London (Sep. 3)
Disappointment was expressed today in Jewish Agency circles at the reported rejection by Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin of the Agency’s request that its own plan for the partition of Palestine be made the basis for discussion at the forthcoming London conference of Palestine, instead of the British “federalization” scheme.
Prof, Selig Brodetsky and Berl Locker, two members of the Agency executive, returned from Paris today to meet with Dr. Chaim Weizmann on Bevin’s reply. The exact contents of the reply have not yet been disclosed, but it was reliably reported that Bevin insisted upon the “federalization plan” remaining the chief subject of the London talks, thus bringing the situation back to its starting point. Bevin’s reply was delivered yesterday after Dr. Nahum Goldmann and Berl Locker presented him with the Agency’s request.
(In Paris, Dr. Goldmann today denied a report that the Jewish Agency had rejected the British invitation to participate in the conference, following Bevin’s refusal to accept the Agency’s teams. He emphasized that the talks between the Jewish Agency and Bevin would continue.
(“There has been no rejection and so far no decision,” he stated. “We are only six or seven members here and cannot speak for the whole Agency. Dr. Weizmann mist be consulted, and then there are also the Palestine members of the executive.”)
CONFERENCE ON PALESTINE WILL NOT BE POSTPONED, GOVERNMENT SAYS
A government spokesman today denied the rumors that the round-table conference would be postponed. He said that the conference will start with the representatives of the Arab states which accepted the British invitation, while other delegations may join the parley at a later stage.
Authoritative sources emphasized today that the government considers the “federalization plan” as the point from which the discussions at the parley “must start.” This, it was pointed out, is the proposal with which the British Government is coming to the conference. Other delegations are free to introduce their own proposals, the same sources added.
British Colonial Secretary George Hall today saw Prime Minister Clement Attlee and discussed with him the arrangements for the conference. Authoritative sources said that the conference will be opened by Attlee with two speeches, one at a morning session for the Jewish representatives, and another at an afternoon session for the Arab delegation. Final details of the conference, however, are still being worked out.
No invitations will be extended to Jewish organizations and individuals outside of the Jewish Agency, pending the latter’s final reply, it was indicated today in official circles.