Byrnes Assures Wise That State Department Implements Truman Policy on Palestine

Secretary of State Byrnes has assured Dr. Stephen S. Wise, American member of the executive of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, that no difference of opinion exists between President Truman and the Department of State regarding United States policy toward Palestine.

The Department of State today made public an exchange of correspondence between Byrnes and Rabbi Wise, in which Dr. Wise asked for clarification of rumors that “the President’s statement (of Oct. 4) is not to be considered as policy of the American Government and that, in fact, the State Department is not giving full support to the policy which the President’s statement would seem to reflect.”

Byrnes, in his letter of Oct. 24 to Dr. Wise, emphatically denied the rumors. “I am happy to assure you,” he wrote, “that the rumors to which you refer have no basis in fact. The statement made by the President on Oct. 4 with regard to Palestine and to Jewish immigration into Palestine is, of course, an expression of the policy of this government. With this policy I am in hearty accord.”

Byrnes declared that both the Department of State and the Foreign Service will continue loyal and wholehearted implementation of Presidential policies regarding Palestine and the question of displaced persons in Europe.

“The importance which this government attaches to the matter and the deep personal concern of the President over the situation in Palestine and over the condition of the displaced persons in Europe,” Byrnes said, “a concern which I share–is shown by the fact that on this occasion, as on several prior occasions, the President himself has expressed the views of this government. The Department of State and the Foreign Service are endeavoring loyally and wholeheartedly to do their part in the implementation of these policies with regard to Palestine and associated problems. They will continue so to do.”

A Jewish Agency spokesman welcomed Byrnes’ statement, particularly the Secretary’s reference to implementation of Presidential policy by the Foreign Service.

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