The Legislative Council

Sir Arthur Wauchope, the Palestine High Commissioner, is now on his way back to Jerusalem after spending some time in London in connection with his project to establish a Legislative Council in Palestine.

It was expected that when the High Commissioner left London he would carry with him the sanction of the Colonial Office to his project. One wonders, however, whether this sanction has actually been given.

It is difficult to believe that the Colonial Office would approve of a project which is sternly opposed by the Jews without first consulting the Jewish Agency as to what it has to say to justify its opposition. So far we have not heard that leaders of the Jewish Agency have been invited by the Colonial Office for such a consultation. Officially, the views of the Jewish Agency are still not known to the Colonial Office.

The Palestine Mandate, which the British Government acquired from the League of Nations, provides definitely that the Jewish Agency is to act as advisor on basic questions affecting the interests of the Palestine population. What question can be more basic than the question of establishing a Legislative Council? What can affect the Jewish interest in Palestine more seriously than the projected change which will put the Jews there on the status of a national minority?

The fact that the Colonial Office has so far not invited any opinion from the Jewish Agency on the Legislative Council—not even during the stay of Sir Arthur in London—can therefore logically be taken as an indication that the High Commissioner’s project has so far not been approved.

A report in a Cairo newspaper last week stated that the project to create a Legislative Council may be postponed. This report, though not taken seriously, may however not be altogether baseless. It stands to reason that there may be some truth in it, since the High Commissioner has left London without waiting for the Colonial Office to ask the Jewish Agency for its official views with regard to the Legislative Council.

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