London (Aug. 27)
Members of the Jewish Agency executive, after meeting in London for over three hours today, were reported to have failed to reach a decision on the question of acceptance of Britain’s invitation to the round-table conference on Palestine, which is scheduled to open here on Sept. 9.
After the meeting, they left for Paris to continue discussions there with David Ben Gurion, chairman of the executive, and with other executive members who are now in Paris. A statement from the Jewish Agency on its final decision was expected today, but will apparently not be issued before tomorrow at the earliest.
Two major difficulties are reported to be faced by the Jewish Agency executive in connection with the British invitation, The Jewish Agency wishes to be the body responsible for inviting representatives of other Jewish organizations, including non-Zionists groups, while the British Government has indicated that it intends to issue invitations to these organizations directly from the Foreign Office. Similarly, the Jewish Agency insists that its members now detained in Palestine be permitted to attend the parley as members of the Jewish delegation.
While no official attitude has yet been taken by the British Government with regard to the Agency’s first demand, it is known that the Agudas Israel organization has been approached by the government with a view toward establishing whether the organization would be willing to send a representative to the conference, in the event that invitations are extended to Jewish groups not represented by the Jewish Agency.
The Colonial Office told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency today that no invitations have been extended to Jewish organizations or individuals, except to the Agency. Reuter reported that the Agency has been invited to submit a list of its representatives, but that Britain reserves the right to object to any individual on the list.
MUFTI MAY BE ADMITTED TO CONFERENCE, BRITISH PRESS REPORTS
Indications that the ex-Mufti of Jerusalem may be admitted to the conference as head of the delegation of Palestine Arabs was given today in the British press, though the Colonial Office termed these reports “speculation.” A spokesman for the Colonial Office emphasized that no official position has been taken by the government in regard to the Arab demand that the ex-Mufti be recognized as a delegate on to the demands of the Jewish Agency that interned members of its executive participate in the London talks as full-fledged members of the Jewish delegation.
The Daily Express said today that while the British Government would prefer not to have the ex-Mufti in London for discussions on Palestine’s future, “the Cabinet is not likely to allow the conference to fail merely on the point of whether the Mufti should attend or not.” The evening papers similarly reported that the Cabinet may decide to accept the Mufti and the detained members of the Jewish Agency executive as members of the Arab and Jewish delegation, respectively.