Jewish Agency Rejects British Invitation to London Conference; Leaves Door Open
Menu JTA Search

Jewish Agency Rejects British Invitation to London Conference; Leaves Door Open

Download PDF for this date

The Jewish Agency today sent a letter to the Colonial Office rejecting the British invitation to participate in the conference on Palestine which is scheduled to open here Monday.

Explaining that it is convinced that the conference will not achieve any positive results under the conditions set by the British Government, the letter nevertheless leaves the door open for later entry, provided that the British-Arab discussions produce a basis for negotiations which would be acceptable to the Jewish Agency.

Whether the conference will reach such a stage now is rather doubtful. A spokesman for the Arab Office here today declared that the delegates representing the Arab states at the conference will insist upon the abrogation of the mandate and the establishment of a constitutional government in an unpartitioned Palestine. He denied that some of the Arab states are inclined to support the partitioning of Palestine, provided that the British agree.


Anticipating the Jewish Agency’s rejection, the Colonial Office today issued invitations to other Jewish organizations and individuals not affiliated with the Agency. The invitations were sent to the Board of Deputies of Britain Jews, Anglo-Jewish Association, Agudas Israel Organization, Mayor Israel Rokach of Tel Aviv and others.

George Hall, Colonial Secretary, tonight sent a letter to the Jewish Agency explaining that the invitations to non-Agency groups have been sent because the time was growing short and the government could not hold up conference arrangements any longer while waiting for the Agency’s final decision.

“We still hope the Agency will decide to come to the conference,” the letter said, “but meanwhile we are proposing to send invitations to a number of non-Agency representatives both in Palestine and in London. These invitations would go to six representative Jews from London and 10 from Palestine. That will be the total number and includes the representatives of associations same of which will send two men.”

London Jews would receive invitations from the Colonial Office, and those in Palestine would be communicated with by the High Commissioner there, the letter indicated. “Previously we had told the Jewish Agency that we would inform them in advance, in case they had any objections, of the non-Jewish Agency representatives we intended to invite and we undertook to consider the Agency’s reactions. This procedure has now been abandoned in view of the Agency’s failure to come to any decision as to whether they will attend the conference,” it said.

An official statement on behalf of the Jewish Agency executive defining its attitude towards the British invitation to the conference on Palestine, will be issued within the next two days in Paris, it was stated here today.

Leonard Stein, leader of the Anglo-Jewish Association, today indicated that he will consult Dr. Chaim Weizmann, president of the Jewish Agency, prior to replying to the British invitation. Originally the Association decided not to attend the conference if the Jewish Agency did not participate in it.

Meanwhile, the delegation from Iraq arrived today, headed by Premier Jamali. Prince Feisal of Saudi Arabia is arriving here tomorrow to head the Saudi Arabian group at the conference. The press today reported that the ex-Mufti of Jerusalem advised the Arab states to attend the London conference despite the fact that the British rejected his presence at the parley.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund