(Jewish Telegraphic Agency Mail Service)
Further details of the reported unofficial negotiations between members of various Arab parties and a Government representative in Jerusalem, in connection with the political demands of the Arabs and the measure of willingness on the part of the Government to fulfill them, are given by the “Falastin,” the organ of the Palestine Arab Executive.
Six Arabs, two from each of the cities of Jerusalem, Haifa and Nablus, comprising three of the Moslem-Christian Associations, one of the Peasants’ Party and two of the Arab National Party, were present, the paper states. Persons in official party positions withdrew from the conversations. The paper further states that “as a result of the decision of the Permanent Mandates Commission of the League to urge the Government to form a Legislature and a national Government in Palestine, as in Iraq and Syria, the Government decided to renew unofficially negotiations to meet Arab demands in this connection, without committing itself.” The Arab leaders met the Government representative three times, and they stressed the fact that they did not officially represent the Arab population but were expressing their private position. They were sent a short survey of the basis on which both sides had come to agreement, in the form of suggestions to the Government together with the latter’s amendments.
According to the “Falastin,” the articles of the program were fourteen, and included: The election of a House of Representatives of 28 members, at the proportion of one deputy to 25,000 inhabitants approximately. Of them 22 to be Moslems, 3 Christians and 3 Jews, on condition that Palestinian citizens only be allowed to vote. Apart from the lower House, a Senate will be elected, and would number members to be appointed half by the Government and half by the people.
The amendments suggested by the Government’s representative, who acted unofficially, were: The Government would appoint the members of the Senate from among its officials only, and invite to the sessions when occasion demanded leading citizens in the form of advisory members; the House of Representatives would confine its functions to criticism of draft legislation proposed for promulgation by the Government and would have the right of supervision on all forthcoming Government activity, apart from international obligations, with which the Government was concerned as the Mandatory Power. The House would have an advisory function only in connection with the budget.
The “Falastin” says that the question of creating a national government was also discussed. It was suggested that Ministers be appointed from the natives and British advisers by the Mandatory Power, but the proposal was not accepted by the representative for the Government
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.