White Papers, official reports by a British Government commission, were usually issued following government investigative commissions. The best-known during the Mandate are the White Papers of 1922, 1930 and 1939.
The 1922 White Paper: The first official manifesto interpreting the Balfour Declaration, it was issued on June 3, 1922, after the 1921 disturbances. Although the White Paper stated that the Balfour Declaration could not be amended and that the Jews were in Palestine by right, it reduced the area of the Mandate by excluding the area east of the Jordan River, which was given to the Emir Abdullah. This document also established the principle of "economic absorptive capacity" as a factor for determining the immigration quota of Jews to Palestine.
The 1930 White Paper: Issued on October 21, 1930, after the 1929 disturbances, the document stated that if Jewish immigration prevented the Arab residents from obtaining work, the Mandatory government should curtail such immigration or even terminate it. Because of the shortage of arable land, Jewish settlement would be permitted only under stringent government supervision. On February 13, 1931, British Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald sent a letter to Dr. Weizmann somewhat easing these provisions.
The 1939 White Paper: Issued on May 17, 1939, it rejected, in essence, the Peel Commission's partition plan on the grounds that it was not feasible. The document stated that Palestine would be neither a Jewish state nor an Arab one, but an independent state to be established within ten years. Jewish immigration to Palestine was limited to 75,000 for the first five years, subject to the country's "economic absorptive capacity", and would later be contingent on Arab consent. Stringent restrictions were imposed on land acquisition by Jews.
The White Paper decrees were rescinded by the Provisional Council of State on May 15, 1948, when the State of Israel was established.
Source: Israeli Foreign Ministry