LONDON (Mar. 1)
Telegrams urging members of Parliament to oppose the new Palestine land ordinance, which is to be debated on a Laborite motion of censure next Wednesday, poured in to the House of Commons today.
Although the Laborite Daily Herald predicted that the debate would be the hottest Commons has experienced since the war started, other quarters expressed the belief that the Government would secure a larger majority than it obtained in the White Paper debate of May 23, 1939, when it won by the narrow margin of 89 votes.
Political circles pointed out that regardless of the strong dislike many Government supporters have for the White Paper policy and the land regulations, they will be unwilling to follow a policy of opposition or abstention from voting, which might be considered weakening the Government.
Although the Laborites framed the resolution carefully to make it easier for Conservatives to support it, the Government is expected to look at the question as an express vote of censure and to summon its followers by a three-line whip to vote for the land regulations.
At the same time, it is reported that Colonial Secretary Malcolm MacDonald is being urged by Government supporters to state bluntly the reasons which led the Government to announce the regulations in Commons to the surprise of both sides of the House Conservatives who dislike the regulations, under which Jews are forbidden to buy land in some areas and restricted in others, but are unwilling to go against the Government feel that a full declaration “will take the sting out of the debate.” It seems definite, however, that the large Conservative bloc headed by Leopold S. Amery, former Colonial Secretary, and Capt. Victor Cazalet, which had previously strongly opposed the White Paper policy, will not hesitate to condemn the regulations.
Meanwhile, public indignation over the ordinance continued to manifest itself. The executive committee of the British League of Nations Union adopted a resolution protesting against enforcement of the regulations without consulting the League.
The Jewish Chronicle, Anglo-Jewish weekly, comments that the “most exasperating feature” of the regulations is their “sheer stupidity.” The New Statesman and Nation terms the ordinance an “undisguised violation of the Mandate.” The Spectator asserts that unless there is far stronger ground for action than disclosed in the House, the decision “to create a fait accompli is hard to justify.”