3 DECEMBER 1948, Page 1

Bernadotte Abandoned

Only once during the past six months have British and American policies on Palestine drawn close enough to be almost identical ; this was when, immediately after the publication of Count Bernadotte's report, both Governments gave it their support. Since then they have tended to move apart ; or rather, the British Government has remained steady in support of the Bernadotte thesis, while the American Government has oscillated perpetually, concerned more to avoid giving offence to the Jews than to give authority to the United Nations. By last week the Americans had retreated more or less to the lines of the partition resolution of last November, but even this did not receive their support where Its territorial clauses conflicted with recent Jewish conquests. Before anything could be accomplished in Palestine it was necessary to reconcile the British and American points of view, and the last few days have been spent in negotiations to this end. It now appears that the desired result has been achieved by the least desirable means ; the British Government having, with one or two half-hearted reservations, fallen into line with the latest shift of American policy. We are now, six months after our support of such a policy might have helped to see it carried through with a minimum of injustice, more or less committed to partition on the least equitable terms. We have apparently abandoned our insistence that the proposed conciliation commission should be given a precise directive. If the commission ever reaches Palestine it is unlikely that it will be able to do more than approve Jewish conquests and allot a few hills to Abdullah. We appear to have forgotten that an Anglo-American Identity of views on the Middle East is desirable only in so far as It produces conditions of a just peace in these regions ; it is not an end in itself.