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Colonial Office Says No Decision Taken on Imposition of Martial Law in Palestine

No decision has been taken to impose martial law in Palestine, or to launch punitive expeditions against Jewish settlements there, a spokesman for the Colonial Office told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency today. He said that military measures were not discussed in London, but admitted that such measures had been considered in Palestine.

The spokesman termed as “pure speculation” a report by the diplomatic correspondent of the Daily Telegraph that the British Government was considering a partition scheme for Palestine under which 60 percent of the country would be ceded to the Arabs, while the remainder would become a Jewish state with the status of a British dominion, with a flag, an army and a foreign minister of its own.

Authoritative circless also denied a press report that a partition scheme for Palestine will be put into effect in March. Admitting that the “federalization plan” is not acceptable either to the Jews or to the Arabs, they declared that the way was being left open for alternative proposals to be discussed at the conference on Palestine which is to be resumed in London two weeks from today.

On the other hand, circles close to official quarters today indicated that a partition plan for Palestine is almost certain to be put forward at the parley. The principle of establishing separate Jewish and Arab states in Palestine was the subject of talks this morning between Palestine High Commissioner Sir Alan Cunningham and high officials of the Colonial Office.

Government circles tonight confirmed that today’s conference between Sir Alan and Prime Minister Clement R. Attlee was devoted to the question of adopting the strongest measures possible against terrorism in Palestine. These circles said that the government hopes that responsible Jewish leaders will cooperate with the authorities, since it is known that only a small section of the Jews in Palestine sympathize with the extremists.

The Foreign Office denied a report in the London press that the government is planning to transfer to Cyprus or Kenya all terrorist suspects rounded up in Palestine in forthcoming military operations. The report also said that new detention camps for visaless Jews may be constructed in the British colony of Kenya.

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