Basle (Dec. 27)
The Zionist Actions Committee, in session since Wednesday, was making progress today toward an agreement on some of the major political questions which the Zionist Congress dumped in its lap. However it has not succeeded yet in electing an executive.
Because of the Sabbath, the Actions Committee adjourned at noon until Saturday evening. Prior to adjournment it seemed as if a compromise was about to be reached between the Laborites and the General Zionists on the following terms: No president of the World Zionist Organization would be elected. David Ben Gurion would head the section of the executive in Jerusalem and Dr. Abba Hillel Silver would be chairman of its branch in Washington.
The section of the executive in Washington would be composed of two representatives of the Zionist Organization of America, one Hadassah representative, one Mizrachi and two Laborites. One of the Laborites would be Moshe Shertok, head of the political department of the Jewish Agency. The suggestion that Shertok be included in the Washington branch of the executive was made by the Laborites and was accepted last night by the General Zionists.
PARTIES AGREE UPON FORMULA COVERING PARTICIPATION IN LONDON CONFERENCE
A formula covering possible participation in the London Conference on Palestine was worked out today at a meeting of representatives of the Laborites and the General Zionists, which lasted for several hours. The details are expected to be announced Saturday evening when the Actions Committee resumes its meetings.
At all-night negotiations which ended early this morning an understanding was reached for the formation of a coalition executive composed of Laborites, General Zionists and Mizrachists. However, a final agreement was blocked when the Laborite negotiators raised a series of technical objections. These included a demand that political decisions of the new executive must be adopted by a two-thirds majority.
LABORITES ACCUSED OF DELAYING FORMATION OF EXECUTIVE
General Zionist leaders today accused the Laborites of deliberately delaying tactics. They emphasized that they as well as the Mizrachi, are “impatient and resentful over the unfair tactics of the Palestine Labor Party delegates in prolonging the formation of an executive.” They pointed out that this should have taken a half-hour.”
A spokesman for the General Zionists warned that if no final agreement on the composition of the executive is reached by tomorrow night, both the General Zionists and the Mizrachi will walk out of the projected coalition. He pointed out that the American delegates can no longer delay their departure from Basle and that Dr. Silver has already cancelled one steamship reservation and must leave on Sunday.
The spokesman emphasized that should the Laborites continue their “delaying tactics,” the Mizrachi and the General Zionists will allow them to constitute an executive by neither voting for or against it. However, he warned they would definitely vote against any attempt to extend the life of the old executive for another six months. He added that the General Zionists and the Mizrachi delegates hoped there could be a meeting of the new executive in Basle immediately after the elections, so as to consider the Zionist political situation and various pressing issues. The Laborite tactics which are making this impossible, are greatly harming Zionism, he stated.
In adjourning the plenary session until Saturday evening, the Actions Committee also decided to postpone the elections of a permanent chairman until after the new executive is completed.