Zionist circles, greatly astonished by the sudden release of the French Report on Friday, were inclined to minimize its importance. In London it was believed that Sir Philip Cunliffe-Lister’s address to the House of Commons, in which he outlined an extensive public works program for Palestine, would be accepted as the government’s policy, and that the “displaced” Arab question and the question of protection of tenants would be the only two recommendations in the French Report carried out.
The importance of the publication Friday of the French Report on the development of Palestine was minimized in a statement by Morris Rothenberg, president of the Zionist Organization of America, chairman of the American Administrative Committee of the Jewish Agency.
“The views contained in the French Report should not be confused with the views of the Mandatory Power, whether in London or in Palestine. Its publication at this time is merely in line with accepted British Parliamentary procedure requiring the publication of official reports,” Mr. Rothenberg declared.
“Mr. French is no longer commissioner and has followed the way of John Hope Simpson, the commissioner who preceded him, and who similarly made a report that was based on misinformation and gross inaccuracies which the Jewish Agency pointed out.
“There is no authentic information indicating how far the Mandatory Power is or is not in agreement with any part of the French Report. The opinion has long since gained ground that Mr. French’s resignation from the post of Development Commissioner was largely due to the fact that the present High Commissioner of Palestine did not see eye to eye with him on the conclusions of his report.”