Thirty-one Congressmen Protest in House Against Palestine Policy of British Government
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Thirty-one Congressmen Protest in House Against Palestine Policy of British Government

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Seventeen Democratic and Republican Congressmen joined in an hour’s protest in the House of Representatives today against the British Government’s refusal to date to accede to President Truman’s request for admission of 100,000 Jewish refugees into Palestine, and simultaneously called for establishment of a free and democratic Jewish Commonwealth in Palestine.

Fourteen additional Representatives, nine Democrats and five Republicans, who did not have time to speak, will have their remarks printed in the “Congressional Record.”

Starting off the discussion, Representative John W. McCormack, Democrat of Massachusetts, majority leader of the House, warned the British Government that “they will make a great mistake if they do not appreciate the depth of American feeling” on abrogation of the White Paper and fulfilment of British pledges on Palestine. Describing the “intense, deep-rooted, widespread feeling which permeates all classes of our people,” McCormack declared that “every effort should be made by our Government and other governments of good will to-save the remnants of this historic people…their rehabilitation constitutes a challenge to mankind which should be met immediately.”

The majority leader lauded President Truman’s “splendid action” in asking for the prompt admission of 100,000 displaced Jews into Palestine, declaring that is the immediate objective, while “the long time objective is creation as contemplated of a free and democratic Jewish Commonwealth.” He charged that Britain’s “cruel policy” in Palestine was part of prevailing appeasement which prevented hundreds of thousands of homeless Jews from finding refuge.

Rep. Herman P. Eberharter, Democrat of Pennsylvania, who apportioned the time for the speakers, ridiculed the “Arab bogey” and the “Jewish bogey” invoked recently by the Prime Minister of Iraq. He declared that “a Jewish State in Palestine can be a bridge between East and West and a fructifying influence for the whole of the backward and poverty-stricken Middle East.”

Charging that the Arab League is British created and controlled, Rep. Hugh De Lacy, Democrat of Washington, declared “there will be no end to imperialism while powerful groups within the United States and Britain for the sake of oil concessions and commanding positions on trade routes, are permitted to play Arab against Jew and Jew against Arab in Palestine, making contradictory sets of promises to each and keeping neither.”


De Lacy urged Big Three action for an early solution of the Palestine issue, to bring “democratic government, cultural autonomy and suitable and equal economic opportunity to Jew and Arab alike in Palestine as a means of satisfying the legitimate dreams of two peoples and stabilizing an important area of the world.” He proposed that Jewish and Arab peoples demand the end of Britain’s mandate, and the convening of a congress to frame a democratic constitution ensuring free elections, representation and cultural autonomy for all.

Rep. Charles A. Halleck of Indiana, Republican minority leader, asserted that a resolution on Palestine which was approved by the House Foreign Affairs Committee last December, was never reported out of the Rules Committee because of Administration opposition.

Rep. Chase Going Woodhouse, Democrat of Connecticut, urged that Congress immediately pass a resolution declaring that the United States use its good offices toward opening of Palestine for free entry of Jews and looking toward establishment of a free and democratic Commonwealth, She declared that despite pledges by both political parties and a majority of Congress, the State Department “answers inquiries to the effect that it has received no instructions from the White House as to U.S. policy in regard to Palestine.” She said that the American people favor opening Palestine to Jewish refugees in Europe, “We should ask that our Government officials charged with administering our foreign affairs be instructed as to this feeling,” Mrs. Woodhouse stated.

Rep. Chet Holifield, Democrat of California, declared that Arab hostility to Jewish expansion in Palestine is “greatly over-emphasized,” He expressed the opinion that “reactionary leaders among both the original Jewish inhabitants and Arab fanaties,” with the acquiescence of the British, have encouraged the existing hostility. He said that a Jewish Palestine is “right policy” not only because it was promised to the Jews and as reward for their sufferings, but “because such a policy seems to me to be most in accord with American interests.”


Rep. Thomas Lane, Democrat of Massachusetts, declared that “active interest in oil lines” in Arab countries neighboring Palestine is largely responsible for the “shameful hypocrisy” toward that problem. “We have the right to demand that Britain work with us for a solution and not an evasion of this problem,” Lane said.

Rep. Goodwin, Republican of Massachusetts, said Britain has the duty to repudiate the White Paper and the U.S. has a duty to act “vigorously” for that end, while helping to bring about a Jewish Homeland in Palestine.

Rep. John Coffee, Democrat of Washington, favored establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Rep. Philbin, Democrat of Massachusetts, urged that the President and State Department intensify efforts toward opening the doors of Palestine for Jewish settlement. Rep. Lewis, Republican of Ohio, declared that Palestine is “the natural and logical place for the displaced Jews of Europe.”

Republican Representatives Bender of Ohio and Dirksen of Illinois and Democratic Representative O’Toole of New York also participated in the discussion.

Concluding the hour, Rep. Emanuel Coller, Democrat of New York, thanked his colleagues for their “impassioned” pleas and called upon British Ambassador Lord Halifax and Lord Keynes, now in this country as head of an economic mission, not to seek aid from this Government before redeeming their pledges on Palestine.

Representatives whose remarks will appear in the “Congressional Record” include Democrats Douglas, Outland and Sheppard of California, Lynch and Tolan of New York, Neely of West Virginia, Feighan and Huber of Ohio and Kefauver of Tennessee. Republican Congressmen include Welch of California, Cunningham and Gwynne of Iowa, Keefe of Wisconsin and Auchincloss of New Jersey.

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