Colonial Office Asked to Allow Parliamentarians to Fly to Palestine to Probe Situation

The Colonial Office has been asked to permit four members of Parliament to fly to Palestine to investigate the situation there, Richard Crossman, Labor M.P., and a member of the Anglo-American inquiry committee, disclosed last night.

Addressing a mass meeting in St. P## town hall, which overflowed into the streets, Crossman said that a “ghastly mistake” was being committed by the British Government. He charged that the Government lacked the “human touch” and deplored the fact that settlements which had been built over a quarter-century were being destroyed and that “Socialists are throwing into jail fellow-Socialists.”

In an impassioned address, Palestine Chief Rabbi Isaac Herzog said: “We feel that an attempt is being made to crush the Jewish people, but having survived the Nazi inferno, Israel will not be killed by the hand of a former friend. Palestine is the only means of salvaging the last remnants of Jewry that survived the Nazi rivers of fire and blood. I have seen our brothers and sisters snatched out of the Nazi inferno. They have no other hope save their national home where alone they can recuperate mentally, physically, and spiritually and where they can start life afresh.”

Asserting that the impossibility of Arab-Jewish cooperation in Palestine is a “myth,” Crossman asserted that “the main reason for the lack of cooperation is the failure of the administration in Palestine to put forward and to work a plan for the development of the country which would benefit Jew and Arab alike. If the British and Americans were to make a huge loan to Palestine, if experts from both countries were sent there, if Jew and Arab would forget politics and bitterness for a little while and if all were to get down to the task of making the land worth living in for both Jew and Arab – this would be an achievement worthy of all parties,” Crossman said.

CHALLENGE OFFICIAL DENIAL THAT PRISONERS WERE MISTREATED

Berl Locker, a member of the Jewish Agency, commenting on the denial by the Colonial Office of his charges that detained Jews were being mistreated in Palestine, pointed out that the Colonial Office statement released to Latrun prison, whereas the tortures are reported to have occurred in Athlit, to which no correspondents have been invited. The fact that the prisoners in Athlit went on a hunger strike, eliciting a promise from the authorities that conditions would be improved, indicates that the Jews had been mistreated, he said.

The London Times, whose editorial policy is usually a fairly accurate reflection of the government’s attitude, says that the statement by President Truman to the American members of the Jewish Agency caused “more than a little surprise” here. The paper’s diplomatic correspondent charges that the President prejudged the issue and denies that the British Government is stalling in carrying out the recommendations of the inquiry committee.

The Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen today sent a protest to Prime Minister Attlee, demanding on behalf of “thousands of servicemen who fought alongside their Palestinian Jewish comrades” that arrested Jewish leaders be released and 100,000 European Jews admitted to Palestine. It was announced that Lieut, Col. Gerald Rossen, a veteran of more than five years of active service, has resigned his rank because “the principles of the Four Freedoms have been so grossly betrayed by the Labor Government in its dealings with the only homeless people in the world.”

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