||The British government issued statements of policy presented to parliament known as white papers. These papers played an important part in the history of Mandatory Palestine. Six such documents were issued between the years 1922 and 1939. This is the essence of the report of the infamous Peel Commission, containing a statement of British government policy issued together with the report of the Royal Commission on Palestine (the Peel Commission). It states that the British government accepted the commission's partition plan in principle and would take the necessary steps to put it into effect. Until the establishment of Jewish and Arab states, the government would not surrender its responsibilities for peace, order, and good government throughout Palestine. In the interim period, two steps would be taken: "to prohibit any land transactions which might prejudice such a scheme" and to limit immigration between August 1937 and March 1938 to 8,000.
The Peel Commission of 1936-1937, formally known as the Palestine Royal Commission, was a British Royal Commission of Inquiry set out to propose changes to the British Mandate of Palestine following the outbreak of the 1936-1939 Arab revolt in Palestine. It was headed by the Earl Peel. On 11 November, 1936, the commission arrived in Palestine to investigate the reasons behind the uprising. It returned to Britain on 18 January 1937. On 7 July, 1937, it published a report that, for the first time, recommended partition. Although initially endorsed by the government, changing political conditions led it to declare the proposal unworkable and formally reject it following publication of the Partition Commission report in 1938. The Commission was established at a time of increased violence; serious clashes between Arabs and Jews broke out in 1936 and were to last three years. The Commission was charged with determining the cause of the riots, and judging the merit of grievances on both sides. Chaim Weizmann made a speech on behalf of the Jews. The Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, testified in front of the commission, opposing any partition of Arab lands with the Jews. He demanded full cessation of Jewish immigration. Although the Arabs continued to boycott the Commission officially, there was a sense of urgency to respond to Weizmann's appeal to restore calm. The former Mayor of Jerusalem Ragheb Bey al-Nashashibi - who was the Mufti's rival in the internal Palestinian arena, was thus sent to explain the Arab perspective through unofficial channels. According to the Peel Commission report, Arab allegations regarding Jewish land purchase were unfounded. "Much of the land now carrying orange groves was sand dunes or swamp and uncultivated when it was purchased...There was at the time of the earlier sales little evidence that the owners possessed either the resources or training needed to develop the land." The land shortage decried by the Arabs "was due less to the amount of land acquired by Jews than to the increase in the Arab population." The report recommended that the Mandate be eventually abolished — except in a "corridor" surrounding Jerusalem, stretching to the Mediterranean Coast just south of Jaffa — and the land under its authority (and accordingly, the transfer of both Arab and Jewish populations) be apportioned between an Arab and Jewish states. The Jewish side was to receive a territorially smaller portion in the mid-west and north, from Mount Carmel to south of Be'er Tuvia, as well as the Jezreel Valley and the Galilee, while the Arab state was to receive territory in the south and mid-east which included Judea, Samaria and the sizable, though economically undeveloped and infertile, Negev desert.