London (Feb. 6)
Renewing his attack on the Palestine government for appointing Dr. Hussein Khaldi as mayor of Jerusalem, Colonel Josiah Wedgwood, independent Member of Parliament, today again asked Sir Philip Cunliffe-Lister, Colonial Secretary, why an Arab was appointed mayor of a city which has a Jewish majority.
Sir Philip repeated his previous reply that the law gave the High Commissioner “unfettered discretion” and repeated his assertion of “complete confidence in Sir Arthur Wauchope’s judgment.”
Colonel Wedgwood then turned on former mayor Ragheb Bey Nashashibi, asking: “Is it not a fact that the last Arab mayor bore a reputation, notorious even for the Near East, of corruption?” He also asked Sir Philip for an opinion on the “correctness of appointing an Arab successor to such a mayor.”
The Colonial Secretary merely replied that “in any case it would be most improper to interfere with the High Commissioner.”
Dr. Khaldi was elected with the aid of Jewish voters who were apparently of the opinion that he would cooperate with the Jewish councillors. His first action after receiving his appointment from the High Commissioner was to refuse to share municipal work with Daniel Auster, Jewish vice-mayor. He even refused to assign Auster an office in the municipal building. Later he consented to share the work with Auster if the Palestine government would give its consent.