Washington (Dec. 17)
The Senate tonight adopted the Wagner-Taft resolution on Palestine, overriding the protests of Sen. Tom Connally, who asserted that “the President of the United Sates doesn’t want this resolution.”
Passage of the resolution by an overwhelming voice vote followed defeat of an amendment by Sen. Thomas Hart, of Connecticut, which had asked that the word “free” be struck from the section of the resolution asking “free immigration into Palestine,” and proposed other changes weakening the resolution.
The Senate began consideration of the resolution early today, but interrupted the debate for several hours to act on a bill appropriating funds for UNRRA, for which Sen. Connally secured precedence. Although many Democratic and Repulican Senators voiced their support of the bill, the opposition was confired mainly to Connally, who cast the sole vote against the measure in the Foreign Relations Committee last week.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Capitol, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives began hearings today on an identical resolution, which was introduced last week by Rep. Daniel Flood of Pennsylvania.
WAGNER, TAFT SAY RESOLUTION NEEDED AS GUIDE TO INQUIRY COMMIITTEE
Opening the debate in the Senate, both Wagner and Taft said immediate adoption of the resolution was imperative so that the Anglo-American Committee on Palestine would know that the traditional American policy with regard to Palestine had been reaffirmed.
Wagner said, “We do not want the committee to have the discretion to make its own decisions on matters of fundemental policy. We do not want the committee to recast promises or reformulate objectives. We do not want the committee to substitute the judgment of a few men, however worthy, for the intent and determination of the American Congress and the American people. We should, by this resolution, let the committee know what we want it to do, and we expect it to do just that without delay.”
Taft added: “We intend this resolution to be a reaffirmation of the Balfour Declaration. We are clearly committeed by promise and obligation as solemnly as possible to carry this through.” Sen. Abbon Barkley, of Kentucky, majority leader, also spoke in favor of the resolution.
Lessing J. Rosenwald, chairman of the American Council for Judaism, told the Foreign Affairs Committee that he opposed passage of the resolution and objected to its use of the phrases “Jewish National Homeland” and “free entry.” Committee Chairman Sol Bloom asked what alternatives Rosenwald could suggest and Rosenwald replied that while not advocating any alternatives, he would suggest that Russia take many Jews and that the United States, by using its unused immigration quotas, also receive many losenwald urged that the resolution not be passed, and that the findings of the Anglo- American Committee be awaited.
Rep. Flood called Rosenwald’s proposals “dangerous and inimical.” He added that the existence of the inquiry committee made the passage of the resolution more important thatn ever.
Rep. John W. McCormack, majority leader and Joseph W. Martin, Jr., minority leader, both of Massachusetts, urged the immediate adoption of the Flood resolution. Rep. Everett Dirksen, of Illinois, the first witness at the hearing, made a strong plea in its favor, saying he had visited Palestine a few months ago and that the industrial potentialities of the land had been hardly scratched, and that its agricultural production was of the highest quality. “The Jews in Palestine have showed a positive genius for building up and cultivating the land,” he said, urging that the Jews should have the right to buy land and expand their operations.
Dr. Emanuel Neumann, acting president of the Zionist Organization of America, protested against the length of time–40 minutes–given Rosenwald by the committee, and was assured that he would be heard by the committee in executive session as the sole witness tomorrow morning.
(Britain has no intention of evading its obligations under the Balfour Declaration, Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin said in London yesterday, in a letter to Samuel Silverman, Laborite Member of Parliament, in which Bevin explained that he used the phrase “Jewish Home” in his statement of Palestine policy on Nov. 13, rather than the phrase “Jewish National Home,” only as an abbreviation.)