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British at Lake Success Will Attempt to Further Delay Jewish Immigration to Palestine

January 14, 1948
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The British delegation at Lake Success will concentrate on two main objectives in its dealings with the U.N. Palestine Commission: postponement of large-scale Jewish immigration and economic rights for British in Palestine even after termination of the Mandate, it was learned today from an informed source.

It is understood that in informal talks with the members of the Commission, British spokesman have indicated that they would be willing to allow the more than 30,000 Jews now in Cyprus to enter before termination of the Mandate, but propose that immigration from Europe not begin until after the establishment of the Jewish state on Oct. 1.

The delegation, according to this informant, will argue against immediate Jewish immigration on the following basis: the chief reason for transferring displaced Jews to Palestine even before the Mandate was relinquished was the desire to avoid having the DP’s spend another winter in the camps. However, it now appears that technical arrangements for their transfer could not be completed at any rate before around May 15, when the Mandate is due to terminated.

But, the British argument continues, around May 15, their troops will already be concentrated in evacuation areas and the U.N. Commission will have its hands full with such tasks as delimiting frontiers, setting up government machinery and organizing security forces all of which will have to be done amid general unrest. Immigration at that time would make things more complicated and perhaps keep the Commission from more fundamental tasks.

Anticipating American pressure to empty the camps as soon as possible, the British will agree to transfer the DP’s to Cyprus or “another place near Palestine” in order to facilitate health checks and selection of immigrants according to their technical skill, and organized training courses could be started for others.

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