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Britain Will Not Interfere with Jewish Immigration into Palestine After May 15

The British Government announced today that British authorities in Palestine would have no responsibility for the control of Jewish immigration to Palestine after May 15. The announcement was made by Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs Christopher Mayhew in Commons.

Mayhew said that any action taken by the British military commander in Palestine after May 15 would be confined to protecting British forces in the country and ensuring their orderly evacuation. Mayhew made the statement in reply to a question by Benn Hall, M.P., whether British ships will continue their blockade of Palestine after the Mandate ends.

“Jewish authorities in Palestine have decided to evacuate the Hadassah hospital,” as a result of Arab attacks on medical convoys in the Mt. Scopus area, Mayhew announced. Reporting on the recent massacre of Jewish medical personnel en route to the Hadassah hospital last week, he said that British troops in the area sped to the scene of the attack immediately after it began and rescued many members of the convoy in which Dr. Chaim Yasski and 53 other Jews perished.

A statement by Foreign Secretary Bevin on Palestine, which was expected to be presented to Commons today, has been postponed for one week, a Foreign Office spokesman said. The statement had been described as a declaration of Britain’s future policy on Palestine, as well as a reply to a question under what circumstances Britain would be prepared to continue to exercise authority in Palestine after the Mandate’s termination.

Well-informed sources expressed the belief today that there is very little likelihood the British Government would agree to share responsibility for Palestine’s security with the U.S. under the terms of the U.S.-proposed interim trusteeship plan for Palestine. These same sources said this decision has already been communicated to Washington.

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