HC Deb 06 October 1942 vol 383 cc1057-8
18. Colonel Cazalet

asked the Secretary of State for War how far the amalgamation of the 12 Jewish companies of the Buffs has progressed; and what arrangements have been made for their training and equipment?

19. Mr. Riley

asked the Secretary of State for War whether instructions have now been given for the training and equipment of a Palestine regiment as a first-line fighting force?

20. Mr. Hammersley

asked the Secretary of State for War what steps he has taken to implement his undertaking to set up effective Palestinian regiments; whether this force is to be fully trained and equipped; and what progress has been made?

Sir J. Grigg

The formation of the Palestine Regiment is now in progress. It is being trained and equipped, but availability and operational needs must govern the rate of the issue of equipment.

Colonel Cazalet

How many recruits have there been so far, either Jews or Arabs, or both together?

Sir J. Grigg

I cannot reply to that without notice, but I think the number is not as great as my hon. and gallant Friend expected it would be.

Mr. Hammersley

Is my right hon. Friend quite satisfied that the undertaking he gave to the House that these recruits would be adequately equipped to protect themselves is not being frustrated by administrative action?

Sir J. Grigg

I am not prepared to give an absolutely categorical answer to that question. I am in communication with the Middle East on the question.

Mr. Stokes

Will these units be for service outside as well as inside Palestine?

Sir J. Grigg

I have nothing at present to add to the answer I gave previously.

30. Commander Locker - Lampson

asked the Secretary of State for War, whether he will authorise a badge and a distinctive name for the Jewish unit in Palestine?

Sir J. Grigg

With regard to the badge of the Palestine Regiment I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to my answer to my hon. Friend the Member for East Wolverhampton (Mr. Mander) on 8th September, to which I have at present nothing to add. With regard to the designations of its units I am at present awaiting the recommendations of the Commander-in-Chief, Middle East.

Commander Locker - Lampson

Was not such a badge allowed in the last war, and will it be allowed in this?

Sir J. Grigg

I said in my answer that a cap badge would be assigned to the Palestine Regiment but not to individual battalions.