Baltimore (May. 14)
A demand that the Security Council of the United Nations take such action as may be required so that the peace of Palestine can be safeguarded while Jewish refugees from Europe are being admitted, was voiced here by Summer Welles, former Under-Secretary of State, addressing a dinner of the Maryland Christian Palestine Committee tonight.
“It will, of course, be said that the Security Council has as yet no armed force at its disposal,” Welles declared. “It will also be said that the British Government continues to be the sole recognized authority in Palestine, unless and until it enters into an agreement with the Trusteeship Council of the United Nations by which it relinquishes that authority in whole or in part. But these objections constitute obstacles only if the interested powers are determined to have recourse to technicalities in order further to delay measures which in our judgment here tonight are so urgently necessary.
“I can well understand the reluctance of our Congress to agree that American military forces be utilized merely to assist the British Government as Major Attlee has suggested. But I cannot believe that reluctance would persist if our Government were called upon by the Security Council of the United Nations to assist in an endeavor which is obligatory if world peace is to be maintained.”
Emphasizing that the people of the United States “have an inescapable moral obligation” to contribute to the solution of the Palestine problem, Welles said that a kind of solution must be found which will provide that those Jews throughout the world who wish to make Palestine their permanent home shall be afforded the opportunity of doing so freely.
URGES U.S. TO PRESS FOR COMMONWEALTH, FAVORS JEWISH MAJORITY
“This Government,” Mr. Welles continued, “must at the same time press for the establishment of a free and democratic Commonwealth of Palestine which will afford
“If the United Nations assumes its just responsibility, establishes a Trusteeship over Palestine, and permits the immigration into that country of those who desire to settle there, Palestine in all probability will in the future possess a majority of citizens of the Jewish faith. I believe that is its rightful destiny. In that event, I have no fear that the Holy Places which are sacred to Christians, to Jews, and to Moslems alike will not always be open to all believers.
“Nor have I any reason to doubt that those who for so many long centuries have suffered persecution and discrimination will not wish to give an example to the world by bestowing equal rights without discrimination upon all citizens of Palestine, of whatever race or creed. Nor do I fear that the kind of nationalism which is represented by the passionate desire of many millions of Jews in many parts of the world that the land of their forefathers once more become a national home for the Jews can ever permanently prejudice international understanding.”
EXPRESSES DISAPPOINTMENT WITH INQUIRY COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS
Touching upon the recommendations of the Anglo-American inquiry committee, Welles said: “To all those who, like myself, believe that Palestine must become not only the promised National Jewish Homeland, but also an independent commonwealth into which the entrance of the Jewish people who wish to make that Holy Land their permanent home must never be restricted, save insofar as economic limitations may require, the report of the committee represents inevitably a matter for deep disappointment and for even deeper concern.
“While it is true that the committee includes in its report certain recommendations which are desirable and encouraging, notably those which have to do with the problem of land tenure, can anyone maintain that, insofar as the basic questions are involved, we are not back precisely where we were eight months ago?” he asserted.
CRITICIZES PALESTINE POLICY OF BRITISH GOVERNMENT
Mr. Welles was severely critical of British policy in Palestine. Declaring that successive British Governments have dealt badly with the problem of Palestine during the past thirty years, he especially attacked the White Paper stating that “there has been no sorrier manifestation in recent British history” than this document.
The former Under-Secretary also criticized the unilateral British proclamation of Transjordan as an independent country. “I cannot regard the recent decision of the British Government to proclaim the independence of Transjordan as other than a breach of the spirit as well as of the letter of the obligations which were assumed when it obtained the Palestine Mandate,” he stated.