Basle (Dec. 3)
Final arrangements for the opening of the 22nd World Zionist Congress next Monday were completed here today following a meeting of the World Zionist Executive at which the latest developments in the Palestine situation were discussed.
It is understood that British Colonial Secretary Arthur Creech-Jones invited David Ben Gurion to come to London prior to the opening of the Congress in order to confer on aspects of the Palestine situation which may come up for discussion at the Congress. However, Ben Gurion rejected the invitation as a protest against the fact that Foreign Minister Ernest Bevin did not receive him during his recent stay in the United States.
David Ben Gurion, as chairman of the World Zionist Executive, presided over today’s meeting at which the final touches were made on the report prepared by the Executive for submission to the Congress. Dr. Chain Weizmann was not present at the meeting. He is in Lugano preparing his keynote address, and the members of the executive here are in constant touch with him.
In formulating the program for the Congress, the Executive is again bringing to the forefront the Biltmore Declaration which demands the establishment of a Jewish commonwealth in Palestine, it was learned today. The composition of the new Executive to be elected by the Congress was also under discussion today.
Simultaneously with the meeting of the Executive, the delegates of various Zionist groups here started discussions to decide on their positions with regard to the major issues which will have to be decided there. Some of the American delegates, including Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, arrived today. The others are expected Saturday.
The Swiss Government is displaying a very friendly attitude toward the Congress. The authorities have provided the Congress with good facilities and a staff of special guards and detectives has been assigned to the Congress building where delegates from 61 countries will hold meetings for about two weeks.