WASHINGTON (Jan. 23)
The United States has no present intention of sending any American troops to Palestine to protect the American Consulate in Jerusalem, but talks are under way concerning the safety of American citizens in Palestine, Michael J. McDermott, special assistant for press relations to the Secretary of State, said today.
McDermott declared that the opening of an American Consulate in Haifa is being considered to facilitate the issuance of passports to Americans who may wish to leave, but said that no decision had yet been reached on such an opening. It is the Department’s feeling that the wives and children of the foreign service staff should leave.
Asked about the status of American citizens who joined Haganah, McDermott said that Americans who sign up with foreign forces do not have the protection of this government during their service since it would be impossible to follow them through battle and protect them. The government has always felt in cases of this kind, McDermott said, that Americans engaged in foreign fighting are no longer entitled to recognition as citizens during the period of such military service. He said that they only give up their citizenship by foreswearing allegiance, and expressed the belief that most of the Americans in Palestine are careful not to do that.
PARTITION WAS “GRAVE MISTAKE,” SAYS CHAIRMAN OF HOUSE MILITARY SUB-COMMITTEES
Rep. Dewey Short, Republican, of Missouri, chairman of a House Armed Services sub-committee, stated today that the United Nations decision for partition of Palestine “made our position in the Middle East very insecure” and said that it was “a grave mistake.
“We on the sub-committee, “he told reporters, “want to know whether the United States delegation consulted with our military authorities before this country threw its weight behind the partition proposal. That decision has made our position in the Middle East very insecure. There are 350,000,000 Moslems seething and bitter.” The Sub-committee has been holding bearings and during the past few days met in executive mission with military and naval representatives.
Short had previously expressed alarm at the effect of the Palestine decision on American oil supplies in the Middle East, and elicited from Secretary of Defense Forrestal the reply that the decision had jeopardized American pipelines. In his talk with newsmen, Short said that King Ibn Saud has been very cooperative with the United States but that he is now under considerable pressure from other Arab leaders as a result of partition.
The State Department has been asked to lift the embargo on shipments and the transfer of U.S. surplus war materiel to Jewish Palestine in a letter sent to Secretary of Stats George C. Marshall by Senator Warren G. Magnuson, Washington Democrat. The letter was made public today by Senator Magnuson.
Faiz Kl-Shouri, Syrian Minister here, conferred today for forty-five minutes with Under-Secretary of State Robert Lovett and discussed Palestine with him.
President Truman today discussed the Palestine situation will Ted 0. Thackrey, editor and publisher of the New York Post, during a visit by Thackrey to the White House.