The Chargé in Great Britain (Atherton) to the Secretary of State
[Received August 3—12:05 p.m.]
233. Department’s 205, July 30, 2 p.m. I learn the query in question has been addressed to Paris, Madrid, Rome and Rio de Janeiro as the Governments most concerned. None of their respective embassies in London have any knowledge of the matter at all except the Italian Chargé d’Affaires, who states his Foreign Office has advised him that this question of Palestine preference was raised by the British Embassy on July 11th and has been referred to the Economic Division of the Italian Government for study. I have been assured by the majority of my colleagues now that when any information is received here they will let me know.
Well informed sources advise me this preference is extended to Palestine because of its Jaffa orange shipments which form 90 per cent of the Palestine exports to this country; furthermore that the reference to Imperial preference is merely inserted to indicate that this fruit shipment from Palestine will receive the same consideration as fruit shipments from parts of the Empire proper.