London (Aug. 28)
A Foreign Office spokesman today revealed that the British Government intends to invite Jewish leaders and individuals, independently of the Jewish Agency, to the conference on Palestine which is scheduled to open here on Sept. 9.
Circles close to the Colonial Office expressed the hope that the invitations will be extended with the consent of the Jewish Agency. The differing views prevailing between the Foreign Office and the Colonial Office on this subject were emphasized by the spokesman of the former who compared the invitation to Jewish personalities with that extended by the British Government to Azzam Bey, secretary-general of the Arab League, who was invited in a personal capacity.
With regard to the demand of tas Jewish Agency that some of the detained members of its executive be admitted to the conference as members of the Jewish delegation, the Foreign Office spokesman said: “Only sovereign states can choose representatives freely, but the Jewish Agency is not a sovereign state.” However, he added that no official decision has as yet been reached on this request, The Colonial Office said that there was very little likelihood of the ex-Mufti being invited to the London talks.
PROSPECTS OF PALESTINE TALKS VIEWED WITH INCREASING PESSIMISM
The prospects of the forthcoming conference are viewed here with increasing pessimism by competent observers. All indications point to the fact that the conference will not materialize in the form originally planned. It is believed that the parley will be reduced to hardly more than British-Arab discussions, even if the Jewish Agency decides to accept the invitation to participate.
A Jewish Agency spokesman today said that it is not likely that the executive which is meeting in Paris will reach any decision until the views of members of the Agency now in Palestine have been heard. Eliezer Kaplan and Moshe Shapiro, members of the executive, left Paris by air today for Palestine to report to Palestine members the opinions expressed by various members of the executive at the meeting yesterday.
AGENCY MEMBERS QUESTION VALUE OF PARTICIPATION
It was reported here today that at the meeting of the Agency executive in Paris the question was raised as to whether any useful purpose would be served by participating in the round-table conference. A statement from the Jewish Agency is expected in two or three days. Some members of the executive will, in the meantime, return to London for talks with British officials prior to the issuance of the final decision.
(The United States does not plan to send any observers to the conference on Palestine which the British Government has arranged, it was learned at the State Department today.)