Britain Doubts Whether Jerusalem Can Be Placed Under International Regime

Doubts as to how far the plan for full internationalization of Jerusalem can be worked were expressed last night by Christopher Mayhew, Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs, in the House of Commons, Mayhew said be was certain that the United Nations had expressed the will of the entire civilized world in insisting that the Holy Places be protected and free access assured for all religions.

“Our view,” he added, “is that whatever solution is reached, we feel that there must be free access to the Holy Places. The plain fact is that to impose an international regime over a considerable area, as foreseen by the United Nations, would be a very formidable task, requiring a very large police force administration. We must, therefore, have our doubts–although His Majesty’s Government was among the first to suggest that this was the ideal solution–as to how far the schema-of full internationalization can, in fact, be worked.”

The Foreign Undersecretary stressed that he wanted to be careful not to say anything that could embarrass the labors of the U.N. Conciliation Commission, but he could not say that the British Government was ready to support the scheme of part internationalization of the Holy City. In addition, Mayhew pointed out, the Arab point of view must be considered.

In addressing a question on Jerusalem to Mayhew, Ivor Thomas, Conservative M.P., said that it should be made clear the incorporation of Jerusalem into Israel would be unacceptable to world opinion. He asserted that only an international regime would protect the Holy Places and explained that he was not suggesting the Holy Places would be less safe in Jewish hands but that that would present a new task for the Jews.

The British Government intends to extend a $l4,000,000 interest-free loan to Transjordan to aid in the resettlement of Palestine Arab refugees, Mayhew told Commons. Denying that the evacuation of British troops from Aqaba would contribute to peaceful settlement of the Palestine problem, Mayhew asserted that British troops would remain in Aqaba at their present strength “so long as the situation requires.”

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