LONDON (Sep. 8)
Comprising the largest military force to leave Great Britain since the World War, the first of seven detachments of British troops were today given sailing orders to Palestine on the troopship Dorsetshire which will weigh anchor on Saturday.
Most of the First Division, whose full strength numbers about 15,000, will have been despatched to the Holy Land by September 22.
Lieut. Gen. J.G. Dill, who yesterday was placed in supreme command of British forces in Palestine, left today for Marseilles where he will embark for Haifa on the destroyer Douglas.
MARTIAL LAW RESTS WITH GEN. DILL
Upon Lieut, Gen Dill’s decision will depend imposition of martial law in the Holy Land, it was learned prior to his departure.
Extra expenses entailed by shipment of reinforcements will be paid by the Palestine Government.
Arrival of additional troops, whose strength is estimated at 15,000, will bring the total number of effectives in Palestine to approximately 30,000, constituting the heaviest concentration of military power there since the World War.
The Colonial Office announcement today that the entire First Division had been ordered to Palestine was accompanied by a long statement of its Palestine policy, firm yet conciliatory in tone. It reviewed events of the past five months, which necessitated the Cabinet’s decision to adopt martial rule as a means of halting Arab disorders.
Failure of Arabs in Palestine to end terrorism despite protracted peace negotiations with native chieftains, the statement stressed, had left the government with no other course.
As soon as insurgent Arab elements realize that their actions are inimical to the country’s interests and thereupon restore order, the British Royal Commission, declared the communique, will proceed on its investigative mission to the Holy Land and make recommendations for the removal of legitimate grievances held by both Jews and Arabs.
SEES PEACEFUL RELATIONS POSSIBLE
The government was convinced that the establishment of more cordial and peaceful relations among all parts of the population was attainable within the framework of the League of Nations Mandate. Its statement announced emphatically that Britain has “no intention of abandoning” the mandate over Palestine.
The Cabinet declaration characterized the 21-week-old Arab general strike as being of a definitely political character and possessing aims inconsistent with the spirit of the Mandate. It pointed out the native population has continued use of the strike weapon “despite the greatest forbearance” of authorities whose concern has been restoration of peace by measures entailing the least suffering and loss of life.
“In short, the situation which has been created,” the communique said, “is a direct challenge to the authority of the British government in Palestine.”
CITES FAILURE OF MEDIATION
Referring to the conciliation attempts of “well-disposed” Arab rulers, the Cabinet regretted that “unfortunately conditions have continued to be such that it has not been found possible to make any successful progress by this means.
“After a careful review of the whole situation, His Majesty’s Government is satisfied that the campaign of violence and threats of violence, by which the Arab leaders are attempting to influence the policy of His Majesty’s Government, cannot be allowed to continue and that more rapid and effective action must now be taken to bring the present state of disorder to an end with the least possible delay.”
Reluctant to the end, because of its constant aim to maintain Moslem friendship, the Cabinet presentation drew attention to attempts made to avoid the present course.
“But no government,” it asserted, “least of all a government exercising mandatory responsibilities can allow itself to be deflected from its course by violence and outrage.”
“It is the confident hope of His Majesty’s Government,” concluded the communique, “that the Royal Commission will make recommendations which will enable His Majesty’s Government to bring finality into a situation replete with doubt and fear on both sides and that from the tragic misunderstandings and disorder of the last five months, a lasting settlement can be reached.”