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U.N. Inquiry Committee Surprised at British Note Asking Halting of Palestine Immigration

Some members of the U.N. inquiry committee on Palestine have expressed surprise at the release, on the eve of the committee’s departure for the Holy Land, of a British note through the U.N. to its member states asking them to prevent the “illegal” immigration of Jews to Palestine. The problem may be discussed at tomorrow’s meeting of the committee which was originally scheduled to discuss purely technical problems of its itinerary.

During the week-end, the Jewish Agency issued a statement attacking the British action. “No Jew who enters Palestine today enters Palestine illegally,”it declared. “It is illegal to keep them out of Palestine. In asking the member states of the United Nations to block the transit of Jews through their territory and their departure for Palestine, the United Kingdom is asking the United Nations to sanction and to cooperate in an illegal act,” the statement said.

“The British restrictions which bar Jews from Palestine were never approved by the League of Nations,”it continued. “On the contrary, the Permanent Mandates Commission of the League held theese restrictions to be a violation of British obligations under the Palestine Mandate and leading statesmen of both Great Britain and the United States have repeatedly condemned them.

“It is the United Kingdom, which seeks to trap Jews as prisoners in countries which are nothing more than vast graveyards for their dead, which is the prime disturber of the peace in Palestine. It is incredible that the United Kingdom, Unabashed, should ask the member states of the U.N. to act as accessories to her illegal and in humans conduct,” the Agency declared. “While the subject of Palestine is sub judice, Great Britain should, in all conscience, return to the Mandate, which specifically charges her with the duty of facilitating Jewish immigration and which remains in force until another international body has declared otherwise,” it concluded.

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