Macdonald Personally Handling British Palestine Policy

The initiative to dealing with the government’s Palestine policy has been wrested from Lord Passfield, Colonial Secretary, and Premier MacDonald is now dealing with the matter personally, the parliamentary correspondent of the Jewish Chronicle says. Ministerial circles are reported to be admittedly worried over the denunciation of the White Paper on strictly legal grounds by so eminent a legal authority as Sir John Simon. A number of cabinet members who find no comfort in Lord Passfield’s attempts to “interpret” away the passages in the White Paper that have offended the Jews are really alarmed. It is felt that unless the terms of the White Paper are substantially changed the government’s position will be badly shaken as a result of the forthcoming bye-election in Whitechapel, a Jewish constituency, in which the government’s Palestine policy will be the chief issue.

The Jewish Chronicle’s correspondent asserts that the worried ministers prefer a considerable climbing down in the Palestine policy rather than the loss of a seat which would do the Labor government no good. The correspondent also learns that in framing the much-criticized White Paper the views of Dr. Drummond Shiels, under-secretary for the Colonies who returned from a brief visit to Palestine just after the new policy was announced, had been entirely ignored. It is expected that Lord Passfield will be sharply criticized in the forthcoming parliamentary debate on Palestine for having rushed the White Paper out for publication before the return of Dr. Shiels.

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