Jerusalem (Jun. 19)
Having foiled an Irgun plan to blow up British Army headquarters in Tel Aviv, at the cost of one of its own members, the Haganah today asked the British authorities to spare the lives of the three Irgunists who were sentenced to death this week for participating in the Acre jail break.
It was also learned that the members of the U.N. inquiry committee last night discussed a memorandum submitted by the parents of the doomed youths, asking the committee to intervene with the British authorities to secure commutation of the death sentences. Some of the delegates are reported to have urged Judge Emil Sandstroem, the committee chairman, to contact High Commissioner Sir Alan Cunningham and urge clemency.
The move by the Haganah places squarely on the shoulders of the British administration the responsibility for easing or provoking tension here while the inquiry group is making its study. It is above all a test of British good will.
If the British comply with the request of the Haganah, in return for the latter’s action which saved the lives of many British officers, then the Irgun will have little cause for resorting to violence at this time. However, if they turn down the Haganah appeal and hang the three Irgunists, then the Jewish community can only deduce that the British are not interested in promoting peace in Palestine and that there is no point in Haganah’s actively opposing the terrorist groups any longer, at the risk of civil strife within the Jewish community.
IRGUN SECRET RADIO REPORTED SEIZED BY POLICE IN TEL AVIV
Palestine police today seized a secret radio transmitter believed to be the mobile broadcasting station of the Irgun. The seizure took place when police in Tel Aviv challenged a taxi and fired upon the vehicle when the driver refused to halt. A transmitting set and some explosives were found in the taxi. The driver was arrested.
A further attempt on the part of the Haganah to tame extremist groups was made last night when eight members of the Haganah attempted to kidnap two Irgunists. One of them fled, while the other was dragged into a waiting taxi and carried off to an unknown destination.