Jerusalem (Dec. 17)
There is much grumbling here among Arab circles against the proposed Legislative Assembly which would establish more firmly a representative government on the grounds that such a body will be under the strong-arm of British officialdom in the Holy Land.
It is pointed out that it is far better for the country to be ruled by direct British administration than for a kind of “hybrid” form of representation which might lead the rest of the world to believe that the Moslems stand behind the British Mandate.
From official sources it was learned that provided the Arabs reject an Assembly elected by vote, members will be appointed by the High Commissioner. The latter would be on a specification made in the White Paper of 1930. Many Arabs could be found to “aggrandize themselves” by accepting such an office.
One Arab newspaper states that the recent London visit of David Ben-Gurion, political member of the Jewish Agency Executive, and of Captain Donald Lennox-Boyd, new aide-de-camp to the High Commissioner, were made in connection with the matter of the Assembly.
While the Arabs refuse to countenance the establishment of an Assembly whose voice will be muffled by British over-lords, their demands include the creation of such a body. A proposal which eleven years ago provided for a limited representative body whose members were to be in part appointed and in part elected, is being dusted off by the Arab newspapers. According to the Moslem journalists, who have a flair for sounding predictions, the difference in the proposed Assembly of 1922 and the present one will be in power over budgetary appropriations. The High Commissioner’s veto will be retained over questions of monetary affairs and leaders of government departments are to be Arabs and Jews, each of whom is to have an English adviser, according to one newspaper writer.