HC Deb 13 November 1929 vol 231 cc2024-5
40. Colonel HOWARD-BURY

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies the present position with regard to the Burak; whether he is aware that the Wailing Wall is legally the absolute property of the Moslem community, with the strip of pavement facing it; that the placing there of tables, chairs, screens, etc., is against the status quo; whether he can state the temporary regulations that are now being enforced; whether he is aware that this enforcement is giving rise to a serious situation; and when these temporary regulations are to be withdrawn?


A memorandum relating to the Western or Wailing Wall in Jerusalem was presented to Parliament in November last as a White Paper (Cmd. 3229), and I would invite the hon. and gallant Member's attention to the statements contained in that paper with regard to the status quo, which could not conveniently be summarised in a reply. I will place a copy of the temporary Regulations in the Library of the House. These regulations were promulgated, with the Secretary of State's approval, as a matter of urgency with a view to the preservation of good order and docorum. As the High Commissioner has announced locally, the regulations are of a temporary and provisional character. They do not purport to define the existing rights of either Moslems or Jews, nor do they prejudice the rights and claims either of Jews or of Moslems. I appreciate the necessity of an early and authoritative settlement to replace these temporary regulations, and His Majesty's Government are giving close and active consideration to this difficult question.