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added that General Marshall was anxious that the letter not be made public but that he would review the matter with the General again. I stated that the State Department felt it was important for the letter to be made public.
.867N.01/2205 : Telegram
BAGHDAD, February 23, 1944—3 p. m.
[Received 5:40 p. m.] 35. Information regarding resolutions on Palestine introduced into both houses of Congress contained in Department's 341 to Cairo 30 relayed here is appreciated. Since Prime Minister's talk with me described in my 31, February 14 a number of members of the Government have approached me with expressions of concern regarding Senate Resolution. The fact that a similar resolution was also introduced into the House has just become known here.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs 31 has told me that the Government is taking every possible precaution to prevent the resolution from becoming a subject of discussion in the Parliament and press. He said that the Government had been successful thus far, in spite of the efforts of the Axis radio, to limit knowledge regarding the resolution to relatively few persons in the country. If, however, the resolution should be passed he feels that the fact would eventually become known and that it would be impossible to convince the Arab world including the people of Iraq that the resolution did not reflect the views of the American people.
There is no doubt that interest in the fate of the resolution has become so intense here that for the time being it has crowded all other aspects of foreign affairs into the background and that those leaders of the Government who bear the main responsibility for having prevailed upon Iraq to adopt a pro-Allied policy and for bringing Iraq into the fold of the United Nations are deeply worried.
I have been informed that several telegrams have been sent by prominent Iraq officials to members of the Senate expressing the hope that the resolution will not be passed and that additional telegrams will probably be sent to the House now that it is realized that a similar resolution is before that body.
30 Dated February 19, 5 p. m., not printed. 31 Mahmood Subhi al-Daftari.
In my opinion it would be impossible for the bulk of the politically conscious people of Iraq to reconcile the policies called for in the resolution with the pronouncements of the war aims of the United States and of other members of the United Nations. It is felt here that the successful carrying out of the policies advocated in the resolutions would mean the removal of the keystone of the arch of future Arab unity and an almost irreparable blow towards the eventual setting up of an Arab Commonwealth 32 which would permit the Arab peoples to play the part in the world to which they feel their history and talents entitle them.
The news of the passage of these resolutions would come as a bitter shock even to those Arabs here who have not based their hopes for the future primarily upon an Arab union since the bulk of the population of the country have deep sympathy for their Arab kinsmen in Palestine whom they feel are being pushed about by strong nationalistic minority backed by powerful foreign interests.
Although I believe that the Iraqi Government in case the resolutions are passed would take steps to quiet demonstrations nevertheless the news of the passage would certainly give rise to intense indignation against both the Jews and the United States and possibly by demonstrations of a spontaneous character. I am convinced that the passage of the resolutions would greatly assist the efforts of the Axis to convince the Arabs of this area of the lack of sincerity and of the duplicity of the United States and would more than offset the good will which has been created for the United States in this area by various American governmental organizations during recent years. Repeated to Cairo, Jerusalem, Beirut.
[WASHINGTON,] February 23, 1944. In my talk with the President on Tuesday, I asked him if he had any instructions to leave with us on the question of the Palestine Resolution. He did not but he is hopeful that the McCloy-Handy testimony may end the matter but if not he continues to feel the Stimson letter should then be made public.
* Regarding the attitude of the United States toward the general question of Arab union, see bracketed note, p. 660.
33 Addressed to the Assistant Secretary of State (Long) and the Director of the Office of Near Eastern and African Affairs (Murray).
867N.01/2209 : Telegram
The Chargé at Damascus (Farrell) to the Secretary of State
DAMASCUS, February 24, 1944–2 p. m.
[Received 6:42 p. m.] 3. Reference Beirut No. 36, February 18, 4 p. m. Syrian Foreign Office today handed me a note dated February 23 enclosing copy of telegrams of protest despatched yesterday by Speaker Faris al-Khoury and Chairman of Foreign Affairs Committee Adnan al-Attassi of Syrian Parliament to their counterparts in Congress, against resolutions demanding creation of Jewish state in Palestine, as follows:
“Motions in Congress demanding continued immigration to create Jewish state in Palestine fatally compromise Arab rights and jeopardize public peace in Arab States in the Middle East where all available resources are being put willingly at the disposal of the Allies for assuring victory. The passing of such motions shakes all confidence in international justice and those good hopes guaranteed by the Atlantic Charter. Rendering service to Jews at the expense of Arabs cannot be justified. We request that full study of the Arab rights in Palestine should be made before bringing the aforesaid motions up for debate."
Foreign Office covering (full text by air mail 34) states: Syrian Government fully shares views and cannot conceal surprise that Jewish national home question should be raised without regard to deep effects on Arab opinion at a time when Arab States are giving utmost assistance to Allied cause; warns of grave repercussions if policy of resolutions is adopted and enforced; opines that while Syrian Government will never tolerate settlement of Jews in Palestine at the expense of Arabs, present is inopportune time to raise question, and expects any decision to be deferred to the end of war; concludes that foregoing is clear and frank definition of Syrian Government policy and requests reply to dissipate Arab fears.
I have orally informed Foreign Minister of substance of Department's No. 19, February 16, 6 p. m. to Baghdad and now request guidance in formulation of expected reply to Foreign Office specifically whether any further expression can be added to that stated therein.
Urgency of matter and probable receipt of Parliamentary protests have prompted me to despatch this message direct from Damascus but further report will reflect consultation with Beirut not immediately possible in person and indiscreet by telephone.
34 Despatch 81, February 24, not printed.
867N.01/2315 Memorandum by the Deputy Director of the Office of Near Eastern
and African Affairs (Alling)
[WASHINGTON,] February 24, 1944. The Egyptian Minister called today and handed me the attached note 36 regarding the Palestine question. He indicated that it was along the lines of his recent conversation with the Acting Secretary and he stressed the fact that it was being submitted under instructions from his Government.
I told the Minister that I hoped that he understood that Resolutions adopted in Congress on such matters represented only the views of the legislative branch of the Government and did not necessarily reflect the views of the executive. He said that he himself was quite aware of this fact. He went on to say that nevertheless it was difficult to explain our system of government to the man in the street in Egypt and in nearby countries and when they learned from the Axis radio that some prominent Senator or Representative was advocating action in regard to Palestine, it was naturally assumed that such action represented the views of the United States Government.
The Minister said he would appreciate receiving at our early convenience a reply to the attached aide-mémoire, since his Government was anxiously awaiting our views in this important matter.
The Egyptian Legation to the Department of State 37
The Egyptian Government had the honor of submitting two AideMémoires to the Government of the United States, the first dated January 21, 1943, and the other March 23rd, 1943, on the question of Palestine and its immigration. In them it enunciated its point of view as regards this problem, which in turn happens to coincide fully with the views of all the other Arab peoples of the Middle East.
As a result of this démarche on the part of Egypt, she was accorded some satisfaction by the assurances given by the American Govern
35 Addressed to the Director of the Office of Near Eastern and African Affairs and the Under Secretary of State.
Not printed; for annex, see the aide-mémoire of February 24, infra. 3- Forwarded under cover of a note of February 24 from the Egyptian Minister to the Acting Secretary of State.
The Egyptian Minister's notes were dated February 2 and March 29, 1943; for texts, see Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. IV, pp. 751 and 766, respectively.
ment to the Egyptian Minister at Washington in March 1943, when it was stated to him "that the Question of Palestine in general will not be considered and threshed out without the consent of all the parties interested in it." 39
But it appears that a new current of opinion is in course of taking shape in certain Congressional circles of the United States, with the final aim of declaring null and void the White Paper which, while never earning the full approval of the people of Palestine, none the less handled the matter in a way which did not bear down too heavily
Another movement also seems to be unfurling in America, which, while inciting the passions of the Jews in Palestine, at the same time tends to frustrate the Palestinians in their national sovereignty, and aspirations towards political independence; and this has been doubly intensified by the bombastic utterances and writings of certain Congressmen, whose language was aggressive, intolerant and unfair towards the Arabs; and it is feared that the demand for the abolition of the White Paper will hardly meet any opposition in Congress.
The Zionist problem which has already caused no little amount of trouble and bloodshed, tends by a recrudescence of this fresh fiery attitude, and the encouragement given it, to revive even greater troubles and difficulties, and create conflict not only amongst the Palestinian people themselves, but also amongst the Arab nations who are, at this moment, striving to combine and form a united front.
It is useful to recall, in this connection, that the question of persecuted Jews and that of the Zionist problem are not one and the same thing. While the Arab people, in common with the rest of the world, bitterly condemn the barbarous treatment to which the Jews have been subjected, nevertheless they feel that such oppression should not, under any circumstances, serve as a reason for persecuting, in turn, the people of Palestine, made up of Moslems, Christians and Jews, thus subjecting them to the tender mercies of the Zionists! For neither Palestine, nor the neighbouring Arab people, will accept such a situation with equanimity.
The Egyptian Government, which has never ceased to try to conciliate the various elements, and to bring them nearer towards a common understanding along lines acceptable to all, views with no little apprehension and concern the movement which appears to be gaining force now towards converting Palestine into a Jewish homeland.
It is well to recall that the Arabs never failed to give proof of their amity and friendship towards the United Nations; in fact they have given of their best loyally and unstintedly, spurred on by the idea of
See memorandum by the Under Secretary of State, March 30, 1943, Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. IV, p. 767.