HC Deb 14 April 1932 vol 264 cc992-4

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he is now in a position to state when the committee of inquiry into labour legislation in Palestine is likely to submit its report?


I am unable to furnish any definite information, but I understand that there is some prospect of this committee being in a position to present an interim report towards the end of May.

69. Mr. ADAMS

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is able to state the number of Arab labourers in Palestine who are members of trade unions?


The only Arab trade unions in Palestine in respect of which figures are available are the Christian (Orthodox) Labour Union and the Arab Carpenters' Union. The first has a membership of about 300 and the second one of 150. No figures are available with regard to the membership of various other Arab trade unions or of the number of Arabs who may belong to trade unions not organised on a racial or religious basis.


Is it not the case that Arabs and Jews and people of other nationalities are organised in the trade unions, irrespective of nationality, in Palestine just as elsewhere?


I think I should like notice of that question.

70. Mr. ADAMS

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what additional numbers of Jews have been employed on public works in Palestine in fulfilment of the promise made by the Prime Minister to Dr. Weizmann, in his letter of the lath February, 1931, that Jews would be employed according to the proportion of taxes paid by them?


I would remind the hon. Member that the actual wording of the Prime Minister's undertaking to Dr. Weizmann was as follows: With regard to public and municipal works falling to be financed out of public funds, the claim of Jewish labour to a due share of the employment available, taking into account Jewish contributions to public revenue, shall be taken into consideration. The Government of Palestine is endeavouring, in consultation with the Executive of the Jewish Agency, to devise a suitable formula for the determination of the Jewish share of employment on public works, and in the meantime steps have been taken to increase the number of Jews employed on public works. Except, however, in the case of Haifa Harbour works, where 340 Jews were employed at the 31st December, 1931, as compared with 183 at the 31st December, 1930, no figures are available.