Agency and British to Resume Talks on London Conference Following New Govt. Proposal
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Agency and British to Resume Talks on London Conference Following New Govt. Proposal

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The Jewish Agency and the British Government will resume discussions looking towards Agency participation in the London conference, following new proposals made by the government during the week-end, it was disclosed today.

A hurriedly summoned meeting of the Agency executive decided this afternoon that “in view of His Majesty’s Government’s new approach to the Jewish Agency, Rabbi Judah L. Fishman and Eliezer Kaplan will go to London to consult with members of the Jewish Agency there and in Paris concerning preliminary negotiations aimed at creating the essential conditions which will make possible the Jewish Agency’s participation in the London conference.” Rabbi Fishman and Kaplan will leave for the British capital tomorrow morning, reportedly by military plane.

An Agency spokesman refused to reveal the details of the government’s new Offen He said, however, that the Agency “now has a good deal of freedom to act, even without consulting the Small Zionist Actions Committee.”

(There were persistent reports in London tonight that the meeting between the Agency representatives and the government would begin tomorrow at either the Foreign or Colonial Offices, although the Agency headquarters in London professed to have no knowledge concerning imminent negotiations.)

High Commissioner Sir Alan Cunningham met last night with Mrs. Goldie Meirson, acting political chief of the Agency, for an informal talk concerning the Zionist attitude towards the London parley. Mrs. Meirson is reported to have informed Sir Alan that release of imprisoned Agency leaders to enable them to attend the conference was a prerequisite for Agency participation.

Informed circles here expressed hope today that the new negotiations may result not only in the release of the Agency chiefs, but in a general amnesty for all persons seized since June 29, with the exception of those suspected of complicity in terrorism.


Addressing a press conference today, Jacob Shapiro, acting political adviser of the Agency, charged the Palestine authorities with “lawlessness” and abuse of their powers under the Emergency Defense Regulations in keeping detained 1,500 men and women, the bulk of whom have never had charges filed against them.

He cited as other examples of the government’s abuse of power the curfew in Tel Aviv and the house-to-house searches. Palestine, he charged, is a country where “habeas corpus does not exist, where the authorities are not obliged to give a lawful explanation for their acts and where a man acquitted by a court of law can immediately be arrested and detained for an unspecified time.”

Dr. Wolfgang von Weisl, Viennese doctor and journalist, ate his first meal in four week last night after ending a 28-day hunger strike protesting British policy in Palestine. Placed in detention on June 29, Von Weisl was released on Sept. 18 under police supervision after his hunger strike had weakened him considerably, but he decided to continue his fast. His condition was described tonight as “poor.”

Broadcasting over its secret radio, “The Voice of Fighting Zion,” the Irgun Zvai Leumi tonight called for a world-wide “Jewish Liberation Army” to attack vital British communications and to fight “until the Jewish flag waves over Jerusalem and Amman,” the capital of Transjordan.

Meanwhile, the Stern Group issued a manifesto warning that it will “strike without pity” in new blows against the British authorities, and accusing the Haganah of “open incitement to civil war between Jews in Palestine.”

The dawn-to dusk curfew clamped down on a large section of the Palestine coast last week due to the rumored approach of illegal immigrant ships was lifted this evening.

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