HC Deb 03 May 1944 vol 399 cc1309-10
29. Sir R. Glyn

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he can make any statement regarding attacks on members of the Palestine Constabulary during recent weeks; and what action is being taken against those implicated.

The Secretary of State for the Colonies (Colonel Oliver Stanley)

Since my last statement in reply to the Question by the hon. and gallant Member for the Chatham Division of Rochester (Captain Plugge) on 5th April, I regret to report further attacks on and casualties among the police. I am circulating a detailed statement in the OFFICIAL REPORT. As regards the second part of the Question, 81 persons have been arrested since 1st April. Three are awaiting trial by a military court on charges of carrying and possessing firearms and explosives contrary to the Emergency Regulations. The remainder are and will continue to be detained for the present under the Emergency Regulations as being known members of Irgun Zvai Leumi and Stern Group. Of administrative measures the most important taken were the imposition of curfews and the re-introduction of the Emergency Regulations which impose the death penalty for the carrying of arms and sabotage.

Sir R. Glyn

Can my right hon. and gallant Friend inform the House whether, in view of the increased cost of living and the very dangerous nature of the occupation of these men, the question of their pay and allowances will be looked into by his Department?

Colonel Stanley

That is a different question, but if my hon. Friend will put it down I will be glad to look into it.

Mr. Watkins

Can the Minister say what is the nationality of the people who are making these attacks?

Colonel Stanley

The two bodies to which I have referred are Jewish bodies.

Following is the statement:

On 5th April a mobile police patrol in Tel Aviv approached a man in order to question him. The man opened fire with a revolver and wounded British Constable Dumbleton in the face. The assailant who was wounded was arrested and will be charged in due course. On 6th April, acting on information received, a police party surrounded and searched a house in the Yavniel Jewish Colony near Tiberias. Firing was opened from the house and after an exchange of shots two Jews in the room were killed. Both were found to be armed with pistols. There were no police casualties. On 9th April three unknown persons, passing a British police billet in Northern Tel Aviv fired shots at two British constables on duty outside the billet. Simultaneously, an explosion occurred near the billet and a fragment of a hand grenade was found. British Constables Hawkins and Quinn were slightly wounded, and a Jewish constable approaching at the time was grazed by a bullet. The assailants made off before assistance arrived. On loth April a determined, but unsuccessful, attempt was made on the life of Deputy Superintendent J. P. Fforde, who was fired on when driving in Tel Aviv on the way to Divisional Police Headquarters. Deputy Superintendent Fforde, who returned the fire, escaped injury, but a number of bullets struck the car. The assailants made off before assistance arrived.

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