London (Oct. 7)
An outspoken demand that the government of Palestine open Transjordan to Jewish enterprise was voiced today by Dr. Chaim Weizmann addressing the special conference of the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland.
In his speech Dr. Weizmann, who is chairman of the Zionist Commission to Settle German Jewish Refugees in Palestine, called attention to the fact that the Balfour Declaration was intended to apply to both sides of the Jordan river. This provision, he pointed out, was the subject of discussion during the 1918 to 1921 parleys on creating a Jewish national home.
Despite the Balfour Declaration, however, the country one day found itself cut into two parts overnight, Dr. Weizmann declared, adding that “now the same people do not permit Jews to enter Transjordan while at the same time they open Palestine to the Arabs.”
“We do not wish to change the status of Transjordan by applying the Balfour Declaration there,” Dr. Weizmann explained, “but the anti-Jewish restrictions in Transjordan is something novel in the British Empire’s practice, especially since many Arabs there express a desire to have the Jews.”
Opposing the establishment of the proposed legislative council for Palestine, Dr. Weizmann declared, that an Arab-Jewish rapprochement is not impossible provided it is not interfered with by forcing a body upon Palestine which is bound to operate against the Mandate.
Referring to the Palestine government’s immigration restriction policy, Dr. Weizmann assailed the sixty per cent. curtailment in the labor schedule as a great injustice to Jews since it was indisputably proved that a labor shortage exists. Arabs, he said, are taking advantage of this shortage by pouring into Palestine to find work.
Sir Oswald E. D’Avigdor Goldsmid, chairman of the Council of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, in his address to the conference urged upon Jewry the importance of continuing the careful friendship with England.
Sir Oswald expressed the hope that the Jewish Agency’s “aide memoire” to the Colonial Office will impress it to the extent of cancelling its plans to establish a legislative council which, he declared, might disenfranchise new arrivals in that country.
In the second session of the conference, the executive body of the federation was authorized to negotiate with the World Union of General Zionists regarding conditions under which the federation could join the world union.