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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States, 1947. The Near East and Africa
(1947)

Palestine,   pp. 999-1328 PDF (126.4 MB)


Page 1037


form an Advisory Council, and would be guided as far as possible by
its advice. We have left composition of this body open for negotiation.
It is obviously a very difficult point to decide, but we have provided
that, even if we cannot give numerical parity to the Jews and Arabs,
the High Commissioner should pay attention to views of the minority
as well as of the majority. We have also thought it logical that, as
soon as a central representative organ is established in Palestine, the
Jewish population should deal with the High Commissioner through
the Jewish members of that body and not through the Executive of
the Jewish Agency, which represents Jews in all parts of the world.
An international organisation cannot be embodied in the constitution
of any country.
  We have thought it right, especially as a safeguard for the develop-
ment of a Jewish National Home, to provide for local areas with a
large measure of autonomy. Our difficulty here is of course to de-limit
Arab and Jewish areas. As you are aware it is impossible to find in all
Palestine, apart from Tel Aviv and its environs, any sizable area- with
a.Jewish majority. But we are still working on this problem and I
think we shall solve it and in due course produce a reasonable map.
  The vexed question of immigration has worried me more than any-
  thing else. I think that time has come to refer it, if the Arabs and Jews
  cannot agree, to intenati~onal arbitration. This we have provided for
  at the end of two years. But in the immediate future we felt we should
  ask Palestine to make a special contribution to the relief of distress
in
  Europe. We had also in mind President Truman's desire to see 100,000
  immigrants admitted into Palestine. The proposals therefore guaran-
  tee the entry of approximately that number before international arbi-
tration is invoked. To admit them in a shorter period than two years
would probably cause an upheaval.
   After four years, we hope to hold elections for a constituent as-
 sembly, and to put before the Palestinians themselves the problem of
 constituting their independent state. If they cannot agree on how to
 become independent, we shall ask the Trusteeship Council to advise us
 on our next move.
   The initial reaction of the Arabs to our proposals is sharply hostile,
 and I cannot say that I hope for .a better reception by the Jews. I
 realise that you will receive strong representations against our pro-
 posals from sections of American-public opinion. But I think that if
 you imagine yourself in my position you will agree that this last
 attempt we are making to solve the problem ourselves is justand
 reasonable.
                                                   [ERNEST BEVIN]
1037
PALESTINE


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