867n.01/7–845: Telegram

No. 648
The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Winant) to the Secretary of State 1

us urgent—niact

6876. Personal and secret to the Secretary from Winant.

There is a problem that gives me considerable concern. It is the Palestine situation. On Friday Dr. Weizmann came in to see me. He went out to Palestine immediately following Lord Moyne’s assassination and I think did much good. The two months he has been back here he has been ill. Before leaving for Palestine and before Moyne’s death he told me he had had a friendly and constructive conversation with the Prime Minister. The only recent word however he tells me he has had from the latter was a brief note stating that the problem of settlement would have to be considered at a peace conference. The world conference of the Zionist organization is scheduled to meet in London the last day of this month. Weizmann told me that if there had been no advance toward solving the issues involved he would feel obligated to resign his office in the Zionist movement. I am sure he did not say this as a threat. The man is tired and ill and completely discouraged because of the tragedies that have befallen his people but he is also aware that a more militant policy would undoubtedly follow his retirement. The Levant incidents as they relate to the Arab League, the cruel and brutal treatment of the Jews by the Nazi regime, and the now known extent of the extermination policy carried out under Hitler’s orders, and even the defeat of Germany all tend to create emotional pressures that might [Page 978] lead to serious trouble in the Middle East with inevitable outside repercussions. I am sure you will agree with me that we do not want that kind of controversy to cut across the acceptance of the great constructive measures that have been so ably advanced by our own Govt or to intrude itself on the timing of the Three Power meeting or President Truman’s friendly visit to Great Britain. It might be possible to work out some acceptable formula through your proposal of a Council of Foreign Ministers.2 It occurred to me that you might want Ben Cohen to come over here later this month to formulate a constructive program to deal with this subject.

I am sorry to trouble you with this message when I know you are pressed for time prior to your departure for Berlin.

  1. Sent to Washington; relayed to Byrnes, then at sea, in telegram No. 7 of July 9 (file No. 740.00119 (Potsdam)/8–645).
  2. See document No. 228.