White Paper of 1922

What was the White Paper of 1922?

British saw the inconvenience in allowing establishing a national home for Jews in Palestine soon after the issuance of Balfour Declaration. All the persons who had issued the declaration in 1917 weren’t in power. At the same time, Britain fell back on its word to give Syria under Arab rule as Arabs gave Syria to France according to the Sykes-Picot agreement. Due to the resentment created by the Palestine mandate, riots broke out in Palestine between 1920 and 1921. House of Lords and House of Commons raised motions to cancel the Balfour Declaration and although they were rejected, British realized that they would have to reach a compromise sooner or later.


Therefore, Churchill was given the task of reforming the mandate in such a way that it would pacify the Arabs while keeping Palestine away from French with their weapon being “establishment of a Jewish national home”. To ask for the consent of Jews and Arabs, Churchill circulated his proposed document to both before issuing it, to which Chaim Weizmann accented while Palestinian representatives objected to it on the grounds that both the Balfour Declaration and the White Paper contradicted the promises made by.

The British White Paper of 1922, also known as the Churchill White Paper was a document drafted by the British Colonial Secretary, Winston Churchill with the help of Sir Herbert Samuel and was issued on June 3, 1922 with the purpose of clarifying the Balfour Declaration and how the British viewed it.

According to the White Paper, British stood by the terms mentioned in the Balfour Declaration and that this declaration, which was approved at the San Remo Conference and in the Treaty of Sevres, would not change. The White Paper recognized the progress that the Zionist community was making but made it clear that they do not support the idea of a Jewish national home and would like to see it as only a community within Palestine. Moreover, in July 1922, the British made a partition in the Palestine mandate by separating the territory lying east of the Jordan River from the Jewish populated area and renaming it Transjordan, giving it to Emir Abdullah to rule.

The document also stated that Arabs has misinterpreted the Husayn-McMahon Correspondence and British deny “that an independent national government should be at once established in Palestine”. The paper also stated that they do not wish that Palestine become “as Jewish as England is English”. A new stipulation for the immigration quota of Jews into Palestine was also established in the paper which confirmed that the maximum limit of immigration is not to exceed the absorptive capacity of economic state of the country.

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