London (Nov. 6)
The Cabinet, which is now scheduled to meet early next week to take some decision on Palestine, will have before it a recommendation that Britain agree to participate in implementation of a U.N. decision only if it provides for federalization along the lines of the Morrison Plan, it was reported here today.
The recommendation, which was presumably drafted by the Cabinet committee on Palestine, consisting of Foreign Minister Bevin, Defense Minister Alexander and Colonial Minister Creech-Jones, reiterates that Britain should withdraw from Palestine if the U.N. adopts a different scheme, but provides for a less precipitate evacuation than that indicated in recent weeks by official spokesmen. Briefly, the recommendation suggests the following:
1. The government should insist that the Morrison Plan is the only one with which it can cooperate, but should agree to widening the powers of the autonomous Jewish and Arab federal areas and liberalize the immigration restrictions.
2. If this proposal is rejected, the evacuation from Palestine should pro##d on the following basis: all administrative functions are to cease by July 1, giving the U.N. six months to set up administrative and security agencies to which the British could turn over authority. Military forces should be evacuated between January 1, 1948 and January 1, 1949, but during next year troops should be concentrated outside the Jewish areas, mainly near Jerusalem, near Haifa, in the Galilee and in the Negev.
It is understood that a high officer has already been sent to Palestine by the War Office to prepare for the evacuation. (A JTA dispatch from Jerusalem says that problems of imperial defense after the evacuation of Palestine will be discussed it a conference of British army chiefs in Cairo shortly.)
GOVERNMENT IS ASKED TO CONSULT COMMONS BEFORE TAKING FINAL DECISION
A demand that Commons be consulted before the government takes a final decision on Palestine was made in the House today by Samuel Silverman, Laborite and ?icnist leader. Silverman pointed out that the government’s announced decision to withdraw will create problems with which the Commons is concerned.
Replying, Deputy Prime Minister Herbert Morrison said that the matter was still under consideration at the General Assembly and that a debate in Commons would be premature. He added that he did not know what would be the outcome of the Assembly’s deliberations and that they might conceivably have an influence on the government’s policy. Debate at this point might complicate matters, he contended.
The Manchester Guardian says today that it is “high time” the government made clear its position on Palestine. It urges the Cabinet to state whether it objects to the American and Soviet proposals at Lake Success and make practical proposals. It calls on the government to abandon its present attitude of “smug indifference,” pointing out that the official reiteration that Britain can accept only a solution acceptable to both Arabs and Jews is both “exasperating and dishonest,” since the government knows that no such settlement is possible.
“Foreigners must not be judged too harshly if they suspect that the real reason for the government’s refusal to help is Mr. Bevin’s determination that come what may, the Jews shall not have their state in Palestine,” the editorial concludes.