LONDON (Feb. 12)
Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin today announced that the British Government “will probably have to submit the whole Palestine matter to the United Nations” if Jews and Arabs refuse to accept his proposal.
Bevin disclosed the British position at a meeting of the Conference on Palestine. At the session, the Arabs reiterated their demand that Palestine be made an independent state, while Bevin replied that he had no alternative proposal to make.
Today’s session of the conference reached an impasse, and no compromise is visualized. After meeting for three hours. Bevin told the Arab delegations that he would report the stand of the Arabs and have to the Cabinet on Friday and would then inform them of the Cabinet’s views. Friday’s session of the conference was officially described today as the final meeting.
REVISION OF WHITE PAPER IS JUSTIFIED. HE TELLS ARABS
Today’s meeting opened with a long statement by Bevin in which he declared that a solution appeared to be as remote as ever. The Labor Party, he pointed out, felt it had a perfect right to ask for a revision of the White Paper on Palestine, since it believed the restrictions could not be enforced indefinitely by British troops. The problem ought not to be incapable of solution, he added.
The government, Bevin continued, is particularly anxious not to outrage Arab opinion or disturb political relationships in the Middle East. Britain, he declared, would have preferred to stand aside and let the Jews and the Arabs work out a solution themselves.
Replying to Bevin’s statement, the Arab representatives warned that further Jewish immigration into Palestine would lead to explosions throughout the Arab Middle East. They replied affirmatively when Colonial Secretary Arthur Creech-Jones asked if they wanted the British to wash their hands of the Palestine mandate and get out of the country. They added that they were prepared to keep order during the transition period preceeding Arab independence in Palestine.
ARAB MEMORANDUM REJECTING THE BEVIN PLAN IS MADE PUBLIC
The Government today released the Arab memorandum rejecting the newest British proposal on Palestine. The Arabs emphasized their demand for “immediate independence in an undivided, unpartitioned Palestine” and insisted that Jewish immigration be halted and Arab lands be “protected.”
The memorandum points out that the British proposal was being rejected because it disregards the fundamental principles of the proposed Arab scheme. The Arabs, it says, have been denied self-government for twenty-five years, and there is no need for a trusteeship. It terms the British federalization plan “another guise for partition” and charges Britain with “appeasing the American point of view.”