HC Deb 21 January 1948 vol 446 c201
41. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies, in view of the wastage of manpower in Palestine, particularly in a police force containing many youths under 21, what is being done to bring these men home, and, pending this, to protect them from injury and death; and will he now make a statement indicating the method, rate and ultimate date of their evacuation from Palestine.

Mr. Rees-Williams

My hon. Friend's concern for the welfare of the British Section of the Palestine Police Force is shared by His Majesty's Government and by the authorities in Palestine. Until the termination of the Mandate, the British Administration will remain responsible for law and order, and it is inevitable that a large part of this burden will fall on the British Section of the Palestine Police. It is not desirable on security grounds to make any statement on plans for evacuation of the Security Forces.

Mr. Hector Hughes

Does the Minister not agree that it would be desirable, at least, to bring home the boys under 21, who are badly needed for productive work in this country?

Mr. Oliver Stanley

In view of the circumstances in recent weeks, is everything being done to expedite the date of the transfer of the Mandate, and to try, if possible, to complete it before 15th May?

Mr. Rees-Williams

That is another question, and, if the right hon. Gentleman wishes to have an answer to it, perhaps he will put it on the Paper.