LONDON (May. 21)
regardless of the disturbances in Palestine it is impossible to believe that the Balfour Declaration can be withdrawn, Sir Herbert Samuel, noted British Jewish statesman and the first High Commissioner for Palestine, declared today.
Sir Herbert spoke at the refugee conference of the League of Nations Union which is meeting at the London School of Economics.
“At the moment Palestine is seriously disturbed,” Sir Herbert said, “but no one can imagine that the Balfour Declaration favoring establishment of a Jewish national home there and promising facilities for its establishment can be withdrawn. That declaration has been endorsed by all the chief nations of the world and by the League of Nations.
“On the faith of it, 300,000 Jews went to Palestine and have thrown in their fortunes with the country. On the faith of it, some ten million pounds of capital has been invested there and it is certain that, whatever means may be necessary to restore tranquility, stoppage of immigration into Palestine and repeal of that part of the mandate cannot be among them.”
Referring to alleged Arab grievances, Sir Herbert denied that the Arabs had been injured culturally or economically by Jewish immigration, declaring that economically the Arabs’ condition is far better than ever.
Discussing migration plans of the Council for German Jewry, Sir Herbert said it was necessary to set aside much larger sums for the development of Palestine.
“A considerable part of the three million pounds which is to be raised must be devoted to that purpose,” he declared.
The refugee problem is too large and intricate to be handled privately, the conference was told by Lord Rutherford, who presided.
“It seems to me,” he declared, “the League of Nations ought to represent the collective conscience of mankind and the collective conscience of mankind demands that the League should not only show sympathy but take active steps to assist them to find new homes. I think we delude ourselves if we suppose that this is a temporary problem. It is to be hoped that an organization with ample powers and funds will be set up by the League to help and to advise on this urgent problem.”