HC Deb 29 July 1938 vol 338 cc3471-2
1. Mr. Creech Jones

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies to what extent the continuing disorder in Palestine arises from influences external to Palestine; whether he proposed to maintain the existing limitations on Jewish immigration to Palestine and for how long; and whether he will be able to announce, on the reassembly of Parliament after the Recess, the policy of His Majesty's Government in respect to the future government of Palestine?

The Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. Malcolm MacDonald)

As regards the first part of the Question, I am unable to make a precise estimate. It is, of course, well known that armed bands from outside Palestine have crossed the frontier. As regards the second part of the Question, I would refer the hon. Member to paragraphs 6 and 7 of my predecessor's despatch of 10th March, 1938, to the High Commissioner for Palestine, which was published at the time in the proceedings of the House, and to which I have at present nothing to add. As regards the third part of the Question, it is not possible at present to foresee when it will be possible to make an announcement, but I recognise the desirability of the announcement being made at the earliest possible date.

4. Mr. Crossley

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he will consider the temporary suspension of immigration into Palestine for a period of three months?

Mr. MacDonald

No, Sir. I see no ground for going beyond the special restrictions which have already been imposed on Jewish immigration into Palestine during the present "interim" period.

Mr. Crossley

Will my right hon. Friend remember, if the situation should not improve, that this remedy has already twice been put into operation, by Lord Samuel and by Sir John Chancellor, with good results?

Mr. Lipson

Will my right hon. Friend remember that a time when the Jews are being persecuted in Germany and Austria is not a time for putting into force these restrictions?