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State Department Charged with “frustrating” Presidential Policy on Palestine

August 22, 1946
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Bartley C. Crum, member of the former Anglo-American inquiry committee on Palestine, today charged the Near Eastern Division of the State Department with “frustrating” Presidential and Congressional policy on Palestine and said that “it would be salutary if Loy Henderson’s resignation were requested.” Mr. Henderson is director of the Office of Near Eastern and African Affairs in the State Department.

Crum addressed a luncheon tendered in his honor by Under-Secretary of the Interior Oscar Chapman, under the auspices of the American Christian Palestine Committee. He declared that the inquiry committee, while on the “Queen Elizabeth” en route to Europe, studied secret State Department files which revealed repeated assurances to the Arabs by the Department. “For every promise made by Presidents, for every resolution by Congress, for every plank in every party platform from 1920 on,” Crum said, “Our State Department in secret cables to the Arabs assured them that nothing would be done.

“The State Department thinks British policy highly realistic,” Crum declared. “They were quite frank in saying that the question was not one of Jews, but of the possibility of war with a main power, namely, the Soviet Union. To that end they submitted it was vital that the British position in the Middle East be protected by us as well as them.”


Crum said that the British based their position on two points. The first is that many of the displaced Jews in Europe having fled behind the Russian lines to escape the Nazis, were probably impregnated with Communist ideas. The second reason is fear that the Arabs would turn toward the Soviet Union. He called “completely phony” the allegations regarding the displaced Jews, declaring that the Jewish community in Palestine represents a synthesis of community interest plus preservation of individual rights. He dismissed as absurd the possibility that Ibn Saud, or King Farouk, “lounging around his own night club in Cairo,” would orient themselves toward Russia.

Crum charged the Palestine Government was being run along “completely fascist lines.” He cited press censorship, arrest and imprisonment of Jews for harboring “dangerous thoughts,” lack of court review and absence of habeas corpus. The Palestine Administration, he said, believes in the Himmler theory of collective guilt and fine.

Crum lashed out at the treatment he said the Anglo-American inquiry committee was subjected to by the British in Palestine and in Lausanne. “We were shadowed, our telephone lines tapped,” he declared. “By some odd coincidence, messages from President Truman to Judge Hutcheson, chairman of our group, although addressed to him at Lausanne, were for some strange reason first delivered to the British Consul in Geneva.” He said that letters were opened and, toward the end, the envelopes not even resealed.

A conflict between the Colonial Office and the Foreign Office over a solution for Palestine was manifested during the inquiry committee negotiations, Crum said. The Colonial Office wants partition which, they believe, would relieve the British of the responsibility for determining the number of Jews to be admitted to Palestine, and would make possible a treaty, similar to that with Transjordan, for military bases, The Foreign Office wants continuation of the White Paper, according to Crum.

He warned that any trusteeship plan presented by the British to the United Nations will propose elimination of the Jewish Agency, on the theory that Britain has completed her obligations to the Jews and that the Jewish National Home is “a completed thing.”

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