London (Jun. 27)
While not casting any doubt on the competence or impartiality of Sir John Simpson, who is in Palestine to investigate problems of land settlement, immigration and development, the political commission of the Jewish Agency, which has just concluded its session here, declared its inability to accept an expert’s report as the verdict on the future of the Jewish National Home.
The statement released by the political commission says that “technical and economic calculations cannot deal with the imponderables of will and work of a nation. The determination and energy of the Jewish people can extend Palestine’s potentialities beyond the limits of an immediate definition. The Jewish National Home is the central purpose of the Palestine Mandate and the only policy which can be pursued by the Mandatory power is already fixed, namely, at all times to encourage the maximum Jewish immigration compatible with the absorptive capacity of Palestine.
“Our trust is in the moral forces of the Jewish people. We shall stand by our rights and continue our work and follow the tasks which destiny has set us. Still, in this hour, when ways are being mapped out which may have been tread perhaps for many years we address ourselves once more to the Arabs and to the Mandatory power.
“We will not spare any honorable effort to secure cooperation with the Arabs in developing the country and we call upon them to make such cooperation possible. Of the British government we ask that it look once more upon its task in Palestine in the spirit of those by whom the Balfour Declaration was conceived.”
The statement further says that the political commission met when the hitherto implicit confidence of the Jews in the British government was gravely shaken. “The line the British government has adopted in consequence of the Shaw report, a virtual suspension of immigration in conjunction with an inquiry which seems to question the very basis of our work in the Jewish National Home and the policy indicated in the recent White Paper has created an atmosphere of uncertainty which has aroused the fears of the Jewish people that the policy of the Mandate is in danger.”
The political commission’s statement recalls Premier MacDonald’s statement in the House of Commons, December 23,1929, that the government could be expected to disregard the Shaw Commission’s findings on questions of major policy, and goes on to say “yet the White Paper largely follows the findings of the Commission. The Jewish protests against the stoppage of immigration are not directed against Great Britain but against the action of the British government which is contrary to the letter and spirit of the Mandate. Theoretical confirmations of the Mandate policy are of no avail if coupled with administrative measures calculated to defeat our work.”