GENEVA (Sep. 20)
Britain today reaffirmed her intention of settling the Palestine question by partition in the face of criticism of the scheme voiced by Iraq and Ireland during a debate in the Sixth (Political) Commission of the League of Nations Assembly.
Foreign Undersecretary Richard A. Butler declared that Britain still favored partition and had decided definitely to settle the Palestine question as soon as possible, the report of Britain’s palestine partition Commission serving as the basis for a final solution. Meanwhile, he added, the Palestine Government was doing its utmost to suppress disorders.
Leading the attack on partition, Foreign Minister Tewfik el Swaidy of Iraq declared that if Britain had foreseen the present Palestine situation in 1917, the Balfour Declaration for establishment of a Jewish homeland would never have been issued. Swaidy advocated the alternative solution of formation of an independent and sovereign arab State with extensive local and religious autonomy and the safeguarding of the rights of foreign nationals. He demanded that the Commission refuse to give its benediction to the partition plan, declaring that if the scheme were carried out there would be no peace between the Arab and the Jewish states.
Irish representatives pleaded against partition, saying it would bring no appeasement. The stand represented the same one voiced before the Commission at last September’s session by Premier Eamon de Valera, then president of the Irish Free State, who said: “Partition is not the solution. It is the cruellest wrong that could be done any people.”
Paul Boncour of France discussed the general situation of the Jews, stating that “the abominable expulsion of Jews from various countries makes settlement of the Palestine problem all the more desirable,” but urging that it be remembered that Palestine alone could not solve the Jewish problem. He contested Iraq’s assertion that the Palestine mandate was now outdated and also declared that the Palestine disorders had not entirely originated in Palestine.
Representatives of Albania, Haiti, Denmark and Rumania also spoke on the question. Andersen of Denmark was appointed rapporter on the Palestine mandate for a debate in the Assembly.