HC Deb 07 December 1931 vol 260 cc1514-5
44. Colonel WEDGWOOD

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that the organisers of the Moslem Conference have declared that one of the items for discussion is the defence of the Islamic holy places; whether the Government understands that this will include the Wailing Wall or not; whether any attempt to stir up religious feeling against Jew or Christian will be held to be ground for any action by the Government; whether that consequence has been made clear to the Grand Mufti and the organisers; and whether an undertaking to avoid such incitement will be obtained from any visitors to Palestine who hope to be present at the conference?


The answer to the first and second parts of the question is in the affirmative. I have no reason to apprehend that attempts will be made to stir up religious feelings against either Jews or Christians, and as the result of inquiries made of the High Commissioner for Palestine, I am assured that the Mufti, who has issued invitations for the congress, realises his responsibilities and is anxious to conduct the congress in such a manner as to cause no embarrassment to His Majesty's or the Palestine administration.


Is the hon. Gentleman aware that Shaukat Ali, one of the visitors to the conference, is bitterly opposed to British rule?


Is it not a fact that the putting down of such questions as these on the Paper makes administration in Palestine difficult?


Will the hon. Gentleman bear in mind the very dangerous effect that any steps taken against that conference would have on Moslem feeling in India?


Has the hon. Gentleman had any communication from Gazi Kemal Pasha as to his views on this problem?