The Churchill White Paper, June 1922
With reference to the Constitution, which it is now intended to establish in Palestine, the draft of which has already been published, it is desirable to make certain points clear.
In the first place, it is not the case, as has been represented by the Arab Delegation, that during the war His Majesty’s Government gave an undertaking that an independent national government should be at once established in Palestine.
This representation mainly rests upon a letter dated the 24th October, 1915, from Sir Henry McMahon, then His Majesty’s High Commissioner in Egypt, to the Sherif of Mecca, now King Hussein of the Kingdom of the Hedjaz.
That letter is quoted as conveying the promise of the Sherif of Mecca to recognize and support the independence of the Arabs within the territories proposed by him.
But this promise was given subject to a reservation made in the same letter, which excluded from its scope, among other territories, the portions of Syria lying to the west of the District of Damascus.
This reservation has always been regarded by His Majesty’s Government as covering the vilayet of Beirut and the independent Sanjak of Jerusalem.
*** THE WHOLE OF PALESTINE WEST OF THE JORDAN WAS THUS EXCLUDED FROM SIR H. MCMAHON’S PLEDGE.