London (Jul. 14)
No State lands are available for Jewish or Arab settlement in Palestine and settlement of the Jews there by the Government is a remote possibility, according to the French. Report, which was unexpectedly made public today here and in Jerusalem in connection with discussion of the project for a two-million-pound Palestine loan.
While announcement of the proposed loan had been anticipated for today’s session of the House of Commons in connection with the debate on the budget of the Colonial Office, with Zionists concentrating their efforts on securing an equitable share of the loan for Jewish purposes, publication of the French Report, with the conclusions drawn from it, came like a bombshell. Zionist leaders had every reason to believe that publication of the report, which had been held up eighteen months, would not occur before Autumn.
It was originally understood that the delay was due to the desire of the High Commissioner, Sir Arthur Grenfell Wauchope, to obtain the observations of the Jewish Agency and the Arab Executive, and, on the basis of these observations, as well as on the French report, formulate his own conclusions.
It was intended that on these conclusions of the High Commissioner, and not on the French Report, was the British Government’s pronouncement of policy regarding Palestine development to be based. The High Commissioner’s conclusions, under this intention, were to have been published simultaneously, or even annexed to the French Report for publication.
PUBLICATION ASTONISHES ZIONISTS
Leading Zionist circles, therefore, were exceedingly astonished at the sudden release of the report by itself, although it was well-known that Mr. French’s conclusions were displeasing to Sir Arthur, because of their purposely anti-Zionistic aim. The High Commissioner repeatedly instructed Mr. French to introduce changes and modifications, and this ultimately led to Mr. French’s resignation as director of development.
Issuance of a White Paper expressing the policy of the British Government on Palestine development is not being contemplated, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency was informed this afternoon.
A White Paper, explaining the delay in publishing the High Commissioner’s conclusions on the French Report and clarifying the Government policy had been predicted earlier and it had been expected that one would be issued in the near future.
The French Report, consisting of 112 pages, was published in the form of a Blue Book. The report points out that all land for settlement purposes must, be purchased in the open market since no State lands are available; devotes itself to planning for the settlement of “landless” Arabs; recommends Government control of the land, with possible exclusion of that part which does not come under the development scheme; the inalienability of a minimum area for each farmer; restriction of transfer of land in the Maritime Plain and in the hill districts to Jews, and refusal of the Jewish proposal to establish an agricultural bank.