The British Ambassador (Halifax) to the Secretary of State

His Majesty’s Ambassador presents his compliments to the Secretary of State and with reference to Mr. Byrnes’ note of October 19th [24?] on the problem of the Jews, has the honour to state that His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom are much gratified that the United States Government has been able to accept their invitation to take part in the proposed Committee of Enquiry. Mr. Bevin wishes to thank Mr. Byrnes and to say that he shares his troubles in this difficult question. As regards the terms of reference suggested by the United States Government, while His Majesty’s Government appreciate the desire of the President to give more prominence to the Palestine aspect, they feel that the difficulties with the Arabs must not be forgotten. The method of approach may make all the difference as Regards their attitude. His Majesty’s Government are confident that [Page 789] they can be persuaded to make a contribution if humanitarian grounds precede the racial. Mr. Bevin has been in close touch with all parties in London, and if Mr. Byrnes can help him with this readjustment of the terms of reference, thinks it will make all the difference. He feels that the pledges given in this connection by President Roosevelt, President Truman and by His Majesty’s Government to the Arab rulers must not be forgotten. For the above reasons His Majesty’s Government think it is very important that the order of the first two terms of reference shall be changed. His Majesty’s Government have also one or two other amendments to suggest. They accordingly propose that the terms of reference should be as under.

To examine the position of the Jews in those countries in Europe where they have been the victims of Nazi and fascist persecution and the practical measures taken or contemplated to be taken in those countries to enable them to live free from discrimination and oppression and to make estimates of the extent to which emigration to Palestine or other countries outside Europe may be necessary.
To examine political, economic and Social conditions in Palestine as they bear upon the problem of Jewish immigration and settlement therein and the well-being of the peoples now living therein.
To hear the views of competent witnesses and to consult representative Arabs and Jews on the problems of Palestine as such problems are affected by conditions subject to examination under paragraphs (1) and (2) above and by other relevant facts and circumstances, and to make recommendations to His Majesty’s Government and the Government of the United States for ad interim handling of these problems as well as for their permanent solution.
To make such other recommendations to His Majesty’s Government and to the Government of the United States as are necessary to meet the immediate needs arising from conditions subject to examination under paragraph (1) above, by remedial action in the European countries in question or by the provision of facilities for emigration to and settlement in countries outside Europe.
It will be noted that there is an important change in (3). “To hear the views” creates impression that it is merely intended to hear the witnesses and dismiss them. His Majesty’s Government are anxious that the Committee should consult them and so create a conference. This would have a profound effect and increase the chances of a permanent solution.
In order to meet the obvious desire of the United States Government that there should not be any delay in dealing with the Palestine question, His Majesty’s Government would see no objection to the insertion after the terms of reference of a directive to the Committee to the effect that the procedure of the Committee will be determined by the Committee themselves and that it will be open to them if they think fit to deal simultaneously through the medium of sub-committees with their various terms of reference.
His Majesty’s Government note that the United States Government now propose that the Committee should “examine the position of the Jews in those countries in Europe where they have been the victims of Nazi and Fascist persecution”. His Majesty’s Government do not object to this but assume the United States Government has taken account of the difficulties which may arise in extending the enquiry into Eastern and Southeastern Europe.
His Majesty’s Government propose that their announcement should include the agreed terms of reference.