Control of Haifa was a critical objective in the war between Arabs and Jews during the last days of the mandate. Since it was also the designated location where British Palestine police and army personnel were to congregate before leaving Palestine, the British needed to keep at least the port area free from communal violence until the mandate ended.
To that end. Colonel Conquest, head of Haifa's Criminal CID made a "gentleman's agreement" with Abba Hushi, secretary of the Haifa Workers Council, that Hushi would inform him of any Zionist attempt to sabotage British shipping in Haifa harbor. In return, Conquest promised Hushi that he would be allowed to retain control of Haifa when the British left.
On 18 April, the day Tiberias fell to Haganah, Stockwell informed Hushi and Beilin that, General Sir Gordon McMillan, GOC all British troops in Palestine, had agreed to accept their offer and would provide boats and lorries to evacuate the Arabs. Stockwell even made a wager with Hushi of a bottle of whiskey that he couldn't capture all Haifa in less than a week.