26 MAY 1939, Page 16

At the other end of the scale were those who

have always regarded our assumption of the Palestine mandate as entail- ing long and dangerous responsibilities, but as representing the one generous gesture which, at the time of our tremen- dous victory, we had made in the interests of mankind. Such people were incapable of denying the fact that under the Balfour declaration, and the ensuing mandate, we had pledged ourselves to provide a national home for the Jews, to "facilitate Jewish immigration," and to "encourage close settlement of the land." Nor did they endeavour to contend that the White Paper was anything but an abandonment of those promises and a breach of those pledges. This sur- render filled them with pity and mortification. They con- tended also that even the moment of our retreat, even the timing of our betrayal, was inopportune and inhumane. This was not the hour at which to demonstrate to European, Asiatic or American opinion that Great Britain was ready to place her convenience above her covenants. Nor did it seem wholly fair to our military authorities on the spot, who after months of arduous endeavour have at last mastered the rebellion, to dismantle the fortress which with such heroic effort they have won.