Britain Not to Press for League Action on White Paper Now, Commons Told
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Britain Not to Press for League Action on White Paper Now, Commons Told

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A Government spokesman assured the House of Commons yesterday that Britain had no present intention of forcing the Palestine White Paper through the League of Nations, after receiving a Laborite warning that raising the question at Geneva would “cause a shock the world over.”

Foreign Undersecretary Richard A. Butler said there was no question of raising the Palestine or White Paper issue at the next session of the League Mandates Commission. He pointed out that since the Council was not meeting there was no question of the Palestine issue’s being brought up.

The Palestine question had been injected into a debate regarding the functioning of the League by Philip Noel Baker, Laborite, who expressed the hope that the British Government would not try to force the White Paper through the forthcoming neutralized “bastard Assembly” of the League.

“We remember the circumstances in which the Paper was prepared and the report on it by the Mandates Commission,” Baker said. “It would be playing fast and loose with the sacred principle of international obligations for which we are fighting this war to endeavor to do any such thing. It would cause a shock the world over, not least in the United States, and still further damage our moral credit there.”

Laborite Hugh Dalton interjected that the question was one for the Council rather than the Assembly, with which Butler agreed.

The Zionist Review gives expression in an editorial to the alarm in Zionist circles over rumors of Arab-British negotiations.

“What is the truth?” the publication asks. “The Government has already stated the activities of the Mufti carefully. But public opinion has a right to know whether the Iraqi Prime Minister has grounds for his assertions (that negotiations are in progress regarding the Palestine question).

“If it is true that negotiations are proceeding on a basis of compliance with the Mufti’s demands, it will arouse the indignation and resentment not only of the Jewish people, but of friends of liberty and democracy in the world, who will certainly find it difficult to equate these moves with the emphatic statements of the British Government that the present war against Hitlerism is a war against ‘brute force, bad faith, injustice and persecution.'”

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