LONDON (Feb. 14)
The British Cabinet today authorized Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin to take the Palestine question to the United Nations in view of the rejection by both Jews and Arabs of the government’s latest proposals.
Bevin announced the Cabinet’s decision in an address to the Arabs attending the concluding session of the Conference on Palestine. He said that a full statement of government policy would be made in Parliament at an early date. It was announced yesterday that a debate on Palestine will take place next week in Commons.
An authoritative Jewish Agency spokesman told the JTA that while the Zionists would have preferred to settle the problem through direct negotiations with the British, they were prepared to fight the case before the United Nations. He said that although the Agency might be invited to present its views, it would probably argue its case through a friendly state, which was the practice it followed at the League of Nations.
It is not known whether the British plan to take the issue to the Security Council, the General Assembly or the Trusteeship Council. The Council is in continuous session, the Assembly will not convens again until September, while the trusteeship group is scheduled to meet next month. A Foreign Office spokesman said the form in which the question would be placed before the U.N. will be stated in Parliament next week. He added that nothing was said at today’s meeting with the Arabs as to the steps the government will take in Palestine prior to submitting the issue to the U.N.
In a White Paper on defense matters presented to Parliament today by Defense Minister Albert V. Alexander, the government said that “in Palestine the preservation of law and order (in the coming year) and the control of illegal immigration requires the presence of substantial forces of the three services.”
The Palestine committee of the Board of Deputies, commenting on the break-down of the London talks, reaffirmed the Board’s policy that any solution of the problem must be based on adherence to the Mandate, recognizing the right of Jews to immigrate and settie freely.