LONDON (May. 17)
Provides 10-Year Transition Period; Sets 75,000 Entry Quota For 5 Years; Arab Consent to Further Immigration Required; Land Sales Curbed Jews Declare War on Policy; Will Never Submit, Agency Warns
The British Government, amid Jewish warnings of resistance and indications of Arab rejection, announced this evening its decision to establish an independent Palestine state in which the Jews will be restricted to a one-third minority.
An official White Paper declares that it is hoped to attain statehood after a ten-year transition period during which self government will be developed. (Text of the White Paper summary will be found on another page.) It is proposed to admit 75,000 Jews in the next five years to bring the Jewish population to the one-third ratio, after which Britain will feel free of its obligations to facilitate entry and a new principle that Arab acquiescence is necessary for Jewish entry will thereafter prevail.
The proposed state will be bound to Britain by treaty relations providing for “commercial and strategic” requirements of both countries, and Britain will also require the safeguarding of the interests of certain foreign countries in the Holy Land. If the state cannot be established in ten years, Britain will consult the people of Palestine, the League of Nations Council and the neighboring Arab states on postponement.
As immediate measures, the White Paper vests in the High Commissioner powers to prohibit and restrict land sales and provides that steps be taken to increase the participation of Palestinians in the government by placing them in charge of certain departments with British advisers.
The new policy conformed to advance forecasts of its nature and followed the general lines of the final proposals at the recent London conference — with the exception that a ten-year transition is substituted for the transition of indefinite duration which, as originally proposed, would have required Jewish consent for its termination.
The White Paper, after affirming the desirability of attaining self-government in Palestine, lists provisions for the development of self-governing bodies through a gradual process during the ten-year transitional period. In apparent anticipation of opposition, it is stated that Arabs and Jews will have an opportunity to participate in the machinery of government, but the process will be carried on whether or not they avail themselves of it.
The new principle is set forth that Arab acquiescence is required for further Jewish immigration. However, in view of “the unhappy plight” of Jewish refugees, it is proposed to admit another 75,000 Jews in the next five years, subject to the criterion of economic absorptive capacity, to bring the Jewish population up to the one-third ratio.
The quota will be divided as follows: 10,000 immigrants for each of the five years, plus 25,000 refugees to be admitted “as soon as the High Commissioner is satisfied that adequate provision for their maintenance is assured.” Illegal immigrants will be deducted from the quota. After this five-year quota has been filled, the Government “will not be justified in facilitating nor will they be under any obligation to foster the establishment of the Jewish National Home by further immigration regardless of the wishes of the Arab population.”
The White Paper concludes with an appeal to both the Arab and Jewish communities to appease their relations for the benefit of their common country, recalling that Palestine is held in veneration by millions of Moslems, Jews and Christians throughout the world.