Paris (Aug. 18)
Zionist leaders Stephen S. Wise, Nahum Goldmann and Berl Locker conferred here today with British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin and Colonial Minister George Hall for the second time in two days.
Neither the Jewish leaders nor British spokesmen would comment on the talks. Shortly afterwards, Hall returned to London. He has been here since Saturday morning, holding intensive discussions with Bevin on the Palestine issue.
Informed Jewish circles here warned against any undue optimism as a result of the contacts in the past few days between members of the Jewish Agency and the British Government. They said that no negotiations on Palestine’s status are presently under way and that the Agency has requested these meetings in an attempt to learn the government’s intentions.
The situation as seen from here is as follows: The Agency executive having rejected as a basis for discussions the “federalization” scheme proposed in the House of Commons by Deputy Prime Minister Herbert Morrison is attempting to ascertain whether the British are prepared to make any other proposals.
A great many questions still remain on the agenda of the executive meeting here, which is scheduled to conclude the end of the week. Also, before adjourning, the Agency leaders will have to decide whether or not to leave any of the executive members in Paris to be available for further political negotiations. According to present plans, a press conference will be convened at the conclusion of the meeting, and David Ben Gurion and other executive members will outline the decisions reached here.
Meanwhile, official Jewish Agency spokesmen reiterated their refusal to make any official comment on the statement issued by President Truman. They referred questioners to the statement by Ben Gurion on Friday night, that admittance of refugees and displaced persons to the United States would be a fine thing, but that the bulk of the Jews in Europe want to go to Palestine.