London (Nov. 19)
The conference between the British government and representatives of the Jewish Agency on the government’s Palestine policy adjourned today until Monday. The adjournment is not to be interpreted as a breakdown in the negotiations but is merely to give the negotiators time to consider the demands made by the Jewish Agency and the contentions of the government’s spokesmen.
In well-informed Jewish circles here no one believes that the White Paper will be completely withdrawn as a result of the conference but the Zionist tactics now are to lead the government, by means of the conference, to make the greatest possible concessions. The official stenographic report of the conversations that have been going on since Monday will not be available until next Monday.
The American non-Zionists are represented at the conference by Dr. Maurice Hexter, American member of the Palestine Executive of the Jewish Agency, who is an unofficial observer. Another quasi-official observer is Prof. Harold Laski of the London School of Economics, a confidant of the British cabinet. Professor Laski, who has never taken any interest in Zionism is playing an important role in the government’s consultation.
WARBURG KEPT INFORMED
Dr. Chaim Weizmann, the chief spokesman of the Jews at the conference, is consulting James de Rothschild, Sir Herbert Samuel and Lord Reading on every move he makes. Meanwhile the Executive of the Jewish Agency and the Zionist Executive are holding private meetings in preparation for the resumption of negotiations on Monday. The wires are being kept hot between London and New York, Dr. Weizmann and Dr. Hexter keeping Felix M. Warburg in constant touch with developments.
Meanwhile a new situation has arisen with a demand from many moderate British Zionists that the negotiations be broken off so long as Lord Passfield is one of those representing the British government at the conference. This demand came out into the open today in the form of a warning publised in the Zeit, London’s leading Yiddish paper, declaring frankly that Lord Passfield cannot conduct the negotiations because the Jewish people have no faith in him and can have no faith in any negotiations in which he plays a part.
PARLEY TO FAIL IF PASSFIELD REMAINS
The Zeit predicts that if Lord Passfield is not removed as a participant in
the conference, every endeavor for an understanding will be useless as the “best intentions will fail so long as Lord Passfield will have to put them into effect.” The paper goes further and reminds Dr. Weizmann that if he continues the negotiations with Lord Passfield he will have to answer for his action at the Zionist Congress because he is “violating the instructions of the political commission of the Jewish Agency that there can be no negotiations on the basis of the White Paper.
“If Lord Passfeld does not participate then it means that the Jewish Agency submits an outline of its demands which may or may not be touched upon in the White Paper but ignores the White Paper as such. The British government will do a greater service to itself and to its Palestine policy if it removes all Palestine questions from Lord Passfield’s activities,” the Zeit concludes.
The more extreme Zionists are of the opinion that under no circumstances should the Jewish Agency have started negotiations so long as the White Paper is not withdrawn.