867N.00/380: Telegram

The Consul at Jerusalem (Wadsworth) to the Secretary of State

Referring to my telegram of August 27, 2 p.m.19 Since publication last Friday British Colonial Secretary’s letter to Weizmann, British and Arab circles here have lost hope of settlement along lines Nuri proposals.

Ranking senior army officer, Palestine has informed me:

Under decision British Government martial law will be proclaimed Palestine probably this week;
Major part First Army Division (probably some 15,000 troops) will sail almost at once from England thus practically doubling forces here;
Lieutenant General Dill, recently War Office, will proceed Palestine immediately to become commander-in-chief, present air officer commander being transferred and early retirement High Commissioner bruited.

Immediate British aim seems clearly to be that enunciated Saturday by Defense Minister “to bring violence in Palestine to an end without further parley.”

Under martial law we may anticipate arrest or close surveillance Arab leaders, strict press censorship, strong emphasis on endeavor disarm population and summary enforcement death penalty for offenses already specially proscribed and probably for unauthorized possession of arms.

I gather impression military is confident it can reestablish order after relatively brief campaign following which Royal Commission will begin inquiry in situ.

High Commission, reliably reported continuing disapproval proclamation martial law, visited Emir Abdullah Saturday and induced him support final appeal to Arab Higher Committee call off strike and terrorism to avoid disastrous results enforcement martial law.

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