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Britain Plans to Begin Withdrawal from Palestine Immediately After Assembly Adjourns

A Foreign Office spokesman indicated tonight that Britain intends to begin withdrawing from Palestine immediately after the conclusion of the present General Assembly debate, unless an agreed solution is reached. He added that the government would not keep the Mandate if the Assembly decision is postponed for a later session.

The spokesman said that Britain’s decision to abandon the Mandate unless a settlement agreeable to both Jews and Arabs was reached is “decisive and considered.”

The Arab Office here issued a statement declaring that the Arabs welcome the British decision to withdraw from the country. By its statement, the government had rejected “55 unjust and impracticable recommendations of UNSCOP or, at least, declines to assume any responsibility for implementing them,” the Arab statement added. It opposed any attempt to turn over the British administration to a “foreign authority.”

(In Jerusalem, Dr. Hussein Khalidi, secretary of the Palestine Arab Higher Committee, proposed that upon withdrawal of the British administration an interim government of five Arabs and two Jews be established, with a U.N. High Commission and a deputy commissioner nominated by the Arab League. Public security, he said, would be maintained by existing Arab and Jewish police “assisted by detachments of neighboring Arab armies commanded by an officer nominated by the Arab League. Eventually, Khalidi added, Palestine would become the eighth member of the Arab League.)