U.S. Cabinet Committee on Palestine Appointed by Truman; Will Negotiate with Britain
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U.S. Cabinet Committee on Palestine Appointed by Truman; Will Negotiate with Britain

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President Truman today appointed a Cabinet Committee on Palestine and Related Problems composed of the Secretaries of State, War and Treasury, under the chairmanship of Secretary of State James F. Byrnes.

The President said in a statement that he had appointed the committee in view of the urgency of various problems relating to the displaced Jews in Europe and Palestine.

“The committee will be charged with assisting me in formulating and implementing such policy with regard to Palestine and related problems as may be adopted by this Government,” the President’s statement said. “An executive order will be issued outlining the functions and authority of the committee in further detail.

“The committee will be authorized to negotiate with the British Government and with other foreign governments and to maintain contact with private organizations relative to the various matters arising out of the recommendations of the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry. It is my earnest hope that the Cabinet committee will be able to undertake its urgent tasks at the earliest moment,” the statement concluded.


Secretary of State Byrnes today announced at his press conference the appointment of Henry F. Grady as his alternate with the personal rank of ambassador on the special Cabinet Committee on Palestine and Related Problems. The Secretary leaves Thursday for Paris to attend the peace conference.

Mr. Grady recently headed the American section of the Allied mission to observe the elections in Greece and previously served as Assistant Secretary of State and on economic missions to the Far East and India. He is president of the American President Lines.

Byrnes explained, in answer to a number of questions regarding the committee, that its formation is solely to help the President in implementing the recommendations of the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry. The committee will not exclusively study the recommendation for immigration of the 100,000 displaced Jews now in Austria and Germany, Byrnes said, but the entire report.

“Replying to a question, he said that there is no plan to create an Anglo-American committee of technical exports to study physical problems connected with the immigration question, but that the Cabinet committee would include this on its agenda.

The British Government suggested to the United States a number of problems it wishes to discuss in connection with the admission of the 100,000, the Secretary said. These relate to selection of the 100,000, provision and financing of transporta- tion, and both temporary and permanent housing. Mr. Byrnes further said that the British also asked what contribution the United States Government is prepared to make in case of disorders, and methods of quelling them. Asked whether the British specified the aid they wished, the Secretary replied he was certain they had not made a specific request, but that is the point they wish to discuss. He said that the United States will discuss all the subjects suggested by the British whether or not this Government agrees with them.


The Secretary declared that the inquiry committee report includes other questions which the Cabinet committee will consider, such as those relating to the economic and cultural development of Palestine, and establishment of irrigation projects that would mean employment for prospective immigrants to Palestine. Disposition of displaced persons other than those who may go to Palestine will also be studied, he said.

Asked if the British had given any assurance that they would accede to admission of the 100,000 if the United States helps to find answers to the questions, the Secretary declared he knew of no such assurance. He went on to say that up to this time, the correspondence between the British and American Governments had been carried on by President Truman and Prime Minister Attlee, with copies furnished to Foreign Minister Bevin and himself, and that he had several conferences with Bevin. He did not know whether he would have further talks with Bevin again in Paris, but said that if occasion arose for them, he would do so.

The problems now presented, Byrnes emphasized, are such that the President must ask the assistance of the Cabinet, and he therefore chose the three ranking Cabinet members for this task. It will be their duty to present to the President their study of the physical factors involved in the recommendations of the Anglo-American inquiry committee.

To a question as to whether the exchanges with Great Britain would still be on the top level, Byrnes replied that the executive order creating the committee provides for consultation by the committee with accredited representatives and agencies of other governments, and with public and private bodies. He said that United States Ambassador Harriman in London has been making some preliminary inquiries and will forward a statement of facts for consideration by the Cabinet committee immediately upon its organization.

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