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London Parley on Palestine Postponed to Tuesday; Abstention of Jewish Agency Announced

September 8, 1946
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The formal opening of the conference on Palestine by Prime Minister Clement R. Attlee, which was scheduled to take place on Monday, has been postponed until Tuesday, it was announced here today.

Colonial Secretary George Hall today announced that the conference will proceed without representatives of the Jewish Agency, which rejected the British invitation to attend. The British Government, he said, expected that the Jewish Agency would place as foremost “the need for the establishment of peace in Palestine with lasting benefit for the Jewish people who suffered so much.”

A Colonial Office spokesman today revealed that no reply has so far been received from the other Jewish bodies invited to attend the conference. The Jewish proposals, he declared, will most probably be taken into account by the British government delegation during the discussion with the representatives of the Arab states. “Despite the abstention of the Jewish Agency and of the Palestine Arabs, the conference will achieve a useful purpose of exploring the attitude of the Arab states towards the Palestine issue,” he stated.


The Colonial Office official explained that American Jewish organizations were not invited “because the conference would be assuming an unmanageable size.” He added that it was believed that the Jewish Agency would represent world Jewry.

The government, he continued, has set no time limit for the conference, but would like to have it concluded before the General Assembly of the United Nations opens in New York on Sept, 23. He emphasized that the government will not be bound by the “federalization plan” reported by Herbert Morrison, Lord President of the Council, to the British Parliament. He concluded by stating that the government will keep “in closest touch with the United States” regarding the outcome of the conference.

It was revealed today that the future of the Negev will be one of the major topics of discussion at the conference. It was indicated that this subject, as well as the fourth of the four areas into which Palestine was to be divided under the “federalization plan,” has been one of the chief points of difference between the Jewish Agency and the Arabs.

The British Government is still hopeful that after the conference has opened, some Jewish representatives may participate. It was predicted here today that while none of the Palestine Jewish groups and individuals outside of the Jewish Agency who received invitations would accept these invitations, Jewish representatives in London may decide to participate.

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