HC Deb 23 April 1958 vol 586 cc944-5
21. Major Legge-Bourke

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what steps he is taking in furtherance of the longstanding United Nations Resolution for the Internationalisation of Jerusalem, in view of the continuance of brutalities exercised by Zionist police in the Holy City against devout Jews.

Mr. Ormsby-Gore

None, Sir. The views of Her Majesty's Government on the status of Jerusalem are well known.

If my hon. and gallant Friend is referring to a disturbance over the question of a municipal mixed bathing pool, I would suggest that mixed bathing in foreign countries is not a matter in which Her Majesty's Government would wish to get involved.

Major Legge-Bourke

Is my right hon. Friend aware that I would certainly not judge whether or not that was desirable? Will he bear in mind that the demonstration, which was a peaceful one carried out by orthodox Jews, has been very severely punished, so severely that two members of the Zionist police are awaiting disciplinary action? Will not he agree that it is highly undesirable from the point of view of the preservation of the holy places as international that incidents of this sort should continue? Will he approach the Israeli Government to ascertain whether this sort of thing can be avoided?

Mr. Ormsby-Gore

I do not think it is really for Her Majesty's Government to intervene. From what my hon. and gallant Friend has said, it strikes me that the Israeli Government are already taking disciplinary action to ensure that events of this kind do not recur.

Mr. S. Silverman

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that, while we all recognise that the control of the Israeli police is not, fortunately, one of Her Majesty's Government's responsibilities, most people would agree with him that the people of Israel do not regard the establishment of a mixed bathing pool in the open air in Jerusalem as brutality committed against devout Jews?