Communication Received from United Kingdom Delegation
Concerning Continuance in Office of British Officers
of the Palestine Administration after 15 March.
Mr. dear Bunche,
Thank you for your letter of the 10th March regarding the discussions which have taken place in Jerusalem between Sir Henry Gurney and Azcarate.
Perhaps I did not make the position clear in paragraph 2 of my letter of the 6th March. As you are no doubt aware, certain British officers have already left Palestine and this process will be continuing during the period which remains between now and the termination of the Mandate. It was, however, always the intention of the Government of Palestine that those British officers, mainly at the headquarters offices of the various departments who could be of any assistance to the Commission in facilitating the assumption by the Commission of their responsibilities for the administration of Palestine after the 15th May, should remain at their posts and be available for discussion with the Commission and their staff during the overlap period. All these British officers would then were to leave on or about the 15th May. The idea behind Sir Henry Gurney’s remarks was that if the Commission did not propose to take over the administration of all departments, there was no point in retaining the services of all these British officers in Palestine until the 15th May and arrangements would be made for them to leave Palestine towards the end of April. If, on the other hand, it was the Commission’s intention to take over the administration of all, or at least some, of the departments of Government then these British officers would remain until the 15th May. I hope this makes the position clear. As you will appreciate, there is no “plan concerning the continued service of civil personnel about which the Commission was not informed.”
I have conveyed the substance of paragraphs 4 and 5 of your letter to Sir Henry Gurney.
I have also asked him once again to let me have as soon as possible the texts of any announcements made by the Government of Palestine on behalf of the Commission in respect of the continued employment of Palestinian personnel under the Commission. I have not as yet received copies of any such announcements but I did receive, quite unofficially, the other day the enclosed pro forma which indicates that some steps have already been taken.
I will let you know as soon as I get anything more definite.
I hereby declare that, after the British withdrawal, I wish to continue employment with the Successor States, the City of Jerusalem or to Joint Economic Board.
(a) Successor States
(b) City of Jerusalem
(c) Joint Economic Board
W.B. Please return to the Chief Clerk by hand.
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