Defining the Status of Britain in Mesopotamia and Palestine

[Palestine]. Draft Mandates for Mesopotamia and Palestine As Submitted for the Approval of the League Of Nations. (Cmd 1176).

London, His Majesty's Stationery Office, 1921.

Folio. 9, (1) pp. Disbound, stapled.


The important December 1920 draft of the British Mandates for Mesopotamia and Palestine, the penultimate draft of the mandate system presented to the League of Nations for comment. It was the Mandate for Palestine which would structure the future of the Zionist cause as promoted by the Balfour Declaration several years earlier. In this draft, the British government states formally that it is "in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country" (p. 5). The December 1920 draft restored a previously removed preamble to the Mandate for Palestine, which reads, directly following the above, "and whereas recognition has thereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their National Home in that country" (p. 5), which was retained in the final version.

The Mandate for Palestine includes 27 articles relating, among other things, to the following: creating the political and economic conditions that will enable the establishment of a national home for the Jewish nation while maintaining the civil and religious rights of all the residents of the country; allocating lands for Jewish settlement; creating a functioning governance system - laws, economics, foreign relations, maintaining the public order, protecting the holy places, protecting the freedom of conscience and freedom of religion; ensuring the status of English, Hebrew and Arabic as official languages; and more. Formulating the Mandate for Palestine took two years and on 24 July 1922, after corrections and revisions, it was accepted by the Council of the League of Nations and became an internationally binding document.

Light wear, stapled. A rare and important document of what would become the Mandate period.

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