London (Aug. 17)
President Truman’s statement on the position of the United States with regard to Jewish immigration into Palestine and the establishment of a Jewish State, has evoked a great deal of interest here both in general British and Jewish circles.
It was learned today that Prime Minister Attlee will be asked in the House of Commons on Tuesday also for a clear statement with regard to the Palestine issue. The question, too, will be raised in the House of Lords in conncetion with the ratification of the San Francisco Charter of the United Nations.
The feeling among American Zionist leaders here who are awaiting transportation to the United States, following the closing of the World Zionist Conference, is that President Truman’s statement can be considered as encouraging, since it indicates that the Government of the United States is taking an active interest in the Palestine problem. At the same time, President Truman’s statement is also taken in Zionist circles here as an indication that much remains to be done both in Washington and in London before any radical change of the present British policy with regard to Palestine can be assured.
Following the lead of the London Times and the Manchester Guardian, the two leading British newspapers which urge the partitioning of Palestine, the Spectator, an influential liberal weekly publication, came out today with an article against the declaration issued by the World Zionist Conference demanding Palestine as "an undivided and undiminished Jewish State."
"This demand," the editorial says, "goes far beyond the bounds of reason, and is far from being in accordance with the Balfour Declaration. In fact, it is a direct violation of the Balfour Declaration, since the document did not offer conversion of Palestine to the Jews as a state, but the establishment in Palestine of a Jewish National Home."
The editorial refers to the clause in the Balfour Declaration which provides that nothing shall be done to prejudice the rights of the non-Jewish communities in Palestine, and argues that a million Jewish immigrants would swamp the existing Arab population in Palestine, "even if this small country could support so many immigrants, which is extremely doubtful." The article also denies the Zionist contention that a large Jewish immigration to Palestine would prove economically advantageous to the Arabs.
The London Jewish Chronicle today expresses the view that the real brains behind the Arab propaganda office in London are not Arabs, but men of the upper strata of British society.