London (Nov. 14)
The consideration of a plan proposing the creation of an economic board for working out a scheme for the utilization of the resources of all existing Jewish operative economic institutions in Palestine was urged upon the emergency meeting of the Jewish Agency’s Political Commission by Dr. Maurice Hexter, American member of the Palestine Executive of the Jewish Agency, according to a report of the Committee’s deliberations made public here today.
In addition to the members of the Political Commission members of the Jewish Agency Executive, of the Zionist Actions Committee, James De Rothschild and Major Nathan participated in the deliberations. Dr. Chaim Weizmann, who resigned as President of the Jewish Agency and the World Zionist Organization in protest against the White Paper, declared that the grant of 1,500 certificates for Jewish immigrants under the Labor schedule meant nothing so long as the White Paper policy stood and that it was necessary to make it clear to the British government that the Jewish Agency regarded them as merely a sop. Dr. Weizmann informed the Political Commission that in his private capacity he had interviewed Premier MacDonald and made it clear that the Jewish Agency would enter into no negotiations on the basis of the White Paper. He also said that the Agency’s reply to the White Paper and the Simpson Report would soon be ready for submission to the Mandates Commission through the British government.
Dr. Bernard Kahn, explaining the attitude of American members of the Agency, opinioned that there was danger in hasty negotiations which should therefore be delayed with a view to discussing very carefully the whole question of the Mandate and the Palestine policy. Pointing out that proper cooperation with the non-Zionists should be secured, Dr. Kahn said the American leaders did not believe that the full effect of Dr.
Weizmann’s resignation had been achieved, which did not mean however a lack of confidence in Dr. Weizmann. The Americans, he said, felt that Dr. Weizmann’s resignation should stand and that an international provisional committee should direct affairs until the council of the Jewish Agency met for the election of a new Executive.
In addition to suggesting an economic board, Dr. Hexter urged cooperation with the government as the only policy for the Executive because he said it must not lose the support of liberal opinion upon which in the final analysis the Jewish rights in Palestine depended. He therefore proposed that the Political Commission adopt a resolution declaring that it was prepared to discuss the creation of legislative apparatus provided the government would make it unmistakably clear that it would carry out a constructive program.
Chaim Arlosoroff of Palestine pointed out that the government’s proposed development policy might be nothing but camouflage but that practical matters existed which must be discussed with the government such as the Jewish share in the development policy, whether Transjordania would be included in its scope, the machinery for development, and the relation of Arab unemployment to Jewish immigration. While Sir John Simpson proposed a development board, the government merely wanted a development department which is a fundamental deviation, Arlosoroff said.
BRITAIN PREPARED TO RECONSIDER PLAN
James DeRothschild voiced the opinion that the British government was prepared to reconsider the White Paper, and if negotiations continue they should be outside the framework of the White Paper as all parties now favor Zionism and the Zionists must not lose sympathy. In view of the tone of the White Paper the Jewish Agency should support the Jewish community in Palestine and hold aloof until the government was prepared to set up a legislative council with which the Agency could agree and in which Jews could participate, Rothschild stated.
Col. Frederick Kisch, chairman of the Palestine Zionist Executive, stated that it had been his experience that the great majority of British officials in Palestine were opposed to the Jews although not all of them could be described as anti-Semites. The White Paper, Col. Kisch declared, prejudices the prospect of arriving at better relations with the Arabs. The situation has been improving in recent months but greater care is needed now to prevent new violence, he said.
Mr. d’Avigdor Goldsmid pointed out that it was necessary to make it clear to the British government that Palestine should have its own civil service and not utilize officials drawn from other eastern countries. He urged the united front between Zionists and non-Zionists with united support for Dr. Weizmann.