San Francisco (May. 6)
Big Four policy on trusteeships for mandated areas was being welded today behind the doors of Secretary of State Stettinius’ apartment at the Fairmont Hotel, while experts of the Jewish Agency were busy scrutinizing the United States and British proposals on international trusteeships to establish how each of these plans would affect the Palestine mandate.
From the British draft, it is obvious that Britain is in favor of remaining the sole trustee over Palestine. From the United States draft it can be assumed that the U.S. would be in favor of a mixed trusteeship for Palestine. Zionist leaders here would like to see Palestine under a mixed trusteeship since this would make the United States one of the trustees, and thus give American Jews the possibility of exercising influence on Palestine’s fate.
Other important differences between the U.S. and British recommendations are also attracting the attention of Jewish Agency experts, Under the U.S. plan a trustee administering a mandated territory would have to submit an annual report to the General Assembly, while under the British plan the trustee would render annual reports only to the Economic and Social Council of the international machinery and only on questions concerning the economic and social advancement of the inhabitants. In the case of Palestine this would mean that Britain as trustee would be under no obligation to render any report on political affairs and problems of the country.
The American plan on trusteeship is also preferred by Jewish Agency leaders because it contains a provision that petitions can be submitted by interested parties to the General Assembly or the trusteeship council. No such provision is contained in the British plan. The American plan also empowers the General Assembly and the trusteeship council to institute investigations. The British plan does not mention the subject of investigations.
U.S. WANTS “INTERNATIONAL TRUSTEESHIP,” BRITISH ASK “TERRITORIAL TRUSTEESHIP”
The most striking difference between the American and British plans which has a bearing on the future of the Palestine mandate is that the American plan speaks constantly of “international trusteeship” while the British speaks of “territorial trusteeship.” Thus, if the British plan is accepted by the conference there will be no international trusteeship for Palestine.
It is important to emphasize that the American plan, as well as the British, provides that “the trusteeship arrangement for each territory to be placed under trusteeship should be agreed upon by the states directly concerned.” In the case of Palestine it would mean that Britain will have to agree to changes in Palestine’s status. The American plan also implies that not all mandated territories will be placed under trusteeship. “It would be a matter for subsequent agreement as to which territories would be brought under a trusteeship system and upon what terms,” the U.S. draft reads.
In commenting upon the American plan Stettinius again emphasized yesterday that no consideration will be given at this conference to specific territories since the conference is dealing only with machinery for trusteeship.
At a press conference of the World Federation of Trade Unions, addressed by Isaders of Russian, British, and other unions, under the chairmanship of Philip Murray of the C. I. O., Murray emphasized that the world conference of the federation held recently in London adopted a resolution asking the new international authority to remedy the wrongs inflicted upon the Jewish people, to protect them against oppression, discrimination and spoliation in any country, and to enable them “to contime the rebuilding of Palestine as their national home” respecting the legitimate interests of other national groups there.
The Arab delegations here continue to be active. Although the Saudi Arabian delegation is keeping in the background as far as political affairs go, the Syrian and Iraq delegations are conducting intensified public and private propaganda for recognition by the conference of the pan-Arab league past signed in Cairo by Egypt, Iraq, lenen, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Trans jordan, under which Palestine is considered in Arab country.
Representatives of the Agudas Israel, who arrived over the week-end from New York, issued a press statement declaring that they did not come here “to take any steps which may be interpreted as opposition to the idea of a Jewish commonwealth.” The statement emphasizes that “Agudas Israel will request, together with all sections of the Jewish people, the cancellation of the White Paper and the opening of the gates of Palestine to unrestricted immigration in order to enable the Jewish people to schieve the full realization of the privileges granted by the Balfour Declaration.”
Declaring that the Agudah desires “peaceful understanding with the Arabs,” the statement says that ” it is imperative that representatives of organized orthodox-Jewry are called upon to take part in all negotiations concerning the future of Palestine.” It demands freedom of religion and protection for observance of the sabbath and the right to practice ritual slaughtering everywhere, within the framework of an international bill of rights. It announced the readiness of the Agudah representatives “to actively cooperate with all other Jewish organizations to bring about a unified representation of the various groups before the United Nations Conference.”
Among the Jewish representatives who arrived here within the last few days are Sir Robert Waley-Cohen, representing the Anglo-Jewish Association, Rabbi Stephen S. Wise and Nahum Goldman representing the Jewish Agency for Palestine; Herman Shulman, Louis Lipsky and Rabbi Joseph Lookstein of the American Jewish Conference; Mrs. Rose Halperin, president of Hadassah and Rabbi Herbert S. Goldstein, president of the Synagogue Council of America.