Washington (Aug. 6)
Acting Secretary of State Dean Acheson today announced at a press conference that the United States Government has not yet made any formal decision on the British-proposed “federalization” plan for Palestine. At the same time, he emphasized that President Truman’s recommendation for the early admission of 100,000 Jews to Palestine cannot be advanced until the entire situation is more clarified.
It was reported today that White House circles resent what is considered high pressure propaganda in the British press to stampede the President into a quick decision on the plan. The tone of British news reports, implying that Mr. Truman is causing an unjustifiable delay, has struck an inharmonious note. Washington officials believe that, in view of the British record of delaying tactics and of Mr. Truman’s patience, it was unreasonable to expect a Presidential reply even before Mr. Truman had an opportunity to consult with his experts.
The majority, if not all, of the six American members of the former Anglo-American inquiry committee who will begin consultations tomorrow at the specific request of President Truman with the Cabinet Committee alternates and then with the committee itself, are opposed to the British plan, it was learned here today. They regard it as inconsistent with the recommendations of the inquiry committee, and will vigorously push this opinion. It is thought likely that Henry F. Grady will try to persuade the inquiry committee members to agree to the plan. The forecast, however, is that he will fail in this attempt.
At his press conference today, Acting Secretary Acheson was asked about a report which appeared in the press stating that President Truman had already communicated his initial dissatisfaction with the plan to the British Government. Mr. Acheson observed that he could not comment on the President’s action. By his answer to numerous questions about developments of the Palestine situation, however, Mr. Acheson gave the impression that the final decision awaited President Truman’s discussions with Henry F. Grady.
Secretary Acheson stated that the plan will not be published here, its essence having been given in last week’s speech in the House of Commons by Herbert Morrison, substituting for Prime Minister Attlee.
One of the difficulties from the American standpoint, as emphasized by a well-informed source, is the absence of any assurance that the British would implement any proposal, even if approved by the United States, without Arab consent. It is felt that this amounts to exercise of an Arab veto and that until this issue is settled, there is little value in American agreement to any plan.
Zionist leaders have been keeping a detailed watch on Washington developments and Zionist experts have been in the city since the beginning of the week, studying the situation and subjecting the plan to careful analysis.