Menu JTA Search

Foreign Office Seen Pressing for Palestine Solution; Would Sacrifice Jewish Interests

SIGN UP FOR THE JTA DAILY BRIEFING

Foreign Office pressure on the Colonial Office for a speedy solution of the Palestine question, at the cost of sacrificing Jewish interests, is the chief complication in the Palestine political situation, it was learned reliably today. Anxious to cut all involved international knots, as was done in the Czechoslovakian situation, the Foreign office views the pales tine problem from a different perspective than the colonial office.

Therefore, the next fortnight, during which deliberations will move toward a climax, is considered crucial by Zionist quarters, which believe that the Jewish future in Palestine can be saved only by organized Jewish efforts the world over, especially in America. A determined manifestation of the Jewish position is considered most necessary to counteract foreign office pressure.

The Colonial Office has not informed the Jewish Agency for Palestine of the tenor of the discussions between colonial secretary Malcolm Macdonald and pales tine high Commissioner Sir Harold MacMichael, which ended today. It was to invite Dr. Chaim Weizmann, president of the Jewish Agency, for a visit, probably today, during which Dr. Weizmann may receive an indication of what is in store for the Jews. Should this indication prove unfavorable the possibility exists that an urgent conference will be convoke in the United States to formulate the Jewish attitude prior to the Colonial Office’s final decision.

Sir Harold left tonight for Jerusalem after the week-long series of conferences with Mr. MacDonald in which they “completed a thorough examination of the political situation preliminary to receipt of the Woodhead (partition) commission’s report.” according to an official statement, “questions of both procedure and policy have been tentatively examined.” The announcement said a further statement on policy would be made “when the Woodhead Commission report had been received and the Government has had time to give it careful study.”

For the present, the following facts are known in well-informed circles:

(1) The Colonial Office has not yet made up its mind on how to maneuver between Jewish claims and Foreign Office pressure.

(2) Mr. MacDonald will not know the decisions of the Woodhead Commission before Oct. 20.

(3) The scheme of the Peel Royal Commission for partitioning Palestine into Arab and Jewish states and a British-mandated corridor has been abandoned, but substitute projects under consideration are more dangerous and more disadvantageous for the Jewish future in the holy land.

(4) Mr. MacDonald does not favor the plan broached by Foreign Minister Tewfik es-Suwaidi of Iraq — providing for establishment of an Arab state in Palestine allied by treaty to Britain, with Jewish minority rights guaranteed — although it was the british Foreign Office which introduced es-Suwaidy to British officials.

(5) Mr. MacDonald until today had discussed with Dr. Weizmann only the question of security in Palestine and had avoided committing himself on political questions.

Es-Suwaidy, before his departure from London monday night, attempted to meet dr. Weizmann again, but the latter refused to consider the Iraq plan and said there was no basis for negotiations.

The Jewish Agency offices have been flooded by messages from many parts of the world, including America, urging a staunch fight for Jewish rights. It was learned that there was no likelihood of a session of the Zionist general Council, in London, despite jerusalem reports that such a meeting was planned.

Restoration of order was advanced by The Times Today as an obvious prerequisite to any practicable political solution of the pales tine problem. Until the Woodhead Commission’s report has been made, it declared editorially, it is a complete waste of time to indulge in speculations on its recommendations.

According to The Times, recent events in Palestine and elsewhere have strengthened rather than weakened arguments in favor of partition in the sense that they have emphasized the difficulty of forming a pales tine nation composed of arab and Jewish elements. The editorial commended a proposal by sir Arnold Wilson, Conservative M.P., for a federation which would embrace Syria, Lebanon, Jewish and Arab pales tine and the Transjordan.

NEXT STORY