London (Dec. 29)
The fate of the approximately 15,000 visaless Jews en route to Palestine aboard the Pan York and the Pan Crescent will be decided at a meeting of the Cabinet this week, it was learned here today.
A Foreign Office spokesman told a press conference that the British planned to follow their usual policy of transferring the refugees to Cyprus when they arrive in Palestine, but other government quarters expressed doubt as to whether so large a number of persons could be accommodated in the internment camps on the island, which already hold about 18,000 men, women and children.
(Six hundred and seventy-five visaless Jewish immigrants who arrived in Haifa aboard the “Twenty-Ninth of November” were today traneshipped and deported to Cyprus. The entire operation from the initial boarding operation just before midnight last night to the final deportation took place without incident.)
There were rumors here that any mass landing of visaless Jews in defiance of the British blockade would result in immediate British withdrawal from Jewish sections of the country, allowing Jews and Arabs “to fight it out,” but the Foreign Office spokesman stressed that the current disorders would not affect the evacuation schedule.
Questioned concerning “illegal” Arab immigration into Palestine, the spokesman said that he was unable to say whether Arabs entering illegally were deported. He refused to comment on an Arab report that 200 “volunteers” had recently arrived in Palestine from Spain.
It is understood here that the Colonial and Foreign Offices are sending a number of officials to Lake Success in connection with the forthcoming meeting of the U.N. Implementation Commission.