The Secretary of State to the British Ambassador (Halifax)


I have talked with the President about the rearrangement of paragraphs discussed by us and he regrets he cannot agree to the Terms of Reference in that form.

I should appreciate it if you would therefore convey the following message to Mr. Bevin:

“The President, as you know, has been very much concerned that American participation in the Joint inquiry with reference to Palestine should not be misunderstood particularly in light of the British policy regarding the current rate of immigration. The revised terms of reference which we suggested on October 24 were an attempt to meet as far as possible your difficulties and yet not prejudge the situation one way or the other.

“The President is fearful that changes you now suggest will be construed as turning the focus of attention away from Palestine. He feels our proposal of October 24 will enable all questions you wish to be considered by the joint inquiry and he hopes very much you can go along with it. In your statement you can give emphasis to the provisions of the Terms in which you are particularly interested, which would be more helpful to you than whether Palestine is mentioned in the 1st or 2nd paragraph.”

The telegram from the Foreign Office dated October 27 which Mr. Balfour kindly left with me indicated that Mr. Bevin had no objection to our proposal provided there was retained in the Terms of Reference the words “or other countries outside Europe”. Those words were in the draft we proposed. We agree to their being retained. If Mr. Bevin is still of the view entertained on October 27, he can act upon our proposal as a firm commitment.

Washington, November 7, 1945.