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League Body Majority Holds White Paper Violates Mandate Partition Urged As Solution

August 18, 1939
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The report of the League of Nations Permanent Mandates Commission made public today reveals that four members consider Britain’s new Palestine policy a violation of the Holy Land mandate while three give it qualified approval. All members recommend that a solution by partitioning the country be borne in mind at the appropriate moment.

The British Government’s comments contest the view that its policy is in violation of the mandate and stress the Government’s readiness to consider a federal solution of the problem.

The report will be acted on by the League Council which opens its session on September 8. Dr. Chaim Weizmann president of the World Zionist Organization in his speech last night opening the Zionist Congress pointed out that the Council usually adopts the Mandates Commission’s report and expressed the hope that it would not depart from this procedure at its next session.

The representatives of Belgium Switzerland Norway and the Netherlands on the Mandates Commission said they could not feel themselves able to state that the White Paper policy was in conformity with the mandate any contrary conclusion appearing to them ruled out by the very terms of the mandate and by the fundamental intentions of its authors.

Great Britain France and Portugal considered that the existing circumstances would justify the policy of the White Paper provided the League Council did not oppose it.

The four members not voting were Spain absent from the Commission meetings and Germany Italy and Japan who have resigned from the League.

In its statement answering the Mandates Commission report the British Government asked what would be the effect in Palestine “if the Mandatory Power were to pursue a policy which did not include provisions regarding immigration and other important matters contained in the command paper of 1939.”

The result would be the statement went on “continuation of that uncertainty about the future which has produced chronic unrest and bitterness between the two communities in the country.”

The Government it said had made the decision “with a full sense of their obligations under the mandate to both Arabs and Jews and in the light of their know ledge of the country and its peoples derived from over 20 years of governments there, the Government believe they are pursuing faithfully the fundamental aim of the mandate.”

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