded, as the pro-Arab committee is extremely active in preparing for the debate.
Pro-Zionist members of the Labor party are doing their utmost to avoid voting on the Palestine question, but the suggestion is already prevalent that if they must vote, the vote against the White Paper will have to be accepted. The government will not regard this defeat as an adequate reason for resignation of the cabinet, it is felt, though the government is doing its utmost to ease the situation. The preparation of a “retreat” paper is said to be one of the precautionary measures.
A deputation of the Labor executive composed of Labor members of Parliament visited Lord Passfield yesterday and raised a vigorous objection to the White Paper. The delegation included Marion Philips, woman Labor leader, Joseph M. Kenworthy, Morris Hopkins, and Col. Malone.
The English press is taking a more favorable view toward Zionism than it did last week, though regretting the “hot-headedness” evidenced in the expression of some of the European and American Zionist leaders. The leading papers, however, seem to appreciate that the government dealt unfairly with the Zionist movement. The Nation even suggests that the replies of Premier MacDonald and Lord Parmoor to questions on Palestine in the opening sessions of Parliament were maladroitly stated and that the government is likely to pay dearly for their blunder.