Zionist Leaders Confer with Secretary Byrnes on Palestine; Frank Discussion Held

American Zionist leaders today conferred with Secretary of State James F. Byrnes on the Palestine question for the first time since it was announced in Washington that Mr. Byrnes has been authorized by President Truman to discuss the Palestine issue with British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin who is now in this country.

Participating in the conference were Dr. Abba Hillel Silver, Dr. Stephen S. Wise and Dr. Nahum Goldmann. Mr. Bevin had been informed that a meeting with Byrnes was scheduled, during his second conference with Dr. Silver, which was held this week in the Waldorf Astoria at the invitation of the British Foreign Secretary. The three Zionist leaders had a full and frank exchange of views with Secretary Byrnes on various aspects of the Palestine problem.

Following the conference, Dr. Wise sailed on the Ile de France for Europe to attend the World Zionist Congress, and to participate in the first meeting of the European Consultative Council of the World Jewish Congress which will take place in Paris at the end of this month.

“I am hopeful that the British Government will see that there must be a Jewish State in Palestine,” Dr. Wise said in a statement issued to the press in connection with his departure. “Either that, or the end of the British Mandate. At the same time, and even though the problem of Palestine be settled all right, our government and the Congress must face the fact of immigration of refugees into our own country.

“The truth that Palestine alone can solve the problem of Jewish displaced persons does not alter the obligation of the U.S. to welcome and give a home to Jewish immigrants,” Dr. Wise continued. “President Truman has spoken on behalf of this. I believe the Republican Congress ought to take and will take the same position. Both great labor organizations have spoken in favor of immigration possibilities to be granted to refugees. It would be the decent and American way of dealing with certain aspects of this problem.”

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