§ 15. Mr. D. G. SOMERVILLE
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he can state whether his attention has 339 been called to the fact that it will cost £75,000 to put the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem, into good repair; whether this work is to be carried out; and, if so, whether the expense will be entirely borne by the Government of Palestine?
Mr. M. MacDONALD
I am replying on behalf of my right hon. Friend. By agreement with the ecclesiastical authorities concerned, the Government of Palestine has arranged for an expert survey of the fabric of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Preliminary reports indicate that the building is in a dangerous condition and that extensive repairs will be required, but no estimate of the total cost has yet been received by my right hon. Friend. If these repairs are carried out, the question of the provision of funds will be a matter for discussion with the ecclesiastical authorities. Certain immediate works of consolidation which are urgently necessary are already being carried out and the cost will be defrayed in the first instance by the Government of Palestine.