Britain Urges League to Accept Partition Principle, Holding Details Unsettled

ARGUING THAT ARAB AND JEWISH ASPIRATIONS IN PALESTINE WERE IRRECONCILABLE AND INCOMPATIBLE, THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT TODAY URGED THE PERMANENT MANDATES COMMISSION OF THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS AT THE OPENING OF AN EXTRAORDINARY SESSION TO ACCEPT THE PRINCIPLE OF PARTITION LAID DOWN BY ITS ROYAL COMMISSION.

“IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT WE MAKE CLEAR AT THE OUTSET THAT HIS MAJESTY’S GOVERNMENT HAVE NOT COMMITTED THEMSELVES IN DETAILS TO THE PARTICULAR SCHEME OF PARTITION OUTLINED IN THE FINAL CHAPTERS OF THE ROYAL COMMISSION REPORT,” DECLARED COLONIAL SECRETARY WILLIAM G.A. ORMSBY-GORE, SPOKESMAN FOR GREAT BRITAIN.

PRESENTATION OF THE SCHEME, INVOLVING ESTABLISHMENT OF ARAB AND JEWISH STATES AND A BRITISH-MANDATED CORRIDOR, WAS MADE BY MR. ORMSBY-GORE AT A CLOSED SESSION FOLLOWING A PUBLIC MEETING THAT LASTED THREE-QUARTERS OF AN HOUR.

IT WAS REPORTED THAT THE COMMISSION MEMBERS WISHED MR. ORMSBY-GORE TO SPEAK AT THE PUBLIC MEETING, BUT THE COLONIAL SECRETARY EMPHATICALLY REFUSED.

THE GALLERIES WERE PACKED FOR THE OPEN SESSION. AMONG THE SPECTATORS WERE FIVE JEWISH AND TWO ARAB DELEGATIONS, HERE TO PRESENT THEIR VIEWS ON THE PROPOSED DIVISION OF THE HOLY LAND.

MANY ITALIAN CORRESPONDENTS WERE PRESENT IN THE PRESS SECTION TO KEEP ITALY INFORMED OF DEVELOPMENTS AFFECTING VITALLY ITS INTERESTS IN THE MEDITERRANEAN. THE HALL WAS DECORATED WITH TWO LARGE MAPS OF PALESTINE, ONE SHOWING THE HOLY LAND AS IT IS NOW AND THE OTHER AS IT WOULD BE UNDER THE PARTITION PLAN.

TO SUBMIT RECOMMENDATIONS TO COUNCIL

OPENING THE SESSION, PIERRE ORTS OF BELGIUM, CHAIRMAN, ANNOUNCED THE COMMISSION DEFINITELY WOULD SUBMIT ITS RECOMMENDATION ON THE BRITISH SCHEME TO THE SEPTEMBER MEETING OF THE LEAGUE COUNCIL.

“SUCH PROCEDURE, HOWEVER,” HE ADDED, “DOES NOT EXCLUDE THE POSSIBILITY OF FURTHER REFERENCE TO THE MANDATES COMMISSION AFTER THE COUNCIL’S SEPTEMBER SESSION, SHOULD THE COUNCIL CONSIDER THIS NECESSARY OR DESIRABLE.”

THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTED AN AGENDA PROVIDING FOR EXAMINATION OF THE ROYAL COMMISSION REPORT AND THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT’S STATEMENT OF POLICY ACCEPTING THE PARTITION PROPOSAL.

BEFORE TAKING UP THOSE TWO POINTS, HOWEVER, THE COMMISSION WILL EXAMINE POINTS LEFT BY THE PALESTINE ADMINISTRATION’S REPORT FOR 1935, THE 1936 REPORT, SUBMISSION OF WHICH HAD BEEN DELAYED PENDING COMPLETION OF THE ROYAL COMMISSION’S INVESTIGATION INTO THE 1936 ARAB REVOLT, AND A LARGE NUMBER OF PETITIONS.

MARQUIS ALBERTO THEODOLI OF ITALY, ALONE OF THE MANDATES COMMISSION’S ELEVEN MEMBERS WAS ASSENT FROM TODAY’S MEETING. THE COMMISSIONERS ACT AS EXPERTS AND NOT AS REPRESENTATIVES OF THEIR VARIOUS GOVERNMENTS.

ARASS ASK INDEPENDENT STATE

THE DELEGATION REPRESENTING THE ARAB SUPREME COMMITTEE SUBMITTED A MEMORANDUM TO THE MANDATES COMMISSION ASKING ABOLITION OF THE PALESTINE MANDATE AND ESTABLISHMENT OF AN INDEPENDENT ARAB STATE IN PALESTINE UNDER A TREATY WITH GREAT BRITAIN SIMILAR TO THAT WHICH IRAQ HAS.

THE MEMORANDUM REFUSED TO RECOGNIZE THAT THE JEWS HAD ANY PROPRIETARY RIGHTS IN PALESTINE “JUST BECAUSE 2,000 YEARS AGO THEIR ANCESTORS LIVED THERE.” BRITISH PROPOSALS FOR ENDING ARAB-JEWISH DIFFERENCES WERE DESCRIBED AS BEING “AGAINST LAW AND EQUITY.” EMPHASIZING ITS VIEW THAT OBLIGATIONS TO ESTABLISH A JEWISH HOMELAND IN PALESTINE AND TO PROTECT ARAB RIGHTS AND POSITION THERE ARE INCOMPATIBLE, THE ARAB DELEGATION SAID:

“SINCE THESE OBLIGATIONS ARE OPPOSED, ONE OF THEM SHOULD DISAPPEAR, AND IT WOULD BE UNJUST TO GRANT THE JEWS THE HOMELAND OF OTHERS ONLY BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT OF HIS MAJESTY IS NOT CAPABLE OF CARRYING OUT THE FAMOUS BALFOUR DECLARATION, WHICH IN ANY CASE HAD SHOWN ITSELF TO BE ABSOLUTELY INAPPLICABLE.”

ANOTHER ARABS DELEGATION IS HEADED BY RAGHEB BEY NASHASHIBI, FORMER JERUSALEM MAYOR, WHICH IS BELIEVED TO FAVOR PARTITION AND HAS BEEN SEEKING TO WIN THE SYRIAN DELEGATION TO ITS VIEWPOINT.

THE FIVE JEWISH DELEGATIONS PRESENT INCLUDE A GROUP OF AMERICAN ZIONISTS HEADED BY DR. STEPHEN S. WISE, THE OTHERS REPRESENTING THE PALESTINE JEWISH NATIONAL COUNCIL, THE WORLD ZIONIST ORGANIZATION, THE NEW ZIONIST ORGANIZATION AND THE AGUDATH ISRAEL, NON-ZIONIST RELIGIOUS BODY.

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