HC Deb 17 February 1937 vol 320 c1167
27. Mr. Gallacher

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what is the aggregate strength of the British Forces now stationed in Palestine; how long this force will be detained in Palestine; and what was the strength of the British garrison before the outbreak of the present disturbances?

Mr. Ormsby-Gore

The British Forces now stationed in Palestine consist of: Eight Infantry battalions, of which one is returning to this country next month in the ordinary course of relief; one field company, Royal Engineers, and ancillary services; together with one flight Royal Air Force and three sections of an armoured car company. I am unable to say for how long these forces will remain in Palestine. The normal garrison stationed in Palestine consists of two infantry battalions, one flight Royal Air Force, and three sections of an armoured car company.

Mr. Gallacher

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether, when it is decided to give the Arabs the right to their own country, these forces will be withdrawn?

Mr. Ormsby-Gore

I cannot accept that statement, and quite obviously I am not in a position to say anything about the future of Palestine until I receive the report of the Royal Commission.

Mr. Mander

As long as these forces remain, will they be allowed in all circumstances to maintain order?

Mr. Macquisten

May I ask why the Communist party has gone anti-Semitic?