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BY CHAIRMAN SOL BLOOM, COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ON EVENTS RELATING TO
THE JEWISH NATIONAL HOME IN PALESTINE
THE BALFOUR DECLARATION On November 2, 1917, the Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs of Great Britain issued what has since become known as "The Balfour Declaration," reading as follows: "His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by the Jews in any other country.'
JOINT RESOLUTION OF CONGRESS SIGNED BY PRESIDENT HARDING. President Warren G. Harding on September 21, 1922, signed Public Resolution Numbered 73, Sixty-seventh Congress, in which the Congress of the United States resolved, “That the United States of America favors the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of Christian and all other non-Jewish communities in Palestine, and that the holy places and religious buildings and sites in Palestine shall be adequately protected."
BRITISH MANDATE OVER PALESTINE
The British mandate over Palestine came into force on September 29, 1923, and the preamble of the mandate contained the following statements: "The Principal Allied Powers have also agreed that the Mandatory should be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on the 2nd November 1917 by the Government of His Britannic Majesty, and adopted by the said Powers, in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country; and whereas recognition has thereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country.”
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE JEWISH NATIONAL HOME IN PALESTINE] Article 2 of the British mandate over Palestine reads as follows: "The Mandatory shall be responsible for placing the country under such political, administrative, and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish national home, as laid down in the preamble, and the development of self-governing institutions, and also for safeguarding the civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants of Palestine, irrespective of race and religion."
FACILITATION OF JEWISH IMMIGRATION INTO PALESTINE Article 6 of the British mandate over Palestine reads as follows: "The Administration of Palestine, while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced, shall facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall encourage, in cooperation with the Jewish agency referred to in article 4, close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.” CONVENTION BETWEEN UNITED STATES AND GREAT BRITAIN SIGNED BY
PRESIDENT COOLIDGE The United States as one of the Allied Powers consented to the British mandate over Palestine, and to the terms and conditions of such mandate, in a convention between the United States and Great Britain, ratification of which was advised by the Senate on February 20, 1925, and which was proclaimed by President Calvin Coolidge on December 5, 1925.
In such convention the terms of such mandate were quoted in full and consent given to British administration of Palestine only pursuant to such mandate.
In the provisions of article 7 of said convention it was provided: "Nothing contained in the present convention shall be affected by any modification which may be made in the terms of the mandate, as recited above, unless such modification shall have been assented to by the United States."
BRITISH WHITE PAPER ON PALESTINE Although no modification has been assented to by the United States, there were put into effect in May 1939 certain policies contained in a statement of policy presented to the British Parliament in May 1939, known as the British White Paper on Palestine. STATEMENT IN PARLIAMENT BY RIGHT HONORABLE SIR ARCHIBALD
SINCLAIR During the debate in the British Parliament on the British White Paper on Palestine the Right Honorable Sir Archibald Sinclair declared, “It is a repudiation of solemn pledges which Parliament and the people of Great Britain have given to the Jews.' STATEMENT IN HOUSE OF COMMONS BY RIGHT HONORABLE WINSTON
CHURCHILL In the Parliamentary debate in the House of Commons on the British White Paper on Palestine, the Right Honorable Winston Churchill stated, "I regret very much that the pledge of the Balfour Declaration, endorsed as it has been by successive Governments, and the conditions under which we obtained the Mandate, have both been violated by the Government's proposals”. FURTHER STATEMENT IN HOUSE OF COMMONS BY RIGHT HONORABLE
WINSTON CHURCHILL The Right Honorable Winston Churchill further stated in the Parliamentary debate on the British White Paper on Palestine, “We are now asked to submitand this is what rankles most with me—to an agitation which is fed with foreign money and ceaselessly inflamed by Nazi and by Fascist propaganda".
STATEMENT BY MR. LLOYD GEORGE ON JEWISH COMMONWEALTH In speaking of Palestine, Mr. Lloyd George stated, “The idea was, and this was the interpretation put upon it at the time, that a Jewish State was not to be set up immediately by the Peace Treaty, without reference to the wishes of the majority of the inhabitants. On the other hand, it was contemplated that, when the time arrived for according representative institutions to Palestine, if the Jews had meanwhile responded to the opportunity afforded them by the idea of a national home and had become a definite majority of the inhabitants, then Palestine would thus become a Jewish commonwealth”.
STATEMENT BY PRESIDENT WILSON ON JEWISH COMMONWEALTH President Woodrow Wilson, stating the case for America, said: "I am persuaded that the Allied nations, with the fullest concurrence of our Government and our people, are agreed that in Palestine shall be laid the foundations of a Jewish Commonwealth”.
DECLARATION BY MEMBERS OF COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS
A majority of the members of the Committee on Foreign Affairs issued & declaration in May 1939 reading as follows: “We, the undersigned members of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, desire to call to the attention of the House and the State Department a declaration of the British Government announced last Wednesday, May 17, which is a clear repudiation of the convention between the United States and Great Britain with respect to Palestine, dated December 3, 1924”, which was signed by Sol Bloom, of New York; Luther A. Johnson, of Texas; John Kee, of West Virginia; James P. Richards, of South Carolina; James A. Shanley, of Connecticut; Edward V. Izac, of California; Robert G. Allen, of Pennsylvania; W. O. Burgin, of North Carolina; Hamilton Fish, of New York; George Holden Tinkham, of Massachusetts; Edith Nourse Rogers, of Massachusetts; Bruce Barton, of New York; Robert J. Corbitt, Pennsylvania; John M. Vorys, of Ohio; and Andrew C. Schiffler, of West Virginia.
THE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
HOUSE RESOLUTION 418 AND HOUSE RESOLUTION 419
THE JEWISH NATIONAL HOME IN PALESTINE
At an executive meeting held on March 17, 1944, by the Committee on Foreign Affairs on House Resolution 418 and House Resolution 419, relative to the Jewish National Home in Palestine, and following the receipt of a letter from the Secretary of War, the committee approved the issuance of the following statement:
"Advice and information given to us by those responsible for the conduct of the war have convinced the committee that action upon the resolutions at this time would be unwise." (Letter from the Secretary of War:)
Washington, D. C., March 17, 1944. Hon. SoL BLOOM, Chairman, Foreign Affairs Committee,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. BLOOM: Concerning our conversation with respect to House Resolutions 418 and 419, it is the considered judgment of the War Department that without reference to the merits of these resolutions, further action on them at this time would be prejudicial to the successful prosecution of the war. Faithfully yours,
HENRY L. STIMSON,
Secretary of War.