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Ben Gurion Confers with Colonial Secretary: Talks Believed to Have Failed

January 3, 1947
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

David Ben Gurion, chairman of the World Zionist executive, today conferred for two hours with Colonial Secretary Arthur Creech Jones on the Palestine situation in light of the decisions taken at the Zionist Congress. He refused to divulge details of the talk, but the Jewish Agency office announced that he will leave for Palestine on Saturday.

His sudden decision to depart was accepted as an indication that his meeting with the Colonial Secretary had “ended in complete failure,” Reuter’s reported. The British news agency added that Ben Gurion’s discussions with Creech Jones, at which several high officials of the Colonial Office were present, were aimed at securing conditions under which Zionist leaders might attend the London Conference on Palestine, which is to be resumed on Jan. 21.

A ban on reporting the time of the arrival in London of Palestine High Commissioner Sir Alan C. Cunningham was imposed today by the Colonial Office “for security reasons.” The High Commissioner, who was due to arrive from Jerusalem today for consultations on the Palestine situation, will stay in London for about a week.

During his stay here, Sir Alan will confer with the Colonial Office on the activities of the extremists in Palestine as well as on the long-term policy which the British Government plans to adopt with regard to Palestine. He will also meet with Prime Minister Clement R. Attlee and Foreign Minister Ernest Bevin.


The Cabinet was scheduled to meet here for the second time in three days for what were believed to be urgent consultations on the Palestine situation. It is reported that unless some solution can be reached shortly, the government is considering imposition of martial law in sections of the country.

British newspapers today took a pessimistic view concerning the probable outcome of the Conference on Palestine. The Daily Telegraph believes that even if both Jews and Arabs attend the parley, there is little likelihood of an agreement being reached. The Manchester Guardian says that there is little hope of Jewish participation in the Conference.

Charging that too much time has already been lost and that this has resulted in further complicating the Palestine situation, the Daily Telegraph urges the British Government to outline a definite policy and stick to it. “Let reasonable Arabs be given some finality, and let reasonable Jews be given something that they can show as a reward for reason,” the editorial says.

The London Times says in an editorial that Jewish extremists in Palestine and their faith in violence “augur ill for a Jewish state.” It declares that if the Jewish community cannot enforcs internal discipline, it cannot hope to convince Britain to fulfill the provisions of the Palestine Mandate.

The British Government may be forced to recognize that partition of Palestine is the only solution, the Times continues, but “so long as the power of the Jews to order their own affairs is menaced, by terrorists, there can be no justification for a withdrawal of British administration.”

The Daily Telegraph issued a warning to Jews that continuation of terrorism in Palestine “invites renewal of the anti-Semitism which has had such consequences for the Jewish race.”

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