867N.01/2185: Telegram

The Minister in Iraq (Henderson) to the Secretary of State

31. Nuri Pasha17 told me yesterday he would appreciate it if I would inform my Government by telegram of the deep concern of the Iraqi Government lest the pressure which the Zionists are exerting at present on the U.S. might result in responsible American officials or candidates for high office making commitments with regard to Palestine not in conformity with the principles which in past guided American foreign policy in general and which had been incorporated in the Atlantic Charter18 and the declaration of the United Nations.19

As an illustration of Zionist activities he referred to a resolution introduced recently by Senator Wagner in the Senate which he understood had the backing of Senators Taft and Barkley20 demanding that restrictions upon immigration to Palestine be lifted. He said the Arab world did not have the facilities available to the Zionists for presenting its side of the case to the American Senate, that he hoped that a resolution of the kind would not be passed since its passage would add to certain misconceptions of the Palestine problem which many people in the U.S. seem to have and would strengthen Axis propaganda in this area. He pointed out that the German radio broadcasts in the Arabic language was making wide use of this resolution in an endeavor to create a lack of confidence among the Arabs in the sincerity of purpose of the Allies and of Allied expressions of friendliness toward the Arab world; he and his colleagues sincerely hope that the Zionists will not be successful in making the future of Palestine a political issue during the coming electoral campaign. He added that it would be extremely helpful in combatting Axis propaganda and in stilling certain misgivings even among those Arabs most friendly to the Allied cause if assurances could be given that the Government of the U.S. would not decide on what its attitude on Palestine is to be until spokesmen for the Arabs are given a full opportunity to make clear the issues at stake.

During conversation Nuri Pasha cited fact that it was Iraq Government’s view that while papers [White Paper] would continue to govern Palestine situation until a final solution of problem could be found.

  1. Nuri as-Said, Iraqi Prime Minister and Acting Minister of Defense.
  2. Joint statement by President Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Churchill, August 14, 1941, Foreign Relations, 1941, vol. i, p. 367.
  3. Signed at Washington, January 1, 1942, ibid., 1942, vol. i, p. 25.
  4. Alben W. Barkley, Senator from Kentucky.