HC Deb 22 January 1930 vol 234 cc194-5

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he has yet received definite information that the 16 or 17 Jewish colonies, which at the time of the recent outbreak were in possession of their arms under the colony defence scheme, still retain this means of defence; and whether he is yet in a position to make a statement as to means which are to be adopted for the future defence of the colonies and for the maintenance of law and order throughout Palestine?

The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Dr. Drummond Shiels)

The High Commissioner for Palestine has reported that with five exceptions, the Jewish Colonies in question still retain the arms which were in their custody in sealed armouries at the outbreak of the disturbances. As regards the five Colonies no longer retaining their original armouries, in one (Ekron) the number of arms has been reduced from 10 to 6; three Colonies (Hulda, Artuf and Kustinieh) have been evacuated, and in one of these three cases the arms have been transferred to a neighbouring Colony (Katra); in the other two cases the arms have been returned to police headquarters; as regards the fifth Colony (Jisr Majamie) the armoury is no longer necessary as troops are now stationed there.

As regards the second part of the question, detailed proposals for the future defence of Jewish colonies in Palestine are now under consideration. In the meantime, measures of immediate urgency are being concerted, and the High Commissioner has authorised Government grants towards the cost of providing roads to give access to outlying Colonies. In connection with the Palestine Police, for which an additional 200 British constables are now being recruited, the Secretary of State has decided to send Mr. H. L. Dowbiggin, Inspector-General of Police, Ceylon, on temporary deputation to Palestine for the purpose of advising on police organisation. Mr. Dowbiggin is due to arrive in Palestine on the 27th January.

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