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Zionist General Council Approves Final Pact on Jewish Agency Extension

June 5, 1929
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The final agreement on the extension of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, to include Zionists and non-Zionists, arrived at between Dr. Weizmann and the Marshall-Warburg group in New York and Jerusalem, was approved early this morning by the Zionist General Council in session here. Only two votes were cast against the resolution of approval.

The resolution declares the General Council found that the essential conditions set forth in the previous resolutions of the Zionist Congresses and the reservations made by the Council at its last session were taken into consideration in the final agreement.

The World Zionist Executive was authorized in the resolution to take all steps necessary for the convening of a conference of the Zionists and non-Zionists to constitute the Council of the extended Jewish Agency. The conference is to be called immediately after the close of the Zionist Congress and will probably be held in Zurich on August 11. The General Council closed its session Tuesday morning at 5 o’clock.

A considerable factor in hastening the decision was the reading of a cablegram sent to the General Council by the seven American members of the body, including Dr. Stephen S. Wise, who expressed the wish that the Agency constitution meeting be called immediately after the Congress. Another cablegram expressing the same wish was received from the administrative committee of the Zionist Organization of America.

The vote came after a prolonged and complicated discussion on the provisions of the proposed constitution of the Jewish Agency and the regulations which are to govern the relations between the Zionists and the non-Zionists of that body. The vote was taken seriatum and on the question at large. Among the points debated were: how the executive of the Agency is to be formed and who shall be its members, who shall be the president of the Jewish Agency, the vote of the Zionist members as an instructed body, and other provisions of the constitution.

The majority of the members of the General Council expressed appreciation of the masterly form of the Marshall document, but stated that they felt there was a necessity for defining clearly and beyond doubt the status. function and jurisdiction of the Zionist bodies on one side and the president of the Agency, the Agency Council, the administrative committee, and the Agency executive on the other side. They strove, they declared, to remove any lack of clarity in the language and to secure the fullest measure possible of fair play toward the non-Zionist partners in the Agency.

The result of all these discussions

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was embodied in an improved text of a draft constitution, which is not yet available for publication.

The draft constitution was the major point on the agenda and was subjected to the scrutiny of two committees. The first consisted of twelve members, which was later enlarged to nineteen, forming the second committee. Dr. Selig Brodetsky of the University of Leeds, and head of the political deparment of the Zionist Executive in London, as well as Col. Frederick H. Kisch and Felix Rosenblueth, represented the Executive in defending the provisions of the draft constitution, replying to criticism raised by the members in regard to certain points. Certain objections raised by the members were accepted by the Executive representatives, who agreed to modifications. An impressive scene was enacted when Rev. Z. H. Masliansky of New York was given the floor in defense of the Agency proposal.

The General Council, before adjournment, also reached an agreement on the agenda of the forthcoming Zionist Congress. A special commission, consisting of Rabbi Meyer Berlin, M. Dizengoff, H. Harzfeld, Kaplan, Dr. Arthur Ruppin, M. Suprasky, together with the members of the Palestine Zionist Executive, was appointed for the purpose of preparing a budget proposal to be submitted to the Congress.

A special resolution adopted by the General Council asked for an increased allotment for preparatory immigration and colonization work in view of the expected new immigration to Palestine.

In his communication to the General Council, Dr. Chaim Weizmann stated that the recent Anglo-Jewish conference on the Jewish Agency and the replies from various Jewish groups and communities in all parts of the world gave him the conviction that wide Jewish circles desire to cooperate in the rebuilding of the Jewish National Home. He also described his impressions of his recent visit to Palestine as encouraging and outlined the most important colonization tasks facing the Zionist Organization in Palestine in the near future.

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