Commons Sidesteps Partition Issue; League to Get Plan July 30

THE HOUSE OF COMMONS HAVING DEFTLY SIDESTEPPED AN ATTEMPT TO WIN ITS UNQUALIFIED APPROVAL OF PROPOSED TRIPARTITION OF PALESTINE, THE GOVERNMENT CONCENTRATED TODAY ON THE TASK OF GAINING CONSENT OF THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS TO THE SCHEME.

NEXT STEP IN THE BRITISH DRIVE TO SETTLE WHAT THE ROYAL COMMISSION HAS CALLED THE “IRRECONCILABLE CONFLICT” IN PALESTINE WILL BE TAKEN JULY 30 AT GENEVA. THE MANDATES COMMISSION WILL MEET ON THAT DAY AND, WITH THE FULL CONSENT OF THE COUNCIL, WILL CONSIDER GREAT BRITAIN’S PROPOSAL TO DROP ITS 17-YEAR-OLD MANDATE OVER THE HOLY LAND AND SUBSTITUTE THE THREE-FOLD PLAN OUTLINED BY THE ROYAL COMMISSION.

PLEADING THE CASE FOR PARTITION WILL BE COLONIAL SECRETARY WILLIAM ORMSBY-GORE, FORMER PALESTINE CHIEF SECRETARY JOHN HATHORN-HALL, AND J.M. MARTIN, SECRETARY OF THE ROYAL COMMISSION AND A COLONIAL OFFICE ATTACHE.

POLITICAL CIRCLES POINTED OUT TODAY THAT COMMONS, BY FORCING THE GOVERNMENT TO COMPROMISE ON THE PALESTINE ISSUE, REGISTERED ITS PROTEST AGAINST ITS ATTEMPT TO COMMIT COMMONS TO AN IMPORTANT LINE OF POLICY WITHOUT PRIOR CONSULTATION.

ALTHOUGH THE GOVERNMENT OPENED THE DEBATE WITH THE DIRECT INTENTION OF PUSHING THROUGH ITS NEW PALESTINE POLICY BY MAKING THE ISSUE ONE OF CONFIDENCE IN THE GOVERNMENT A STRONG UNDERTONE OF RESENTMENT WHICH WAS MORE NOTICEABLE IN THE LOBBIES THAN IN THE SPEECHES, AS WELL AS THE WEAKNESS OF GOVERNMENT ARGUMENTS FOR RUSHING ACTION, INDUCED THE GOVERNMENT TO SEEK A COMPROMISE.

AFTER A DEBATE LASTING INTO THE EARLY HOURS OF THE MORNING, AN AMENDMENT INTRODUCE JOINTLY BY FORMER PRIME MINISTER DAVID LLOYD GEORGE AND FORMER CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER WINSTON CHURCHILL WAS ADOPTED AS FOLLOWS:

“THAT THE PROPOSALS CONTAINED IN THE WHITE PAPER RELATING TO PALESTINE SHOULD BE BROUGHT BEFORE THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS WITH A VIEW TO ENABLING HIS MAJESTY’S GOVERNMENT AFTER ADEQUATE INQUIRY TO PRESENT TO PARLIAMENT A DEFINITE SCHEME, TAKING INTO FULL ACCOUNT ALL RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE GOVERNMENT’S WHITE PAPER.”

EARLY IN THE DEBATE IT WAS REPORTED THAT NEGOTIATIONS WERE GOING ON BEHIND THE SCENES BETWEEN LLOYD-GEORGE, CHURCHILL, SIR ARCHIBALD SINCLAIR, LIBERAL, AND THE GOVERNMENT’S CHIEF WHIP. MR. CHURCHILL’S UNEXPECTED AMENDMENT WAS BELIEVED THE OUTCOME OF THESE CONSULTATIONS.

NOT DEFEAT FOR GOVERNMENT

THE AMENDMENT GAVE THE GOVERNMENT AN OPPORTUNITY TO WITHDRAW FROM ITS ATTEMPT TO FORCE ADOPTION OF THE PROGRAM, WITHOUT SUFFERING DEFEAT, WHILE PERMITTING THE PROCEEDINGS AT GENEVA.

AT THE SAME TIME, IT DOES NOT COMMIT COMMONS TO THE PRINCIPLE OF PARTITION, DOES NOT RULE OUT AN ALTERNATIVE SCHEME AND ENABLES THE GOVERNMENT IN THE FUTURE, AFTER FURTHER INQUIRY, TO PRESENT A DEFINITE SCHEME TO PARLIAMENT.

MR. ORMSBY-GORE ACCEPTED THE AMENDMENT, WHICH WAS BROUGHT IN AFTER THE GOVERNMENT HAD BEEN ASSAILED BY MANY SPEAKERS BOTH IN COMMONS AND THE HOUSE OF LORDS, FOR RUSHING MATTERS WITHOUT CONSULTING PARLIAMENT, AND NUMEROUS COMPLAINTS HAD BEEN REGISTERED ON THE INDEFINITE FORM OF THE PRESENT PROposals, WHICH DO NOT FIX ANY EXACT BOUNDARIES FOR THE JEWISH AND ARAB STATES AND THE PROPOSED BRITISH MANDATED TERRITORY.

THE COMPROMISE WAS ADOPTED BY A STANDING VOTE. COMMONS HAD ALREADY VOTED DOWN THE OPPOSITION AMENDMENT OFFERED BY THE LABOR PARTY, FOR SHELVING THE ENTIRE PARTITION SHAME UNTIL PARLIAMENT HAD MADE ITS OWN INVESTIGATION THROUGH A JOINT COMMITTEE.

EARLIER, FORMER DOMINIONS SECRETARY LEOPOLD S. AMERY HAD ADVISED THE HOUSE TO PASS THE GOVERNMENT’S RESOLUTION ON THE GROUND THAT IT WAS ADVISABLE THAT THE ARABS AND JEWS KNOW THE GOVERNMENT’S DECISION.

HE SUGGESTED, HOWEVER, THAT ARAB AND JEWISH DELEGATIONS CONSULT WITH A JOINT PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE WHICH, IF SET UP IN NOVEMBER, COULD TERMINATE ITS REPORT BY MARCH OR APRIL.

CHARGES MANDATE “TORN UP”

JAMES DE ROTHSCHILD, LIBERAL, ROUNDLY ACCUSED THE ROYAL COMMISSION OF HAVING EXCEEDED ITS TERMS OF REFERENCE. HE SAID THE COMMISSION HAD TORN UP THE MANDATE, THE BALFOUR DECLARATION AND EVEN PALESTINE ITSELF INTO THREE PARTS.

BEFORE THE FINAL AMENDMENT WAS BROUGHT IN MR. CHURCHILL HAD STIRRED THE HOUSE WITH THE ANNOUNCEMENT THAT HE WOULD VOTE AGAINST PARTITION BECAUSE IT WAS PREMATURE FOR THE GOVERNMENT TO ASK COMMONS TO COMMIT ITSELF FINALLY. THE HOUSE OF LORDS ENDED ITS SECOND DAY OF DEBATE ON THE QUESTION WITH LORD WINTERTON SUMMING UP FOR THE GOVERNMENT.

INTERRUPTED BY HECKLERS, HE ANGRILY EXCLAIMED: “IT’S TIME THAT SOMEONE DEFENDED THE ATTITUDE OF ENGLAND TOWARD THE JEWS. IN WHAT OTHER DOMINIONS OF THE WORLD DO THE JEWS HAVE AS FAIR A DEAL. NO ONE CAN SYMPATHIZE MORE THAN I WITH THE POSITION OF THE JEWS IN EUROPE, BUT IT IS UTTERLY FANTASTIC TO THINK THAT THE JEWISH PROBLEM CAN BE SOLVED IN PALESTINE ALONE.”

LORD WINTERTON ASSURED THE HOUSE OF LORDS THAT THE GOVERNMENT MEANT TO ESTABLISH A REALLY INDEPENDENT JEWISH STATE AND THAT ANY DISORDER WOULD BE PROMPTLY AND EFFECTIVELY SUPPRESSED.

HE POINTED OUT THAT UNLIMITED JEWISH IMMIGRATION AND ESTABLISHMENT OF A JEWISH GARRISON UNDER PRESENT CONDITIONS WERE PLAINLY CONTRARY TO THE MANDATE. HE VOICED THE BELIEF THAT THERE EXISTED A CREATOR OPPORTUNITY FOR SUPPORTING UNLIMITED JEWISH IMMIGRATION IN A JEWISH STATE, DESPITE ITS SMALL SIZE.

LORD READING EARLIER HAD MADE AN ELOQUENT PLEA FOR CONSIDERATION OF THE BROADER ASPECTS OF THE PALESTINE SITUATION.

“WE HAVE ALL,” HE DECLARED, “FROM WHATEVER ANGLE WE VIEW THE SITUATION, TO REALIZE THAT IN PALESTINE LIES THE ONLY HOPE FOR THE FUTURE OF A GREAT NUMBER OF SUFFERING JEWS TO WHOSE FATE WE CANNOT BE INDIFFERENT. HE WARNED THAT GREAT BRITAIN, BY PARTITIONING PALESTINE, WOULD BE ESTABLISHING A NEW STATE IN ONE OF THE WORLD’S “NERVOUS CENTERS.”

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