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Leading International Socialists Protest Against Labour Government’s Palestine White Paper: Will Mem

A resolution of protest against the Palestine White Paper issued by the British Labour government has been drawn up by the Bureau of the International Socialist and Labour Committee for a Labour Palestine, which was formed in 1928 in connection with the Socialist and Labour International, following its meeting which has just been held here under the chairmanship of M. Emile Vandervelde, the Chairman of the Socialist and Labour International, after his return from his tour of the last four months in Russia and China.

The resolution will be submitted for signature to all leading members of the Socialist and Labour International, probably including the British Socialist and Labour leaders, some of whom, like Mr. Henderson, the Foreign Secretary, are closely associated with there work of the Socialist and Labour International. Among those who have already signed the protest are M. Emile Vandervelde, the Chairman of the Socialist and Labour International; the German members of the Committee, Herr Eduard Bernstein, Herr Paul Loebe, President of the Reichstag, and Dr. Oscar Cohn; the French members of the Committee, Deputy Leon Blum, M. Jean Longuet, the grandson of Karl Marx, and M. Piorre Renaudel; the Belgian members, Senator Louis de Brouckere, M. Louis Pierard, and M. Leon Trechet; the veteran Italian Socialist, Signor Philippe Turati, and the President of the Czecho-Slovakian Senate, M. Franz Soukup.

The Socialist Committee for a Labour Palestine, the resolution says, places it on record that the White Paper, both in spirit and in the letter, by means of the measures contemplated and the restrictions upon Jewish immigration and Jewish colonisation in Palestine imposes almost insuperable obstacles in the way of the development of this work. The Committee notes with satisfaction that the British Government intends to work out a programme in agreement with the Jewish Agency which will be in accord with the terms of the Palestine Mandate and the lines laid down by the league of Nations Mandates Commission, and the resolution of the British Labour Party itself. This resolution, which was adopted at the British Labour Party Conference of October 1930, pledges the British Labour Government to endeavour by all the means within its power to carry through the policy of the Mandate, that is to say, to develop all the economic opportunities, in the country entrusted to it under the Mandate and to promote Jewish immigration and colonisation there insofar as the absorptive capacity of the country permits.

The Committee wishes to draw particular attention to Articles 2 and 6 of the Palestine Mandate, which make clear the policy intended to be pursued by the Mandatory is placing the country under such political, administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish National Home, as laid down in the preamble, and the development of self-governing institutions, and also safeguarding the civil and religicus rights of all the inhabitants of Palestine, irrespective of race and religion, and while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced, to facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions, and encourages in co-operation with the Jewish Agency close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.

The task entrusted by the League of Nations to the Mandatory Power is to assist actively, and with all the means within its power in promoting a large and intensive immigration and Jewish colonisation movement aiming at the effecting of the Jewish Homeland as speedily as possible, while at the same time helping the Arab population and raising their economic, political and cultural level. The work done by the Jewish organisations should in no way harm the Arab interests, but on the contrary, all inhabitants of the country should derive benefit from its development. The Committee places it on record with satisfaction that the Jewish upbuilding work in Palestine is proceeding peacefully, without prejudice to other groups of the population living in the country. If mistakes have been committed, they are such as can be easily rectified, since it is the determined will of the Jewish population in Palestine, in spite of what has occurred, to continue a policy of understanding and collaboration with the Arab people.

The Committee is of the opinion that the terms of the Mandate providing for the creation of the Jewish Homeland can be realised in the following way: (a) immigration and settlement of Jews on a wide basis; (b) allocating all unoccupied and uncultivated land on both sides of the Jordan for Jewish and Arab settlement, taking into account Article 11 of the Mandate, providing that the Mandatory Power shall promote the close settlement and intensive cultivation of the land; and (c) the promotion of collaboration between Jews and Arabs through the medium of the Palestinian Administration.

The Committee, the resolution concludes, sends its fraternal greetings to the Jewish Labour Organisations in Palestine, to the Jewish Labour Party in Palestine, and to the General Jewish Labour Organisation in Palestine (Kistadruth), who are conducting a hard struggle for the creation of a national Jewish homeland, bearing high the banner of international Socialism and seeking peace with the Arab working class.

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