Bevin Charges U.S. Blocked Palestine Solution; Says Jewish Agency Not Representative
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Bevin Charges U.S. Blocked Palestine Solution; Says Jewish Agency Not Representative

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In a bitter statement on Palestine today, Foreign Minister Ernest Bevin accused the U.S. Government of hindering a solution of the problem and charged American Jews with influencing the Jewish Agency not to attend the recent London Conference.

Opening a full-dress debate in the House of Commons, Bevin said that Jewish immigration into Palestine could have been increased if American pressure had not caused bitterness. He advised the U.S. to recognize the fact that Britain is the mandatory power and has certain responsibilities in Palestine, adding that under the mandate it was not empowered to accept a Jewish state.

The Foreign Secretary pointed out that establishment of a Jewish state had not been recommended by the Anglo-American inquiry commission and charged the U.S. with accepting only that part of the committee report which called for the admission of 100,000 Jews, while Britain was willing to accept the report as a whole.

Bevin asserted that the mandate contains contradictory promises and provides for a "virtual invasion" by thousands of Jews, at the same time that it states that "the people in possession must not be disturbed." The history of the past 25 years has proyed that these dual aims cannot be accomplished without a conflict, he declared.


Disclosing that he had requested Sir Alexander Cadogan, British representative at the United Nations, to ascertain whether it would be pos ible to submit the issue to the U.N. before September, when the General Assembly is scheduled to meet, Bevin said that he would prefer, even now, to deal with the problem on a humanitarian basis, rather than go to the U.N.

"There is a chance of settlement yet if people will come off their arbitrary position, without going to the United Nations. I am still willing to try," he declared.

If the question goes to the U.N., however, it must decide the following points, he stated: 1. whether to admit the claim for a Jewish state; 2. Whether to admit the claim for an Arab state, in which a Jewish national home would be safe guarded; or 3. Whether to favor creastion of a Palestinian state balancing the interest of both communities.

The British Government agrees that the White Paper is unworkable, but it cannot abandon it without substituting another policy, the Foreign Secretary stressed. He declared that Britain had entered into various negotiations in an attempt to arrive at a satisfactory substitute, but had been thwarted by the attituds of the U.S. and the Jewish Agency.


He charged that both. Jews and Arabs would cooperate but for the Agency’s interference and attacked its claim for Jewish representation at the U.N., commenting: "Are we in the U.N. as a religion or a nation." He added that those Jews "who had grown up in the British custom" wanted to attend the Palestine Conference, but the Jewish Agency, "largely dominated from New York," would not agree.

Bevin referred to the Yom Kippur statement of President Truman, in which the latter reiterated his demand for the admission of 100,000 Jews and endorsed the Jewish Agency proposal for establishment of a "viable Jewish state." He said that while in Paris for a meeting of the Foreign Ministers Council, he had been informed by Prime Minister Attles that Truman planned to issue such a statement. He want to see the then Secretary of State James F. Brynes, telling him that "we were on the road, if only the U.S. would leave us alone," and begged that the Truman statement not be issued, Byrnes replied that it could not be stopped, because Thomas E. Dewey, who was then running for re-election as Governor of New York, was planning to issue a similar statement. "I cannot settle things, if problems are made the subject of election rivalries," Bevin added.


The Foreign Minister said that the Palestine issue could be settled on a humanitarian basis if the Zionists would be satisfied with admission of 100,000 displaced Jews, but they consider 100,000 only a beginning, and the Jewish Agency talks in terms of millions. Any failure to regard the interests of the DP’s was a failure of the international moral consciousness, he continued, revealing that he had asked " a great state of the British Commonwealth, which supports Zionism," how many DP’s it would admit into its territory and was told it would take ?

Discussing various proposals which have been made for solution of the problem, he said that it was too Iate to establish Palestine as a British dominion, while if partition was agreed to, there would be a "ten-fold row" about frontiers. "You cannot make two viable states of Palestine; only one viable state transferring the rest to another Arab state, which would lead to a worse conflict," Bevin stated.


He said it was almost impossible to find any definition of a Jewish National Home or any clus to the stage at which this national home could be considered achieved. The latest British proposal would have enabled the establishment of a Jewish National Home within a unitary state, which would have allowed Jews, in a joint parliament of Jews and Arabs, to have their say, Bevin asserted.

He expressed the belief that the Arabs could be persuaded to agree to the admission of 100,000 Jews "in an orderly way on humanitarian grounds," if immigration after that were to be determined by the "elected representatives of the people of Palestine."

Pointing to the 1,000,000 displaced persons who are living under missrable conditions in Europe, the Foreign Minister said that he had pleaded with the United States to accept thousands of displaced persons, not only Jews. He added that Britain was doing something about it in South America and other parts of the world.


Col. Oliver Stanley, Conservative, former Colonial Minister and chief spokesman for the Opposition. endorsed the decision to refer the Palestine issue to the U.N., but said the government should not go to the U.N. without a plan, as Bevin has stated it would, since this would diminish the chances for an agreement. Stanley asked whether a majority decision by the U.N. could be enforced, and said that it might be preferable to surrender the mandate and allow the U.N. to appoint a successor. He warned that it might be dangerous to delay a solution of the problem until September and urged that the matter be brought before the Security Council, which could then call a special session of the General Assembly before September. Stanley also suggested that the government ask the Arabs to agree to increased immigration of Jewish women and children.

Barbara Ayrton-Gould, Labor, recommended that pending a decision by the U.N. the Haganah be made a legalized police force to root out Jewish terrorism, and that 4,000 Jews be admitted monthly. Benjamin Levy, Labor, said that if the government had torn up the White Paper and admitted 100,000 Jews, the extrems Zionist arguments would have lost their force and Arab resistance would have diminished rather than increased.

Richard Crossman, Labor, a former member of the Anglo-American inquiry commission who has been critical of British policy in Palestine, said that it was impossible for an "alien government" to continue ruling Jews and Arabs. It would be preferable to let Jews and Arabs fight out the issue, even if it involved bloodshed, instead of keeping Britain in Palestine under an arrangement with America "under another phoney constitution," he declared. Crossman said that Britain should tell the U.N. that the mandate is unworkable, and that it will withdraw its troops and administration at a certain date.

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