HC Deb 06 May 1936 vol 311 cc1685-6

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies the extent to which propaganda from Italian or other outside sources has been the cause of the recent disturbances in Palestine?


I have no information to show that the recent disturbances in Palestine were caused by propaganda from outside sources.

20. Lieut. - Commander FLETCHER

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he has any statement to make regarding the riots in Palestine, and especially as to their underlying cause?


According to the latest information which I have received from the High Commissioner for Palestine, the situation remains generally quiet, although there have been some isolated incidents. The Arab strike has now lasted for two weeks, and in spite of heavy losses incurred by Arab traders and transport workers is even more general now than a week ago, and there is a possibility that the strike may lead to further disorders. The Arab Transport Strike Committee has now published a manifesto urging that Government officials should cease work. The High Commissioner has initiated legal proceedings against the President and Vice-President of the Committee. I believe that the underlying cause of the disturbances is Arab discontent, and I understand that the Arabs have threatened to continue the strike until Jewish immigration is stopped. As I said on 23rd April, His Majesty's Government will not be deflected from their policy by riots or threats of any kind, and there is no question of Government stopping Jewish immigration in consequence of the strike. I recently invited the Arab leaders to send a deputation to state their case to me, and I feel sure that they will themselves realise that if they adopt that procedure for bringing their grievances to the notice of His Majesty's Government they will receive here a full and impartial hearing.


Are these riots in any way subsidised from Germany?


I have no information, but it was necessary to emphasise, in view of the threats, that the High Commissioner intends to maintain law and order, and has been authorised by the Government to say that he must not be intimidated by threats of any kind.


Is the right hon. Gentleman in a position to give a categorical denial to the insinuation which has been made by the hon. and gallant Member for Handsworth (Commander Locker-Lampson)?


I have already said I have no information. That is the best answer that I can possibly give.