U.S. Govt. Will Act on Palestine Only After Completing Consultations with Jews and Arabs

The Department of State today reiterated that no decisions will be made on the report of the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry, in whole or in part, until after completion of the consultations with Jews and Arabs.

Michael J. McDermott, special assistant to the Secretary of State on press relations, responding to a question at a news conference as to whether yesterday’s statement denying conflict between Presidential and State Department views on the recommendation to admit 100,000 Jews to Palestine meant rejection of Arab protests against the report, said that the whole subject is under discussion with Jewish and Arab groups, and that pending conclusion of the consultations, nothing has been rejected or any action taken.

The State Department’s denial yesterday of any conflict in policy on Palestine between the President and itself was prompted by recent articles in the press alleging a divergence of views, and was submitted for Presidential approval before publication, it is learned. The statement reads as follows:

“The Department of State has been asked the question whether the statement of May 10 of the then Acting Secretary of State regarding the initiation of consultation with Jews and Arabs on the recommendations of the Anglo-American Committee on Palestine represents a withdrawal from the statement issued by the President on April 30.

“In reply the Department said today that there is no conflict and can be no conflict in the two statements. It must be clear that the President’s statements are controlling upon all the departments of government. In his statement of April 30 the President reaffirmed the urgency of the transference of the 100,000 Jews as recommended by the Committee and previously by him.

“It is precisely because of the urgency of this problem that under the direction of the President the State Department has agreed to and inaugurated immediate consultations with Jews and Arabs as well as with the British Government as to the best and quickest means of reaching an effective solution of the problems dealt with in the report.”

STATE DEPT. SAYS IT FAVORS ADMISSION OF MAXIMUM NUMBER OF JEWS

Today, the State Department explained that the United States policy has consistently been based on the principle that as many as possible of the displaced Jews of Europe should go to Palestine. It was pointed out that the figure of 100,000 persons to be admitted to Palestine originated a year ago with the Jewish Agency, was reiterated by Earl Harrison in his survey last summer of conditions in the DP camps, and accepted by President Truman.

“When the report of the Anglo-American Committee was submitted,” the explanation continues, “the President expressed his pleasure at the Committee’s endorsement of his proposal concerning the 100,000 and then authorized then authorized the State Department to institute consultations on the report, this Government having always been bound to consult with Jewish and Arab leaders. It was decided to use the report as a basis for the consultations.”

In stressing the identity of Presidential and State Department policy, it was pointed out that the memorandum outlining this Government’s position on Palestine, which the Department sent on May 20 to Jewish and Arab groups asking for their views by June 20, was approved by the President.

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