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Further Action on Palestine Council Awaits Thomas-arab Parley

No further steps toward establishment of a legislative council for Palestine will be taken until the project has been discussed here next month at a meeting of Arab leaders and Colonial Office representatives, it was revealed in the House of Commons today.

Replying to queries by Col. Josiah Wedgwood and Vyvyan Adams, Colonial Secretary J. H. Thomas said he wanted to give the Arab leaders the same opportunity Jewish leaders had had to present their views on the council. He declared that, in view of the recent House of Commons debate on the projected assembly, he believed the Arabs would welcome the opportunity and that consequently he had instructed High Commissioner Wauchope to invite them to a conference with him in London.

The conference is expected to get under way shortly after the scheduled arrival here on May 4 of a delegation of six Arab leaders, including one Christian Arab. While Jews have unanimously rejected the council, the Arabs have been divided on it. In the House of Commons debate recently the project was subjected to a heavy barrage of criticism by members of all parties.

In answering further queries, Mr. Thomas declared today that, if the legislative council were found impracticable, extension of municipal responsibility in cities such as Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jaffa would depend on various local considerations, particularly the financial position of the cities in question.

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