chapter  9
23 Pages

Representative Government

BySusan Silsby Boyle

Palestinian representative government and accountability mechanisms were necessary if government was to be "so equipped as to establish and maintain close contact with the life and psychology of the people." Colonialism categorized the indigenous peoples of India, Ireland, and Palestine as subject races whose claims to the right of self-government were treasonous at worst and presumptuous at best. On February 14, 1931, British Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald dispatched a letter to Chaim Weizmann reversing the policy outlined in the British government's 1930 White Paper. In October 1931 Antonius wrote Rogers that "the dominant issue is the new development scheme" by the British government under the direction of Lewis French. The British government had decided to establish a legislative council that, in all but name, would be merely an advisory body prohibited from dealing with the critical question of Jewish immigration and forbidden even to introduce any legislation not approved by the high commissioner.