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Conference of British Diplomats in London Will Avoid Direct Talks on Palestine

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Well-informed circles tday warned the Zionists not to attach undue importance to the discussions on the Middle East to which British diplomats in the Arab countries have been summoned by Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin.

It was emphasized that Lord Gort, High Commissioner for Palestine who is now in England, will not participate in the discussions. It was also pointed out that although the Palestine question “is likely to crop up,” it will not form a separate item, but will be dealt with only in connection with the reaction of the Arab states to Arab-Jewish relations.

The discussions, it was stated here today, will not be in the nature of a conference to determine policies, but will be of an informative nature, designed to acquaint Foreign Secretary Bevin with the opinions of the British envoys on the spot concerming various subjects affecting British interests in the Middle East.

The informative character of the talks, which are expected to last for a comparatively long time, will prevent members of the government from ascertaining the opinions on the Arab-Jewish question held by interested bodies, such as the Jewish Agency, which is watching developments very carefully.

It is known here that the envoys summoned to London differ widely in their opinions on the Palestine issue. Lord Killearn, British Minister in Cairo, who is one of the participants, is reported to be very unfriendly to Zionist aspirations.

The British press believes that the talks will not have great bearing on Palestine. The Manchester Guardian today points out that though Palestine is “certainly a burning question, it has less to do with the neighboring Arab states than with the attitude of Britain which will be decided within a reasonable time.”

PARTITION OF PALESTINE PREDICTED, ARAB-JEWISH-BRITISH ROUND TABLE EXPECTED

The official French news agency today reports that Zionist circles expect Britain to announce a decision on Palestine “before the end of the year.” It predicts that the partitioning of Palestine “will probably be the solution.” The report adds that before announcing its plan, the British Government contemplates placing it before a round-table conference of Jewish, Arab and British representatives to take place in London.

The same source reports from Beirut that the President of Lebanon has requested the diplomatic representatives of the Arab countries in Beirut to consult their respective governments on “the measures which they intend to adopt with regard to the Palestine question.” He assured the Arab diplomatic representatives in his country that”Lebanon considers Palestine a matter of national concern,” and revealed that a bill will shortly be introduced prohibiting the influx of Zionist capital into Lebanon.

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