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Attlee Backs Bevin on Transjordan; Laski Says Love Will Complicate Palestine Problem

January 24, 1946
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Prime Minister Clement Attlee today told the House of Commons that he was in full agreement with Foreign Minister Bevin’s proposal to the United Nations Organization concerning British mandates, which included the establishment of Transjordan as an independent state.

The Prime Minister said that he had nothing to add regarding Middle East mandates, except that Emir Abdullah of Transjordan has accepted the Government’s invitation to come to London to discuss matters concerning his country’s independence.

Prof. Harold Laski, chairman of the executive committee of the Labor Party, however, said today that independence for Transjordan will make “the Palestine tangle more difficult than ever, since the administrative separation of the two territories is mainly artificial.”

In an article written for the Overseas News Agency, Laski supported Bevin’s position that no action on Palestine should be taken until the findings of the Anglo-American inquiry committee are made public, but added:

“That to my mind only made it more strange that he should have announced the forthcoming acceptance of Transjordan as an independent Arab state under the trusteeship of Emir Abdullah. What exactly lies behind this he did not seek to explain. Transjordan is mostly a desert country, the artificial separation of which from Palestine in the ’20s by the British Government was in large part an attempt to smooth out the conflict of Arab dynamic tangles.”

Laski charged that a result of the Transjordan move “is to narrow the area within which the Anglo-American commission can look for a solution to the problem with which it is faced,” and asked whether it was motivated by a British plan to cultivate the good will of the Arab League.

The Jewish Agency, it is reported today, has made representations to the Government concerning the Transjordan issue, but the contents of its memorandum were not made public. Meanwhile, the executives of the foreign affairs and Palestine committees of the Board of Deputies of British Jews met today in a joint session and adopted a resolution expressing the Board’s “deep concern” over the Transjordan project.

“This measure for a separate status for this area, which is legally an integral part of the territory of Palestine as defined by Article 25 of the Palestine Mandate, is contrary to the Mandate,” the resolution said, “and prejudicial to the conclusions of the Anglo-American inquiry committee.” It added that the Board will report the Jewish Agency in any steps it takes to affirm and protect Jewish rights under the Mandate.

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