In the middle of the 1930s, at the edge of the darkest times in Jewish history, the British Mandate for Palestine was receiving waves of Jewish immigrants fleeing the rise of Hitler. In 1936 the large number of immigrants ensued a six month-long strike by the Arab population of Palestine.
A Royal Commission was organised the same year (also known as the “Peel Commission”), of which an official report was published on July 1937. It stated that, as the recent events had shown, the Mandate was not working anymore and should lead to a partition of Palestine.
The Palestine Partition Commission (or “Woodhead Commission”) thus took place in February 1938, and its report was published in November the same year (work no. 1). After a presentation of the geographical, economical and financial aspects of the partition, including three different plans of separation of the territories, the conclusion drawn was that it was not feasible.
A statement of the government (work no. 2) published right after this report announced a Conference to come in London, that would gather both a Jewish and an Arab delegations from Palestine.
The “London Conference” thus started in February 1939, in order to come to an agreement. After more than five weeks of negotiations, no settlement had been made between the two nations, leading the British Government to make the decisions.
Published in the “White Paper of 1939” (“Palestine Settlement of Policy”, work no. 3), they were: that an independent state would be established within ten years, before which Palestine would be neither a Jewish nor an Arab state; that a limit of 75,000 Jewish immigrants would be set for the five years to come, and that the rights of Jews to buy land from Arabs would be restricted.
Less than ten years later, the Declaration of Independence would be signed on 14 May 1948, establishing the State of Israel.
These three original copies attest to the evolution of the status of the British Mandate of Palestine in the last decade before Israel’s independence. The two statements are the last two White Papers to be published during the Mandate. After the declaration of independence all the White Papers were declared invalid by the Israeli government.
A set of three works comprising:
1) PALESTINE PARTITION COMMISSION REPORT, Presented by the Secretary of State for the Colonies to Parliament by Command of His Majesty, October 1938:
15.2 x 24.5 cm, 310 pp., 1 printed map, 12 large folding maps at rear including 2 in the rear pocket.
2) PALESTINE STATEMENT BY HIS MAJESTY’S GOVERNMENT IN THE UNITED KINGDOM, Presented by the Secretary of State for the Colonies to Parliament by Command of His Majesty, 1938:
(15.2 x 24.3 cm), 4 pp.
3)PALESTINE STATEMENT OF POLICY, Presented by the Secretary of State for the Colonies to Parliament by Command of His Majesty, 1939:
(15.2 x 24.3 cm), 12 pp.
Stock ID: 92874