LONDON (Jan. 5)
Important British Government decisions on Palestine are expected this week when the Cabinet meets to discuss the political and military situation there, Sunday newspapers in London forecast today.
In the light of discussions last week between Palestine High Commissioner Sir Alan G. Cunningham and Foreign Secretary Bevin, which were also attended by Field Marshal Viscount Montgomery, the press predicts the imposition of martial law in Palestine, unless Haganah’s warning yesterday to the Irgun Zvai Leumi and the Stern Group are headed. The warning is given great prominence in the majority of the newspapers.
The Sunday Pictorial declares that there is a difference of opinion in the Cabinet as to how the Palestine crisis is to be met. It states that Defense Minister Albert V. Alexender, backed by Cunningham and Montgomery, is calling for strong military measures, while the Foreign Office is holding out for a diplomatic settlement.
The report of a faction within the Cabinet favoring military suppression of terrorism in Palestine is supported by the newspaper People which says that a plan of action drawn up by Cunningham and Montgomery will be submitted to Prime Minister Attlee tomorrow. The paper says that one of Montgomery’s chief srguments in defense of his proposal is that Britain’s "tender" treatment of the Jews is interpreted as a sign of weakness in the Middle East.
The Sunday Times diplomatic correspondent writes that the government is giving the Palestine problem priority over all other matters in view of the resurgance of terrorism and the Zionist refusal to attend the London conference. He asserts that the situation " calls for a strong decisive policy" embracing both a short term and a long range plan for the country.
Authoritative Colonial Offics sources stated yesterday that David Ben Gurion, chairman of the world Zionist executive, and Colonial Minister Arthur Creech-Jones merely exchanged opinions at their meeting Thursday. The sources, which were commenting on London press reports that Ben Gurion had failed to obtain concessions for Jewish attendance at the London parley, asserted that Ben Gurion had not asked for any concessions.