Memorandum by the Under Secretary of State (Welles) to the Chief of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs (Murray)

Mr. Murray: I have upon repeated occasions told Dr. Wise that I would discuss the questions in which he is interested with the British Ambassador or directly with the British Government in order that we might be informed as to what steps, if any, are being taken by the British Government with regard to these questions.

So far as “commitments” are involved that is the extent of any assurances I have given Dr. Wise. At the present time Dr. Wise and his associates are peculiarly perturbed because of their belief that the British Government is moving rapidly towards the creation of a federation of Arayan [Arab] states and that the creation of such federation, [Page 623] perhaps even involving Syria, would mitigate against the success of the Palestine experiment and might even prejudice the results already achieved.

For reasons of policy as well as for reasons of expediency, I consider it in the highest degree important that everything be done by this Government to prevent Jewish groups within the United States from opposing the British war effort, or from adding in any way to the obstacles already confronted by the British Government in the Near East. For that reason I shall continue to keep in close touch with Dr. Wise and his associates with the hope that misunderstandings between the Zionist movement in this country and the British Government can be at least minimized, if not altogether avoided.

S[umner] W[elles]