WASHINGTON (Feb. 16)
Concern over the fate of Palestine was expressed in pro-Palestine circles here today following Prime Minister Churchill’s revelation in his broadcast yesterday that the Mediterranean is now closed to Allied shipping.
Churchill’s broadcast was followed by the disclosure here that Ambassador William C. Bullitt, in a report to President Roosevelt on his flying visit to the Near East, discussed the possibility of Palestine, Syria and the Suez Canal falling into the hands of the Nazis. The news was broadcast from here last night over a nation-wide hook-up by Drew Pearson and Robert S. Allen, well-informed Washington columnists.
Terming Bullitt’s report to the President as “very pessimistic,” the two Washington journalists stated that Bullitt informed Roosevelt that the Nazis are about to stage a strong drive on the Near East and have amassed enough troops in North Africa so that they will not have to go through Turkey, but will drive on through Libya and Egypt to the Suez Canal. ”Bullitt reported that in his opinion the Nazis will take not only the Suez Canal, but also Syria, Palestine, Mosul, Mesopotamia and Iran,” the Washington journalists declared in their joint broadcast.
Churchill, in his broadcast yesterday, announced for the first time that “the Mediterranean is closed and all our transports have to go round the Cape of Good Hope, each ship making only three voyages in the year.” Predicting that ”another serious battle will soon be fought” in the Libyan desert, the British Prime Minister added that one of Britain’s principal tasks now is ”to provide for the safety and order of Abyssinia, Eritrea, Palestine, Syria, Iraq and Persia.”