LONDON (Mar. 2)
The Jews’ objections to the British proposals for establishment of an independent Palestine state were presented to Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain today by Dr. Chaim Weizmann, head of the Jewish delegation to the Palestine conferences. After the interview a further informal meeting between the British and Jewish representatives was announced for tomorrow afternoon. It is expected that the Jews may propose as a basis for discussion alternative proposals to the British plan, which they have categorically rejected.
With the conference deadlocked by the Jews’ demand for a new basis of discussion and the British failure thus far to make any modifications in their plan, the principal British negotiators, Foreign Undersecretary Richard A. Butler and Colonial Secretary Malcolm MacDonald, today consulted Foreign Secretary Viscount Halifax, who has been kept away from the discussions by influenza.
Jewish Agency circles denied emphatically reports published abroad that Britain was making new proposals to the Jews involving political parity in the suggested independent state, which would give them an equal voice in the government despite their numerical inferiority.
Meanwhile, the Anglo-Arab discussions went forward with a 90-minute discussion between small negotiating groups on each side, after which the talks were adjourned to Saturday morning. The principal subject of today’s discussion was the British plan, which has not been modified to meet the objections of the Arabs, as well as those of the Jews.
The Arab objections, as presented at yesterday’s session, were reliably understood today to be aimed (1) against the system of nomination of the members of the proposed Palestine legislative council for the interim period before establishment of a state, and (2) against the proposal for a round-table conference in the Autumn to draft a constitution.
The Palestine Arabs, it was learned, presented counter-proposals providing for immediate election of a legislative assembly, with Jews participating, which would choose a government and draw up a constitution. The Palestine Arabs would agree to come to London to negotiate a treaty with Britain. Pending the assembly elections, the Palestine Arabs would not object to the carrying on of the British administration. The Arabs also referred to their original demands for immediate cessation of Jewish immigration and land purchase.
These alternative proposals were drafted at meeting of representatives of all Arab delegations — the five Arab states attending the conference as well as the Palestine Arabs — which was held at the Egyptian Embassy on Monday. The proposals were read at yesterday’s session at the St. James Palace by Jamal el Husseini, leader of the Palestine extremist delegation.
Capt. Victor Cazalet, Conservative M.P., told an Old Boys Club meeting in East London last night that he viewed the Palestine conference with “terrible apprehension” but could assure the Jews that neither party loyalty nor anything else would deter him from expressing his views in Commons if Great Britain failed to live up to her promises to the Jews.