The End of Lord Northcliffe
During the three years which followed the Peace Conference of 1919 the way had to be found to keep British armies in Palestine, make them look as if they performed an honourable duty there, and in fact use them as cloak for a deed which had the character of an assassination. This problem, of infinite complexity, was efficiently solved. An impressive picture of the secret manipulation of great governments for a nefarious purpose emerges from the records; the method of exerting “irresistible pressure upon international politics” constantly improved with practice.
After the Peace Conference had approved the Zionist claim to Palestine (and thereby disowned the mass of emancipated Western Jews, personified by M. Sylvain Levi) the next step was taken at the San Remo Conference of 1920, where the victor powers met to dismember the conquered Turkish Empire. This conference adopted the ingenious deception invented by Dr. Weizmann in 1915 and agreed that Britain should administer Palestine under “a mandate.”
Protests against the undertaking then were growing loud, because its true nature was beginning to be realized, but Mr. Balfour assured Dr. Weizmann that “they were regarded as without importance and would certainly not affect policy, which had been definitely set.”
Here is the cryptic statement, often to recur later, that policy in this one question must not, cannot and never will alter, so that national interest, honour and all other considerations are irrelevant. I know of no other case where an unalterable tenet of high State policy has been fixed without regard to State interest or consultation of public opinion at any stage. At San Remo Mr. Lloyd George was worried lest “the frost” of peace should set in before the secret purpose was accomplished, and told Dr. Weizmann, “You have no time to waste. Today the world is like the Baltic before a frost. For the moment it is still in motion. But if it gets set, you will have to batter your heads against the ice blocks and wait for a second thaw.” Had Mr. Lloyd George said “second war” he would have been correct and possibly that was what he meant by “thaw.” In these circumstances the San Remo Conference “confirmed the Balfour Declaration and the decision to give the mandate to Great Britain.” After that only one step remained between the Zionists and their goal; the League of Nations had to invent “mandates,” bestow on itself the right to bestow mandates, and then “ratify” this Mandate.
That happened in 1922, as will be seen, but during the interval protests against the deed came from every responsible authority or community directly involved. The forces engaged in promoting it were three: the directing Zionists from Russia, the “philo-semites” in high places whom Dr. Weizmann “hated” while he used them, and, among the masses, that body of sentimental liberals scathingly depicted in the Protocols. Against it was ranked authoritative and experienced opinion in such overwhelming measure that, had the question been any other than this one to which the “administrators” were secretly committed, it would have collapsed. The mass of protest was so great that it is enumerated in its parts here for comparison with the summary which follows. It came from (1) the Palestinean Arabs; (2) the Palestinean Jews; (3) the chief Zionist leader in America, as well as the anti-Zionist Jews of America and England; (4) the British officials and soldiers in Palestine; (5) British and American official investigators; (6) a large body of the press, then still free of occult control in this matter.
(l) The Arabs saw from the start what was in store for them, for they knew the Torah. Dr. Weizmann had told the Peace Conference “The Bible is our mandate,” and they knew about “the God of the Jews” and his promises of pogrom and reward: “When the Lord thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and shall cast out many nations before thee … seven nations greater and mightier than thou; and when the Lord thy God shall deliver them up before thee, and thou shalt smite them; then thou shalt utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor show mercy unto them” (Deuteronomy 7, 1-3).
Thus Zionism, and Western support of it, meant extermination for them under a Law of 2,500 years earlier (and the events of 1948 proved this). In 1945 King Ibn Saoud told President Roosevelt, “You have fought two world wars to discover what we have known for two thousand years” and in 1948 the intention literally to fulfil the above-quoted “statute and commandment” was proved by deed. Significantly, even anti-Zionist Jews could not believe, before it happened, that this literal “fulfilment” was intended. In 1933 Mr. Bernard J. Brown correctly cited the above-mentioned passage as the reason for Arab fears and said, “Of course, the uncultured Arabs do not understand that the modem Jew does not take his Bible literally and would not be so cruel to his fellow man, but he suspects that if the Jews bottom their claim to Palestine on the strength of their historic rights to that land, they can only do so on the authority of the Bible, and the Arab refuses to reject any part of it.” Mr. Brown of Chicago did not know the Chazars).
The Arabs in 1920 were not deceived by Mr. Balfour's public pledge (in the Declaration) that their “civil and religious rights” would be protected or by Mr. Wilson's public pledge (the Fourteen Points) that they would have “undoubted security of life” and “absolutely independent opportunity of autonomous development.” If they did not know, they guessed that Mr. Balfour, Mr. Lloyd George and Mr. Wilson had secretly promised the Zionists Palestine. Knowing the Torah, they equally disbelieved the public statement of Mr. Winston Churchill in 1922 (when he was Colonial Secretary), “Unauthorized statements have been made to the effect that the purpose in view is to create a wholly Jewish Palestine. Phrases have been used such as ‘Palestine is to become as Jewish as England is English'” (a direct rebuke to Dr. Weizmann). “His Majesty's government regard any such suggestion as impracticable and have no such aim in view. Nor have they at any time contemplated the disappearance or subordination of the Arabic population, language or culture in Palestine” (in the Second World War, as Prime Minister, and after it as Opposition leader Mr. Churchill gave his support to the process here denied).
(2) The original Jewish community of Palestine (never taken into consideration at any stage in all these proceedings) was violently anti-Zionist. Dr. Weizmann, almost alone among his fellow-Zionists and the Western politicians associated with them, had slight acquaintance with these original Jews, having made one or two brief visits to Palestine; he says most of his fellow-Zionists from Russia were “completely ignorant” of them. At this period in 1919-1922 the Zionist leaders first learned that the Jews of Palestine held them to be “heathen, impious, heartless, ignorant and malevolent.” Dr. Weizmann (whose attitude is the familiar one that he was only acting for their good; “we were only anxious to make conditions a little modern and comfortable for them”) was “rather horrified to discover how remote from them we remained.” He dismisses them as old fogies who, annoyingly, bombarded the Jewish organizations in America with complaints about the Zionists, “quite ninety percent” of their letters being violently hostile. (Typically, Dr. Weizmann learned of the contents of these letters from a British censor, derelict in his duty, who showed them to him). These protests of the native Arabs and native Jews of Palestine were ignored by the politicians of Paris and San Remo.
(3) Mr. Louis Brandeis in 1919 visited the country which then, for twenty years, had formed the object of his revived interest in Judaism. He was at once disillusioned by actual acquaintance with the unknown land and decided that “it would be wrong to encourage immigration.” He urged that the World Zionist Organization should be greatly reduced, if not abolished, and that future activity should be restricted to the modest task of building up a “Jewish Homeland” through separate Zionist associations in the various countries. In effect this would have been simply a “cultural centre” in Palestine, consisting perhaps of a university and academies, and of somewhat more numerous farm settlements, with reasonable means of immigration for the small number of Jews who, of their own volition, might wish to go to Palestine.
This meant abandoning the concept of separate Jewish nationhood symbolized by a Jewish State, and was treason. It was (as Dr. Weizmann says) a revival of he old cleavage between “east” and “west”; between “Ostjuden” and emancipated Western Jews; between “Washington” and “Pinsk” (the name of the author of the phrase about “international pressure” was significant, not coincidental).
The Zionists from Russia overthrew Mr. Brandeis as easily as Dr. Herzl in 1903-4. Mr. Brandeis made the proposal summarized above to the Cleveland Congress of American Zionists in 1921. Dr. Weizmann, opposing, insisted on “a national fund” (that is, revenue to be raised by the self-appointed government of a Jewish nation from obligatory tithe-payments by members of the Zionist organization) and “a national budget.” Mr. Brandeis's weakness was precisely that of Dr. Herzl in 1903; the great Western governments were committed to the Zionists from Russia. The congress, which if it was in any way “elected” was elected by about one-tenth of the Jews of America, upheld Dr. Weizmann and Dr. Brandeis fell from his high place.
(4) In Palestine the British soldiers and officials saw that an impossible task was to be inflicted on them. They were of a stock that had gained more experience in the administration of overseas territories than any other in history, and experience and instinct alike warned them. They knew how to administer a country justly on behalf of all its native peoples and had often done this. They knew that no country could be justly administered, or even kept quiet, if alien immigrants were to be forced into it and the native peoples compelled to allow this. Their protests, too, began to flow towards London and until the end, thirty years later, were ignored. The Arabs from the start accepted the bitter truth and began (in 1920) to resist by riot, rising and every means at hand; they have never since ceased and obviously will not until their grievance is amended or they are all put in permanent, armed captivity.
(5) As the “front-rank politicians” (Dr. Weizmann's phrase) in London and Washington were resolved at any cost to implant the Zionists in Palestine, without regard to any protest, opinion or counsel whatever, today's student might wonder why President Wilson and Mr. Lloyd George sent commissions of investigation to the land bartered about by them. If they hoped to receive encouraging reports (in the manner of Sir Henry Wilson's “mud-months” advice) they were deceived, for these investigators merely confirmed what the Arabs, Jews and British in Palestine all had said. President Wilson's King-Crane Commission (1919) reported that “the Zionist look forward to a practically complete dispossession of the present non-Jewish inhabitants of Palestine.” This commission added, “by various forms of purchase”; the more experienced British officers heard by it correctly informed it that “the Zionist programme could not be carried out except by force of arms.” Mr. Lloyd George's Haycraft Commission (1921) reported that the real root of the trouble then starting in Palestine lay in the justified Arab belief that the Zionists intended to dominate in Palestine.
(6) By far the greatest obstacle to the Zionist ambition came from factual reporting in the press of what was happening in Palestine and from editorial comment adverse to Zionism. At any time up to the 1914-1918 war the American and British governments, before they went too far, would have had to reckon with public opinion, accurately informed by the newspapers. The corruption of the press (foretold by the Protocols) began with the censorship introduced during the First World War; the rise of the directing power behind the scenes had been shown by the cases of Colonel Repington, Mr. H.A. Gwynne and Mr. Robert Wilton in 1917-1918; experienced correspondents were driven to resign or to write books because their reports were ignored, burked, or suppressed; an editor who published the faithful report without submission to the censorship was prosecuted.
In 1919-1922 the censorship was ending and the newspapers naturally reverted, in the main, to the earlier practice of true reporting and impartial comment on the facts reported. This re-established the former check on governmental policies, and if it had continued would undoubtedly have thwarted the Zionist project, which could not be maintained if it were open to public scrutiny. Therefore the entire future for the Zionists, at this crucial moment when “the Mandate” still was not “ratified,” turned on the suppression of adverse newspaper information and comment. At that very juncture an event occurred which produced that result. By reason of this great effect on the future, and by its own singular nature, the event (denoted in the heading to the present chapter) deserves relation in detail here.
At that stage in the affair England was of paramount importance to the conspirators (I have shown that Dr. Weizmann and Mr. House both used this word) and in England the energetic Lord Northcliffe was a powerful man. The former Alfred Harmsworth, bulky and wearing a dank Napoleonic forelock, owned the two most widely read daily newspapers, various other journals and periodicals, and in addition was majority proprietor of the most influential newspaper in the world, at that time, The Times of London. Thus he had direct access to millions of people each day and, despite his business acumen, he was by nature a great newspaper editor, courageous, combative and patriotic. He was sometimes right and sometimes wrong in the causes he launched or espoused, but he was independent and unpurchasable. He somewhat resembled Mr. Randolph Hearst and Colonel Robert McCormick in America, which is to say that he would do many things to increase the circulation of his newspapers, but only within the limits of national interest; he would not peddle blasphemy, obscenity, libel or sedition. He could not be cowed and was a force in the land.
Lord Northcliffe made himself the adversary of the conspiracy from Russia in two ways. In May 1920 he caused to be printed in The Times the article, previously mentioned, on the Protocols. It was headed, “The Jewish Peril, A Disturbing Pamphlet, Call for Enquiry.” It concluded, “An impartial investigation of these would-be documents and of their history is most desirable … are we to dismiss the whole matter without inquiry and to let the influence of such a book as this work unchecked?”
Then in 1922 Lord Northcliffe visited Palestine, accompanied by a journalist, Mr. J.M.N. Jeffries (whose subsequent book, Palestine: The Reality, remains the classic work of reference for that period). This was a combination of a different sort from that formed by the editors of The Times and Manchester Guardian, who wrote their leading articles about Palestine in England and in consultation with the Zionist chieftain, Dr. Weizmann. Lord Northcliffe, on the spot, reached the same conclusion as all other impartial investigators, and wrote, “In my opinion we, without sufficient thought, guaranteed Palestine as a home for the Jews despite the fact that 700,000 Arab Moslems live there and own it … The Jews seemed to be under the impression that all England was devoted to the one cause of Zionism, enthusiastic for it in fact; and I told them that this was not so and to be careful that they do not tire out our people by secret importation of arms to fight 700,000 Arabs … There will be trouble in Palestine … people dare not tell the Jews the truth here. They have had some from me.”
By stating this truth, Lord Northcliffe offended twice; he had already entered the forbidden room by demanding “inquiry” into the origins of the Protocols. Moreover, he was able to publish this truth in the mass-circulation newspapers owned by him, so that he became, to the conspirators, a dangerous man. He encountered one obstacle in the shape of Mr. Wickham Steed, who was editor of The Times and whose championship of Zionism Dr. Weizmann records.
In this contest Lord Northcliffe had an Achilles heel. He particularly wanted to get the truth about Palestine into The Times, but he was not sole proprietor of that paper, only chief proprietor. Thus his own newspapers published his series of articles about Palestine but The Times, in fact, refused to do so. Mr. Wickham Steed” though he had made such large proposals about the future of Palestine, declined to go there, and denied publicity to the anti-Zionist case.
These facts, and all that now follows, are related (again, with surprising candour) in the Official History of The Times (1952). It records that Mr. Wickham Steed “evaded” visiting Palestine when Lord Northcliffe requested him to go there; it also records Mr, Wickham Steed's “inaction” following Lord Northcliffe's telegraphed wish “for a leading article attacking Balfour's attitude towards Zionism.”
In what follows the reader's attention is particularly directed to dates.
In May 1920 Lord Northcliffe had caused publication of the article about the Protocols in The Times. Early in 1922 he visited Palestine and produced the series of articles above mentioned. On February 26, 1922 he left Palestine, after his request, which was ignored, to the editor of The Times. He was incensed against the incompliant editor and had a message, strongly critical of his editorial policy, read to an editorial conference which met on March 2, 1922. Lord Northcliffe wished that Mr. Wickham Steed should resign and was astonished that he remained after this open rebuke. The editor, instead of resigning, decided “to secure a lawyer's opinion on the degree of provocation necessary to constitute unlawful dismissal.” For this purpose he consulted Lord Northcliffe's own special legal adviser (March 7, 1922), who informed Mr. Wickham Steed that Lord Northcliffe was “abnormal,” “incapable of business” and, judging from his appearance, “unlikely to live long” and advised the editor to continue in his post! The editor then went to Pau, in France, to see Lord Northcliffe, in his turn decided that Lord Northcliffe was “abnormal” (March 31, 1922), and informed a director of The Times that Lord Northcliffe was “going mad.”
The suggestion of madness thus was put out by an editor whom Lord Northcliffe desired to remove and the impressions of others therefore are obviously relevant. On May 3, 1922 Lord Northcliffe attended a farewell luncheon in London for a retiring editor of one of his papers and “was in fine form.” On May 11, 1922 he made “an excellent and effective speech” to the Empire Press Union and “most people who had thought him ‘abnormal' believed they were mistaken.” A few days later Lord Northcliffe telegraphed instructions to the Managing Director of The Times to arrange for the editor's resignation. This Managing Director saw nothing “abnormal” in such an instruction and was not “in the least anxious about Northcliffe's health.” Another director, who then saw him, “considered him to have quite as good a life risk as his own; he “noticed nothing unusual in Northcliffe's manner or appearance” (May 24, 1922).
On June 8, 1922 Lord Northcliffe, from Boulogne, asked Mr. Wickham Steed to meet him in Paris; they met there on June 11, 1922, and Lord Northcliffe told his visitor that he, Lord Northcliffe, would assume the editorship of The Times. On June 12, 1922 the whole party left for Evian-les-Bains, a doctor being secreted on the train, as far as the Swiss frontier, by Mr. Wickham Steed. Arrived in Switzerland “a brilliant French nerve specialist” (unnamed) was summoned and in the evening certified Lord Northcliffe insane. On the strength of this Mr. Wickham Steed cabled instructions to The Times to disregard and not to publish anything received from Lord Northcliffe, and on June 13, 1922 he left, never to see Lord Northcliffe again. On June 18, 1922 Lord Northcliffe returned to London and was in fact removed from all control of, and even communication with his undertakings (especially The Times; his telephone was cut). The manager had police posted at the door to prevent him entering the office of The Times if he were able to reach it. All this, according to the Official History, was on the strength of certification in a foreign country (Switzerland) by an unnamed (French) doctor. On August 14, 1922 Lord Northcliffe died; the cause of death stated was ulcerative endocarditis, and his age was fifty-seven. He was buried, after a service at Westminster Abbey, amid a great array of mourning editors.
Such is the story as I have taken it from the official publication. None of this was known outside a small circle at the time; it only emerged in the Official History after three decades, and if it had all been published in 1922 would presumably have called forth many questions. I doubt if any comparable displacement of a powerful and wealthy man can be adduced, at any rate in such mysterious circumstances.
For the first time, I now appear in this narrative as a personal witness of events. In the 1914-1918 war I was one participant among uncomprehending millions, and only began to see its true shape long afterwards. In 1922 I was for an instant in, though not of the inner circle; looking back, I see myself closeted with Lord Northc1iffe (about to die) and quite ignorant of Zionism, Palestine, Protocols or any other matter in which he had raised his voice. My testimony may be of some interest; I cannot myself judge of its value.
I was in 1922 a young man fresh from the war who struggled to find a place in the world and had become a clerk in the office of The Times. I was summoned thence, in that first week of June when Lord Northcliffe was preparing to remove Mr. Wickham Steed and himself assume the editorship of The Times, to go as secretary to Lord Northcliffe who was at Boulogne. I was warned beforehand that he was an unusual man whose every bidding must be quickly done. Possibly for that reason, everything he did seemed to me to be simply the _expression of his unusual nature. No suspicion of anything more ever came to me, a week before he was “certified” and, in effect, put in captivity.
I was completely ignorant of “abnormal” conditions, so that the expert might discount my testimony. Anyway, the behaviour I observed was just what I had been told to expect by those who had worked with him for many years. There was one exception to this. Lord Northcliffe was convinced that his life was in danger and several times said this; specifically, he said he had been poisoned. If this is in itself madness, then he was mad, but in that case many victims of poisoning have died of madness, not of what was fed to them. If by any chance it was true, he was not mad. I remember that l thought it feasible that such a man should have dangerous enemies, though at that time I had no inkling at all of any particular hostility he might have incurred. His belief certainly charged him with suspicion of those around him, but if by chance he had reason for it, then again it was not madness; if all this had transpired in the light of day such things could have been thrashed out.
I cannot judge, and can only record what I saw and thought at the time, as a young man who had no more idea of what went on around him than a babe knows the shape of the world. When I returned to London I was questioned about Lord Northcliffe by his brother, Lord Rothermere, and one of his chief associates, Sir George Sutton. The thought of madness must by that time have been in their minds (the “certification” had ensued) and therefore have underlain their questions, but not even then did any such suspicion occur to me, although I had been one of the last people to see him before he was certified and removed from control of his newspapers. I did not know of that when I saw them or for long afterwards. In such secrecy was all this done that, although I continued in the service of The Times for sixteen years, I only learned of the “madness” and “certification” thirty years late , from the Official History. By that time I was able to see what great consequences had flowed from an affair in which I was an uninitiated onlooker at the age of twenty-seven.
Lord Northcliffe therefore was out of circulation, and of the control of his newspapers, during the decisive period preceding the ratification of “the mandate” by the League of Nations, which clinched the Palestinean transaction and bequeathed the effects of it to our present generation. The opposition of a widely-read chain of journals at that period might have changed the whole course of events. After Lord Northcliffe died the possibility of editorials in The Times “attacking Balfour's attitude towards Zionism” faded. From that time the submission of the press, in the manner described by the Protocols, grew ever more apparent and in time reached the condition which prevails today, when faithful reporting and impartial comment on this question has long been in suspense.
Lord Northcliffe was removed from control of his newspapers and put under constraint on June 18, 1922; on July 24, 1922 the Council of the League of Nations met in London, secure from any possibility of loud public protest by Lord Northcliffe, to bestow on Britain a “mandate” to remain in Palestine and by arms to instal the Zionists there (I describe what events have shown to be the fact; the matter was not so depicted to the public, of course).,
This act of “ratifying” the “mandate” was in such circumstances a formality. The real work, of drawing up the document and of ensuring that it received approval, had been done in advance, in the first matter by drafters inspired by Dr. Weizmann and in the second by Dr. Weizmann himself in the ante-chambers of many capitals. The members of Mr. House's “Inquiry” had drafted the Covenant of the League of Nations; Dr. Weizmann, Mr. Brandeis, Rabbi Stephen Wise and their associates had drafted the Balfour Declaration; now the third essential document had to be drafted, one of a kind that history never knew before. Dr. Weizmann pays Lord Curzon (then British Foreign Secretary) the formal compliment of saying that he was “in charge of the actual drafting of the mandate” but adds, “on our side we had the valuable assistance of Mr. Ben V. Cohen … one of the ablest draughtsmen in America.” Thus a Zionist in America (Mr. Cohen was to play an important part in a much later stage of this process) in fact drafted a document under which “the new world order” was to dictate British policy, the use of British troops and the future of Palestine.
Lord Curzon's part was merely to moderate the terms of the “mandate” if he could, and he did achieve minor modifications, though these had little effect on events in the long run. An able statesman (not a politician) who looked like a Roman emperor, he was “entirely loyal to the policy adopted and meant to stand by the Balfour Declaration” (Dr. Weizmann), but was known personally to disapprove the project which duty required him to further (this might be the reason why he never became Prime Minister, for which office he was highly qualified). He contrived to delete one word from the draft. Dr. Weizmann and Mr. Cohen desired it to begin, “Recognizing the historic rights of the Jews to Palestine …” Lord Curzon said, “If you word it like that, I can see Weizmann coming to me every day and saying he has a right to do this, that and the other in Palestine! I won't have it.” Thus “historical rights” became “historical connection,” a lesser misstatement; Lord Curzon, a scholar certainly did not believe that the Chazars from Russia had any historical connection with the Arabian Peninsula.
Dr. Weizmann, while the draft was thus being prepared, set off on another international tour, to ensure that all members of the Council of the League of Nations would inaugurate “the new world order” by voting for “the Mandate.” He called first on the Italian Foreign Minister, one Signor Schanzer, who said the Vatican was worried about the future, under Zionism, of the Room of the Last Supper in Jerusalem. Dr. Weizmann, in the tone habitual among his associates when they spoke of things holy to others, says, “My education in Church history having been deficient, I did not know why the Italians laid such stress on the Room of the Last Supper.”
Dr. Weizmann was able to reassure Signor Schanzer and left Rome assured of Italian support. After that the thing became a landslide and from that time on the “votes” of the League of Nations (and of the later “United Nations”) in vital questions were always arranged beforehand by this method of secret canvassing, lobbying and “irresistible pressure” in general. Dr. Weizmann went on to Berlin and found a famous Jewish minister there, Dr. Walter Rathenau, to be violently opposed to Zionism. He “deplored any attempt to turn the Jews of Germany ‘into a foreign body on the sands of the Mark of Brandenburg'; that was all he could see in Zionism.” Dr. Rathenau was murdered soon after this, so that the cause of the emancipated Western Jews was deprived of another notable champion.
By his journeys and visits Dr. Weizmann at last assured himself, in advance of the meeting, of all votes at the Council table save two, those of Spain and Brazil. He then called in London on the Spanish dignitary who was to represent Spain and said, “Here is Spain's opportunity to repay in part that long-outstanding debt which it owes to the Jews. The evil which your forefathers were guilty of against us you can wipe out in part.”
Dr. Weizmann was cautious, twice using the words “in part.” His host, whose duty was to contemporary Spain, was being allured with the suggestion which had earlier fascinated Mr. Balfour; that Spain owed some indeterminate “debt” to “the Jews,” for all of whom his visitor claimed to speak, and that by wiping out Arab hopes in Palestine he could wipe out (in part) this debt said to have been incurred by Spain. Considered by standards of reason these conversations read like something from the Mad Hatter's Tea-Party. In any case, the Spanish representative promised the vote of Spain and, for full measure, also that of Brazil, so that the chain of yesses was complete. Even Dr. Weizmann could not tell whether this happy ending to his visit was the result of his own eloquence or of pressure applied at a higher level (that of the Spanish delegate's superiors in Madrid).
In England, as the moment approached, a last bid was made to avert British embroilment in this enterprise. Lords Sydenham, Islington and Raglan led an attack on “the mandate” in the House of Lords and by a large majority carried their motion for the repeal of the Balfour Declaration. However, the upper house, its earlier powers abolished, by that time could only protest, and Mr. Balfour (soon to become a lord) at once reassured Dr. Weizmann: “What does it matter if a few foolish lords pass such a motion?”
After all this secret preparation the stage was set for the meeting of the League Council in London on July 24, 1922 and “everything went off smoothly when Mr. Balfour introduced the subject of the ratification of the Palestine Mandate.” Without any demur Britain was awarded “the mandate” to remain in Palestine and to provide an armed cordon for the Zionists when they arrived there.
Thus in 1922 the British future was left burdened with an undertaking which had never received public scrutiny and during the next three decades the growing bills began to pour in. Early in the process America also was re-involved, although the general public there did not realize this for another thirty years.
President Wilson was dead and his Democratic party was out of office. President Harding was at the White House and the Republican party was back in power. It had been swept back by the wave of popular feeling against the disappointing outcome of the war and of instinctive desire to be free from “entanglements” overseas. The country felt itself well out of the League of Nations and its mysterious activities all over the world.
Then the Republican party led the Republic back in to the embroilments in which the Democratic party first had involved it. Presumably the party-managers, those architects of public misfortune, thought to compete with the other party for the favour of those powerful groups, and the “fluctuating vote” controlled by them, described in Mr. House's diary and novel.
In June 1922, just before the League Council in London bestowed the Palestinean “Mandate” on Britain, the United States Congress passed a joint resolution of both houses, the wording of which was almost identical with that of the Balfour Declaration of 1917. Thereafter the Zionist halter was firmly reaffixed round the neck of American State policy, and though the American voter only realized this, it became immaterial to him which party prevailed at elections.
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Biografi af Douglas Reed