London (Nov. 19)
The conference between the British government and the Jewish Agency leaders got down to business by starting with practical negotiations on the Jewish demands regarding the present British policy in Palestine. Lord Passfield, Colonial Secretary, Arthur Henderson, Foreign Secretary and Albert Alexander, First Lord of Admiralty, representing the government, listened to a long address by Dr. Chaim Weizmann.
Behind closed doors, Dr. Weizmann outlined the present Jewish viewpoint and what the Jews think they are entitled to get today from Great Britain. The government members, particularly Henderson, were especially attentive to Dr. Weizmann’s presentation, and they expressed readiness for immediate point by point negotiations. Today’s session lasted almost all day and will be continued tomorrow. Meanwhile Dr. Weizmann, Harry Sacher and Prof. Selig Brodetsky will report tonight at a closed meeting of the Zionist Executive on the results of today’s negotiations and also on the government’s proposal.
OPTIMISTIC FEELING PREVAILS
While the details of Dr. Weizmann’s representations to the government will not be made public until a full agreement has been reached, nevertheless an optimistic feeling prevails that a large part of his demands will be considered more favorable now after last night’s historic and impressive pro-Jewish demonstration in the House of Commons.
The opening meeting of the conference held yesterday before the debate in Parliament was entirely devoted to matters of procedure since the Jewish Agency was not desirous of beginning the actual negotiations until the government had tested Parliament out on the Palestine question and until Premier MacDonald had declared from the floor of the House of Commons how the British government intended to modify the White Paper.
On the other hand the government representatives were interested in hearing yesterday from the Jewish Agency concrete proposals, thus making it possible to report during the debate that negotiations with the Jews were already under way.