HC Deb 14 June 1939 vol 348 c1295
63. Lieut.-Commander Fletcher

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he has given his approval to an ordinance of the High Commissioner, Palestine, authorising commanding officers of Government vessels under certain circumstances to fire into ships carrying intending immigrants to Palestine; and whether any corresponding ordinance has been issued authorising the military authorities to fire upon such immigrants who succeed in landing in Palestine?

Sir T. Inskip

The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative, and to the second part in the negative.

Lieut.-Commander Fletcher

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the very great indignation that will be provoked if this power is exercised; and will he, therefore, take steps to ensure that commanding officers seek and obtain the consent of the High Commissioner or the naval authorities before exercising the power?

Sir T. Inskip

I am sure that every possible consideration will be borne in mind in connection with this matter.

Colonel Wedgwood

Is it consonant with the tradition of the British Navy to take action against these escaping slaves?