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Churchill White Paper, 1922

The Churchill White Paper of June 3, 1922 clarified how Britain viewed the Balfour Declaration, 1917. That Declaration announced the British intent to aid the "establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people", wording which became controversial.

The key components of the White Paper are summarized by these quotations from it:

Having clarified the understanding and intent of the British government, the White Paper continues, outlining a measure to assist in attaining the objectives: 'For the fulfilment of this policy it is necessary that the Jewish community in Palestine should be able to increase its numbers by immigration. This immigration cannot be so great in volume as to exceed whatever may be the economic capacity of the country at the time to absorb new arrivals. ... The number of immigrants since the British occupation has been about 25,000.'

It also expressed the British view on the reason for not immediately forming an independent government of Palestine, addressing the conflicting claims related to the Hussein-McMahon Correspondence, Sykes-Picot Agreement and subsequent Balfour Declaration:

'It is not the case, as has been represented by the Arab Delegation, that during the war His Majesty's Government gave an undertaking that an independent national government should be at once established in Palestine. This representation mainly rests upon a letter dated the 24th October, 1915, from Sir Henry McMahon, then His Majesty's High Commissioner in Egypt, to the Sharif of Mecca, now King Hussein of the Kingdom of the Hejaz. That letter is quoted as conveying the promise to the Sherif of Mecca to recognise and support the independence of the Arabs within the territories proposed by him. But this promise was given subject to a reservation made in the same letter, which excluded from its scope, among other territories, the portions of Syria lying to the west of the District of Damascus. This reservation has always been regarded by His Majesty's Government as covering the vilayet of Beirut and the independent Sanjak of Jerusalem. The whole of Palestine west of the Jordan was thus excluded from Sir. Henry McMahon's pledge'.

This is controversial, for it both abrogates what Arabs believe to be an undertaking from the Hussein-McMahon Correspondence that the Arab state would include Palestine and sets an eastern border for Palestine which conflicts with some modern claims that the Jewish home was intended to include Transjordan, by giving a west of Syria boundary, consistent with the Sykes-Picot Agreement.

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