Pledges have been given on both sides. The pledge which all the world regarded with considerable attention, and which was mentioned by the Secretary of State in his speech, is undoubtedly the Balfour Declaration of policy put forward by the War Cabinet in the crisis of the Great War. It is a delusion to suppose that this was a mere act of crusading enthusiasm or quixotic philanthropy. On the contrary, it was a measure taken, as the right hon. Gentleman who led us in the crisis of the War knows, in the dire need of the War with the object of promoting the general victory of the Allies, for which we expected and received valuable and important assistance. We cannot brush that aside and start afresh as though it had never been given, and deal with this matter as if we had no obligations or responsibility. Therefore...I should have preferred the Government to have persevered in the old policy of persuading one side to concede and the other to forbear, and to carry forward that policy, hard and heavy though it may be, with all its inconveniences.
However, we are now presented with this magnificently written State document, the result of months of inquiry by men of very high character and ability, and we are bound to treat the Report of such a Commission with proper respect and consideration. All the same I must say that I could not vote for the Government Motion that we should approve now the principle of partition. I cannot do so because it seems to me it would be premature for the Government to ask the House to commit itself finally to this main principle. The principle cannot be judged fairly apart from the details by which it is expressed. Take the military aspect alone. The gravest anxieties arise about that. There are two sovereign States, one a rich and small State more crowded than Germany, with double the population to the kilometre of France, and then in the mountains in the surrounding regions, stretching up to Bagdad with the Assyrians and the desert tribes to the south, the whole of this great Arab area confronting this new Jewish State...We have not got before us at this moment any of the vital data upon which we should be able to commit ourselves finally to the principle of partition...Therefore, I feel great difficulty at this stage and at this moment in committing myself to the principle of partition, and if it were the only alternative I should have no choice but to vote against it.
...There are, I believe, signs on both sides that people are thinking that perhaps rather than this they might make some mutual concessions. They have heard of the judgment of Solomon, and how wise that was, in which a baby was held up in order to see which was the true mother. But if sufficient time had not been given for the true mother to proclaim herself by her feelings, I very much doubt whether that parable would have commended itself so much to subsequent generations...
_________ also met with the Revisionist Zionist leader Vladimir Jabotinsky (16 July), who urged opposition to partition on the grounds that a truncated state would be afflicted by Jewish demographic weakness within, vulnerability to conquest from without, and an inability to absorb the mass of Jewish refugees. ________ himself used similar arguments in his speech in the Commons opposing partition (21 July) and in an article in the Evening Standard (23 July),