Britain Seen Ready to Scrap White Paper if Arabs, Jews Make Pact
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Britain Seen Ready to Scrap White Paper if Arabs, Jews Make Pact

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The British Government would consider scrapping the Palestine White Paper if the Arabs and Jews would come together and reach an understanding, it was authoritatively declared here today.

It was stated, however, that the Government was unable to accept proposals to suspend the White Paper for the duration of the war, or at least for a year, as had been proposed to the Government on the ground that the situation was greatly altered since the Palestine policy was propounded and different conditions prevailed today.

Meanwhile, Colonial Secretary Malcolm MacDonald, receiving a delegation of the orthodox Agudath Israel, expressed sympathy with the plight of Jewish refugees from Poland, declared that he was now discussing with Palestine High Commissioner Sir Harold A. MacMichael the question of forthcoming immigration schedules, and indicated that immigration certificates would be reserved for Jewish leaders and rabbis.

The delegation, including Jacob Rosenheim and H.A. Goodman, called on the Colonial Secretary to discuss the Agudath Israel’s proposals regarding immigration to Palestine of Jewish leaders and rabbis from Poland now in exile in neighboring countries. The delegation described the Palestine situation since the outbreak of the war, particularly in regard to the White Paper and the question of immigration.

In Commons, MacDonald, replying to a question put by Geoffrey Mandel, Liberal, stated that the situation in Palestine was continuing to improve. He reported that 31,042 Jews immigrated legally to Palestine between October and December, 1939, under the April-September quota because they were unable to reach the Holy Land earlier. In addition, 459 Jews entered illegally by sea and possibly some others entered undetected. There was no question of refusing admission to the immigrants, he added.

The journal Palestine declares in an article that Britain must lead the way to fidelity in keeping promises and toward the rescue of victims of cruelty if she is to be the chief architect of a new post-war world based on justice and truth. The article declares that Britain accepted the Palestine mandate with the idea that Palestine would become a predominantly Jewish state. Referring to the recent address of Alfred Duff Cooper, former First Lord of the Admiralty, to a Zionist conference in Washington, the journal demands that pledges to the Jews be “fully and generously fulfilled” and immigration assisted and encouraged. “The horrors happening in Poland day after day justify this claim,” it asserts.

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