White Paper

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HistoryCentral.com > World History > Middle East >1939- White Paper

1939- White Paper

The White Paper of 1939 — otherwise known as the MacDonald White Paper— was named for the then British Colonial Secretary. It stated that since the Balfour Declaration had called only for the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine, and since there were over 450,000 Jews in Palestine, Britain had met its responsibilities. Therefore, Britain would work towards the establishment of an independent state in Palestine, over a ten-year period. It stated that over the next five years, it would only admit another 75,000 Jews, and the numbers of any Jews arriving illegally would be deducted from that quota. It also forbade further Jewish purchase of land. The Jews of Palestine and the rest of the Jewish world were outraged at this apparent British betrayal. The White Paper also served to seal the fate of European Jewry, who now had nowhere to flee from Nazi tyranny.