British Officialdom Continues to Disclaim Knowledge of Palestine Partition Plan

All official quarters here continue to disclaim any knowledge regarding the reported new plan to partition Palestine. The Jewish State Party today adopted a resolution emphasizing that “partition of Palestine will never be recognized by the Jewish people.”

Lord Strabolgi, in a message to the British Zionist Federation made public today, says that “the partitioning of Palestine would amount to a British confession of political bankruptcy.” “Economically, Palestine is none too large as it is,” Lord Strabolgi says. “To split up this comparatively small territory would be a fiscal and cultural absurdity.” The pro-Zionist member of the House of Lords severely criticizes the British White paper. “Whatever else is done, no artificial obstacles should be erected against the emigration of Jews to Palestine within the limits of the absorptive capacity of the country,” he declares.

S. S. Hammersley, Conservative M.P., in a letter to the London Times today points out that the Balfour Declaration did not promise to make Palestine a Jewish state. The point at issue, he says, is not, however, the immediate creation of a Jewish state in Palestine, but whether recent world events justify the British Government taking action to “bring further development of the national home to an end next March.” In view of the current world situation, Hammersley continues, the government should open the doors of Palestine to Jewish immigration even wider “and this can be done without hardships and injustice for the Arabs.”

R.D. Denman, Independent Labor M.P., also has a letter in the Times in connection with the Palestine situation. Denman writes that what Balfour or others promised is of little importance since the Palestine mandate “obligates both parties.” If the mandate is to be revised, he says, Jews and Arabs are entitled to an alternative which they approve. Pacifist publicist Maud Royden, whose anti-Zionist correspondence in the Manchester Guardian precipitated the current exchange of letters in the press on the question of a Jewish state in Palestine, replies to Denman by stating that “no one has ever claimed that the mandatory power has the right to make a present of territory to a people against the wishes of the inhabitants.”

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