GENEVA (Aug. 22)
Under spur of the tense international situation, Zionist leaders acted today to wind up the 21st biennial World Zionist Congress here not later than Thursday.
The rapidly developing crisis prompted convocation of an emergency meeting of the Zionist Executive and the Congress praesidium, at which it was decided to conclude the Congress, which has been in session last Wednesday night, at the earliest possible moment.
Originally schedule to last two weeks, the Congress had already been ordered to end on Friday as a result of fears that many of the thousand or more delegates and guests might be stranded here in the event of war.
Commissions have been instructed to speed up their work for a Thursday closing. Efforts have been made, at the same time, to simplify parliamentary procedure to enable the Congress to handle its remaining business with the least possible delay.
No public announcement of these developments is being made here, to avoid alarming the delegates and guests, but the Zionist Executive issued the following communique to the press: “According to a decision of the Congress, especially in view of the tense international situation, the various commissions must conclude their work in the shortest possible time.”
As a result of today’s meeting, a number of Palestine leaders, including Moshe Shertok and Bernard Joseph, may fly back today or tomorrow. Others will leave Geneva tomorrow to catch the Palestine boat at Marseilles on Thursday, since it is regarded as necessary that some leaders be in the Holy Land at this critical period.
It is assumed by Congress leaders that other delegations will leave without waiting the session to conclude. Representatives of the Polish delegation conferred in that connection with the Polish Consul here.
Meanwhile, negotiations with regard to a new Zionist Executive have been hurriedly initiated. Dr. M. Kleinbaum of Poland suggested to the political commission that Dr. Chaim Weizmann, president, and David Ben Gurion, chairman, be entrusted with formation of a new Executive on the principle that the Premier should form his own Cabinet. He pointed out that Dr. Weizmann and Ben Gurion would be re-elected in any case, the strength of the parties represented at this Congress being the same as prevailed at the session two years ago.