The President of the Jewish Agency for Palestine (Weizmann) to the Secretary of State 57

Dear Mr. Secretary: I understand that you will probably be returning to the States very soon, and would therefore like to send you a word of farewell, and of warm thanks for your very kind reception of me last week.

I am hopeful that you may find time, among your many urgent pre-occupations, to deal with our problem. Our immediate anxiety is to see the White Paper régime abrogated: that would mean the repeal of the Land Regulations of 1940, which constitute a discrimination against Jews and forbid us to acquire land in by far the greater part of the country. With regard to immigration, we would like to see the doors of Palestine open for all Jews desperately in need of a home—in the first instance, an immediate decision to admit 100,000 immigrants, and enable us to bring them over as quickly as possible, for means lives. The pace depends entirely on the facilities provided. While the Jewish communities will bear their full share of the burden, shipping is in the hands of the British and American authorities. The funds and supplies now used à fonds perdu in maintaining these people idle in the camps could be much more profitably employed in initiating them into productive careers in Palestine. The greater the help given, the quicker and more effective the rescue.

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There has been much talk of late about “referring the whole issue to the United Nations.” We have given expression to our views on this subject in the attached note, which you may care to glance through.

I am greatly looking forward to the privilege of seeing you again in the States. I am planning to go there at the end of the month.

Yours sincerely,

Ch[aim] Weizmann

Memorandum Prepared in the Jewish Agency for Palestine

Commenting on a report appearing in the press that H.M.G.58 had decided to refer to the Council of the United Nations the whole issue of the future of Palestine and of Jewish immigration into that country, a spokesman of the Jewish Agency said:

No official information is to hand as to the authenticity of the report. International recognition of the Jewish claim to Palestine had always been a cardinal principle of Zionist policy. Even now, Great Britain holds Palestine by international authority as the trustee of the League of Nations. But the White Paper of 1939 was promulgated by the British Government on their own responsibility. The authoriy of the League of Nations had not been sought. Nor had there been prior consultation with the United States, with whom Great Britain had concluded a treaty regarding Palestine based on the League of Nations Mandate. Moreover, the Permanent Mandates Commission of the League of Nations pronounced the White Paper to be incompatible With the terms of the Mandate. Thus on the notable occasion when the competent organ of the League censured the policy laid down by the British Government, they persisted in it, in defiance of international authority.

The views of the Mandates Commission were fully shared by Mr. Churchill and the Labour Party. In the Debate on the White Paper, the Labour Opposition charged the Chamberlain Government with concealing from the House the Mandates Commission’s disapproval of the new policy.

There can, of course, be no possible objection to the British Government’s now seeking international approval for the new policy in Palestine which they intend to adopt. But this cannot be made an excuse for maintaining in the meantime the White Paper, the responsibility for which, rests on the British Government and on them alone. The breach of faith was committed by them, and by them it must be undone.

  1. In reply to this letter, the Secretary of State wrote to Dr. Weizmann on November 5: “I have received your letter of October 3 with its enclosure regarding the future of Palestine, and wish to assure you that careful note has been taken of the position of the Jewish Agency with respect to this matter.

    It was a pleasure to see you while I was in London.” (867N.01/10–345)

  2. His Majesty’s Government.