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Jewish Agency Leaders Meet with British Ministers; Discuss Long-term Policy on Palestine

January 30, 1947
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The long-awaited talks between Zionist leaders and representatives of the British Government on the future status of Palestine started today. The Jewish Agency executive was represented by six members, while the British Government was represented at the meeting by Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin and Colonial Secretary Arthur Creech-Jones.

The Jewish delegates attending the meeting–which lasted for three hours–included David Ben Gurion, Moshe Shertok, Dr. Emanuel Neumann, Professor Selig Brodetsky, Dr. Nahum Goldmann and Berl Locker. Earlier in the day, officials of the Colonial Office met independently with a delegation of the Agudas Israel.

An official communique issued by the Colonial Office following the meeting with the Jewish Agency leaders stated that “a general exchange of views took place on questions relating to the long-term policy on Palestine.” The communique announced that further meetings would be held. Unofficial British circles disclosed that the leaders of the Jewish Agency presented “a strong statement of the Jewish point of view on the Palestine question.”

The actual topics that were discussed at the meeting remained undisclosed. However, the composition of the Jewish delegation indicates that the talks were of great importance. It is understood that they centered around the question of creating conditions which would permit the Jewish Agency to participate in the Conference on Palestine now taking place here, in accordance with the decision of the World Zionist Congress, that such participation would be permitted only if the political situation, existent in December when the Congress met, changed.


The Conference on Palestine, between eight Arab delegations and the British Government, will be resumed tomorrow afternoon at the St. James Palace, having been postponed on Monday after a brief session. The Conference is expected to enter a new stage tomorrow when the Arab delegations hear Foreign Secretary Bevin give the British answer to the Arab proposals.

In British quarters it was predicted today that Bevin may suggest that the Arabs modify their proposals in order to meet Jewish objections. Should the Arab delegates agree to such a suggestion, the meeting will be adjourned to give the Arab representative time to make their modifications.

However, British ciroles foresee that the Arab delegates may declare that they will never discuss the Jewish demands and that they see no reason for prolongation of the Conference, preferring to submit the entire issue to the United Nations rather than continue discussion on the basis of Jewish counter-proposals. In this case, it is expected that Bevin will try to persuade them to remain in the Conference, since a breakdown in the discussions at this early stage would cause further damage to Britain’s prestige in the Middle East.

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