867N.01/860: Telegram

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

The Mufti of Jerusalem during a call which I made him yesterday handed me a note on behalf of the Arab Higher Committee based on its understanding of the reports concerning communications exchanged in London between Ambassador Bingham and Mr. Eden with [Page 905] respect to America’s right to be consulted concerning changes in the mandate that might affect American interests. The gist of the note is contained in its penultimate paragraph.

[“] If the United States is upholding the Jews out of sympathy for them it should be remarked that the Arabs are more deserving of that sympathy as they are in the right and are the owners of the country and the victims of aggression. If on the other hand the United. States is upholding the Jews on account of their financial influence it should be remarked that the United States enjoys in Arab countries great respect and affection and a moral standing of great value which are a result of the accomplishments of groups of Americans over a great number of years. These are worthy of being safeguarded and developed. The United States has also cultural relations and widely extensive business connections with the Near East and the Moslem world which are also worthy of being safeguarded and developed. It is our belief that these possess no less present and future value than what the United States is likely to reap from supporting the fallacious Jewish cause. In fact it exceeds it by far inasmuch as it embraces far-flung eastern countries”.

Before the Mufti disclosed his intention of making any communication to me or had raised the question of the American attitude in the premises, I had mentioned the exchange of notes in London telling him that this action was similar to that taken or contemplated for all other mandate treaties including those with Iraq,34 Lebanon and Syria.35 I said that our concern in these matters was limited to the American interests involved which in the case of Palestine were as he would readily understand in large measure Jewish.

He was well pleased to discover that the American action was not unique and designed against the Arabs, a point of view which he said was heavily stressed by Jewish propaganda. He said that if the policy of the United States was the same with respect to all mandates, he could see that in this case we were not departing from that impartiality which has for many years characterized the various good works of the United States in the Near East for which the Arabs had every cause to be gratified.

In acknowledging this note do you desire me to make any observations other than those contained in Radio Bulletin No. 18836 received today? August 17, 8 a.m. [sic].

  1. For text of convention signed at London, January 9, 1930, by the United States, Great Britain, and Iraq, see Foreign Relations, 1930, vol. iii, p. 302; for further correspondence, see ibid., 1932, vol. ii, pp. 672 ff.
  2. See ibid., 1936, vol. iii, pp. 496 ff.
  3. Dated August 13, 1937; missing from Department files.