BASLE (Jul. 9)
Tremendous excitement was created early this morning among the delegates to the Zionist Congress when word was received that the British Colonial Office had sent a dispatch to High Commissioner Chancellor of Palestine regarding the Palestine development scheme.
A copy of a covering letter from Lord Passfield, Colonial Secretary, which accompanies the dispatch, as well as a copy of the text of the dispatch, was received here and it resulted in a heated discussion at the political commission’s all-night session. The commission considers the document unfavorable.
The principal request of the Jewish Agency, which has been carrying on negotiations with the British government regarding the development scheme, namely that it should be determined in advance that Jews and Arabs should benefit equally from the $12,500,000 fund which is to finance the scheme, is not complied with. Lord Passfield’s letter merely says that the government took note of the request.
The development board is to consist of a Jew, an Arab and a Britisher, and, despite the Jewish Agency’s objections, the ultimate authority will rest with the High Commissioner. One favorable feature of the dispatch for the Jews is the stipulation that the landless Arabs who are to be provided for by the development scheme are defined as Premier MacDonald defined them in his letter to Dr. Chaim Weizmann last February officially interpreting the White Paper of October, 1930.
According to this definition, landless Arabs are those who can be shown to have been displaced from the lands which they occupied in consequence of the lands passing into Jewish hands, and who have not obtained other holdings on which they can establish themselves.