HC Deb 04 July 1938 vol 338 cc35-6
58. Mr. Keeling

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, in view of the fear expressed in certain quarters that the Jews of Palestine intend, and will be permitted, to take possession of the mosque of El-Aksa, in Jerusalem, and other Moslem holy places, he can make a statement on this subject?

Mr. M. MacDonald

Yes, Sir. I am glad to have this opportunity of giving on unqualified denial to the suggestion which has been made, and which has, I understand, already been refuted by the President of the Jewish Agency in a telegram to the Head of the Jewish Community in Cairo. It is clear that the Jews have no designs on any of the Moslem holy places in Palestine, and in any case, as the House is aware, it is the policy of His Majesty's Government, under any scheme of partition, to retain permanently responsibility for the protection of holy places in the city of Jerusalem and generally to secure the preservation of the rights of all religious communities throughout Palestine.