The Chairman of the American Palestine Committee ( Wagner 21) to President Roosevelt

Dear Mr. President: I am privileged to transmit herewith a statement commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, signed by sixty-three members of the Senate and one hundred eighty-two members of the House of Representatives.

Sincerely yours,

Robert F. Wagner

Text of Statement by Members of the United States Senate and House of Representatives

Twenty-five years ago the British Government issued the Balfour Declaration pledging itself to facilitate the establishment of a National Home for the Jewish people in Palestine. The Declaration was published to the world with the approval of the other Powers allied with Great Britain in the World War, and with the encouragement and support of the Government of the United States. It was written into the Peace Treaty21a with the aid and approval of President Wilson who publicly expressed his confidence that the purposes of the Declaration would be fulfilled. A few years later, the House of Representatives and the Senate of the United States, by unanimous vote, adopted a joint resolution favoring the establishment of the Jewish National Home, and on September 21, 1922, the resolution was duly signed by President Harding.22 Since then, this policy has been reaffirmed by every succeeding Administration, including the present. It has thus become the declared and traditional policy of the United States to favor the restoration of the Jewish National Home.

The Balfour Declaration was justly hailed throughout the world as an act of historic reparation and as a charter of freedom for the Jewish people. It was designed to open the gates of Palestine to homeless and harassed multitudes and to pave the way for the establishment of a Jewish Commonwealth.

The reasons which, twenty-five years ago, led the American people and the Government of the United States to favor the cause of Jewish national restoration in Palestine are still valid today. In fact, the case for a Jewish Homeland is overwhelmingly stronger and the need [Page 550] more urgent now than ever before. In Palestine the resettlement has advanced from the status of a hopeful experiment to that of a heartening reality, while in Europe the position of the Jews has deteriorated to an appalling degree. Millions of uprooted and homeless Jews will strive to reconstruct their lives anew in their ancestral home when the hour of deliverance will come.

We, therefore, take this occasion, the twenty-fifth anniversary of the issuance of the Balfour Declaration, to record our continued interest in and support of the purposes and principles which it embodies. We wish to send a message of hope and cheer to those in Palestine who are confronting the common enemy with courage and fortitude and are contributing unstintingly of their manpower and effort to the democratic cause.

Faced as we are by the fact that the Nazi government, in its Jewish policy, is attempting to exterminate a whole people, we declare that, when the war is over, it shall be the common purpose of civilized mankind to right this cruel wrong insofar as may lie in our power, and, above all, to enable large numbers of the survivors to reconstruct their lives in Palestine where the Jewish people may once more assume a position of dignity and equality among the peoples of the earth.

Our Government may be assured that in continuing the traditional American policy in favor of so just a cause, it can rely upon our individual support and the approbation of the American people.

  1. Robert F. Wagner, Senator from New York.
  2. i. e., the Treaty of Sevres, signed August 10, 1920, British and Foreign State Papers, Vol. cxiii, p. 866.
  3. 42 Stat. 1012.