PALESTINE – THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE BRITISH MANDATE
League of Nations. Mandate for Palestine, together with a note by the Secretary-General relating to its application to the territory known as Trans-Jordan. [Cmd. 1785.] London: HMSO, 1922. 8° (246 x 152mm). 12pp, verso of final leaf blank, stapled as issued. (Faint dampstain in the top and bottom margins throughout, three punctures in the inside margin, light soiling on the title.)
RARE PAPER ESTABLISHING THE PALESTINE MANDATE. At the 1919 Paris Peace Conference, despite huge pressure from France, most of the 1916 Sykes-Picot Treaty relating to the post-war political solution of the Middle East was enforced. Emir Faisal bin Hussein bin Ali al-Hashemi (1885-1933), leader of the Arab Revolt, was named as King of the Arab Kingdom of Syria, but as he had relinquished coastal areas of Syria to the French, he found himself undermined by Syrian extremists agitating for a Greater Syria. Wavering, he caved in to their demands and rejected his previous accommodation with the French. Simultaneously, Feisal's political grip of inland Syria started to wane, and the Allies hurriedly reconvened, this time at San Remo, Italy, in April 1920, and hammered out an allocation of Mandates. This change in policy, supported by American enthusiasm for Mandates, brought political stability to the region enforced by imperial ambition and repressive force, killing off the Sykes-Picot Treaty which had, at least in principle, enshrined the idea of Arab self-determinism. The British, under pressure from the Anglo-Indian government, supported the French in order to secure Mesopotamia, and were given the Mandate of Palestine. THE PRESENT LOT IS THE FINALISED VERSION OF THE TERMS UNDER WHICH THE BRITISH WOULD GOVERN THE MANDATE. There was provision for the settlement of Jews and the establishment of 'the Jewish national home' as per the Balfour Declaration of 1917. However, there was considerable debate as to whether this should apply to the eastern area of the Mandate, known as Trans-Jordan, and the current work carries a note explicitly stating that these provisions are not be enacted in Trans-Jordan. In effect this limited the eastern boundary of any future Jewish state to the River Jordan. A CRUCIAL DOCUMENT IN MIDDLE EASTERN HISTORY.