DAMASCUS (Feb. 19)
A new crisis was provoked in the Eastern Mediterranean yesterday with the resignation of the Syrian Cabinet after a prolonged dispute with France over the question of independence for the mandated Syrian State.
Coinciding with Italian demands for French African and Mediterranean territory and the London Palestine conference, the Cabinet crisis was attributed to some extent to German and Italian propaganda activities in the Near East. For the past ten days the powerful Italian radio station at Bari has been broadcasting inflammatory speeches and news reports in Arabic which were believed to have accentuated dissension between the Syrian Government leaders and nationalist opponents.
Observers viewed the Cabinet resignation as of international importance. They said a crisis in Syria at the same time as the London Palestine conference might raise the question of a united Islam at the London talks. The connection between the Syrian crisis and the London conference is based on the fact that reports reaching here from London have indicated that a move is under way to solve the Arab-Jewish conflict by securing concessions from the Arabs in return for establishment of a vast federation of Arab states that would include Syria. The reports of this plan have strengthened the partisans of immediate independence for Syria, who apparently are anxious to enter the proposed federation as an independent state on an equal footing with other Arab nations.