§ LORD WEDGWOOD, in whose name was a Motion for Papers relating to certain troubles in connexion with the Palestine Police Force, said: My Lords, about six months ago the noble Viscount, Lord Cranborne, the Leader of the House, reproved me for making unfounded—I think he used the word "wicked"—statements about Anti-Semitism in the Palestine Administration. In ringing tones he said they did the noble Lord no good; and that they did the Jews no good. The real trouble is that he and I have a great deal in common. We both tend to embroider in order to strengthen arguments which are sound enough without embroidery. Above all, we share a thorough-paced dislike of saying anything "for our own good" When he makes a speech here it is not in order that he may do himself some good. When I make a speech here or anywhere else it is not in order to do myself any 540 good. We do not speak in your Lordships' House in order to do ourselves good, but in order to secure justice and to preserve the good name of our country. I have a theory that the noble Viscount did not really make that speech; that when I supplied him beforehand with notes of what I intended to say he passed them over to someone to write a speech for him, and then he read it.
§ At the time I was saying things which I actually believed; but the great advantage was that the reply was advertised all over the world from the back blocks of America even to the sacred groves of Palestine. The reproof was published. Consequently a great many people wrote to me giving me evidence for the speech I made. Among other people four members of the Palestine Police Force—not Jews at all—opened my eyes to something which was even more serious. The Palestine Police Force in the days before the war was recruited on a contract of service for so many years. When the war started that contract of service was cancelled, and. men were conscribed into the Palestine Police Force and compelled to stop in it, with the result that a great many of them, anxious to do fighting instead of police work, tried to get out of the Force. Their desire was to be in the Air Force here or in the Navy doing some active service. Some found the police service thoroughly uncongenial and they took the only step available for getting out; that is to say, they committed technical military offences, were tried by Court Martial, sentenced to imprisonment and dismissed the Service. I can imagine that happening occasionally, even in this country. But here there were, I am told, more than 300 men who were so determined to leave the Force that they served terms of imprisonment varying from one month to, in some cases, I think, if my memory serves me aright, one year. They did this to get out of the Force. It seems to me that if that sort of thing happened anywhere else in the world except Palestine we should have heard it.
§ Why do these men want to get out of the Force? I can only tell your Lordships that I have seen three of these people and have heard from the fourth. They are nice boys of the public school type; English gentlemen who had joined that Force in order to have an exciting life and to do good service for their country. They were youths of exactly the same type as 541 those who go into the Air Force to-day, and win our victories for us. They are quite well educated, and, curiously enough, their complaints are against a Force which was prejudiced against the Jews and commanded by officers who were the sort of officers not approved of by Colonel Bingham. They had come home, they said quite frankly, because they wanted to do everything in their power to put right what was wrong in the Palestine Police Force, and they did not care what the results for themselves might be. They gave me written statements for which I asked, and I took them to the noble Viscount, the Leader of the House, who was then Secretary of State for the Colonies. I hoped I that I need not do anything more about the matter, for I do not like bringing these things up.
§ I went to the noble Viscount feeling quite confident that something would be done to put matters right. After all, when more than 300 police officers take the trouble to go to prison in order to leave a Force it does certainly look as though there is something wrong somewhere. I went to the noble Viscount just as I went to him over the affair of the "Dunera." I felt sure, as he shared my indignation on that occasion and immediately sent me to the Secretary of State for War, who likewise shared my views and had an inquiry instituted, that we should have similar results on this occasion. But not a bit of it. I think that finally consent was given from the Colonial Office to these people being seen, if they wished to be seen. That is not what we want at all. What we want in the public service is not that things should be kept dark for the honour of the Department, but that things should be kept correct for the honour of the country. The Colonial Office, which, twenty-five years ago, was the model Department of Government, certainly ought to have jumped at the opportunity of seeing these men, of finding out from them what was wrong and of making other inquiries.
Now what is the evidence that these men put before me? Here is a communication from one of them. I cannot remember the man's name at the moment, but the communication went to the Ministry. In it reference is made to two Dutch liners, which it is stated went into Haifa and from which the people were transferred to another ship to go to Mauritius. The writer states:
The baggage of these 'undesirable' people was ruthlessly looted upon the quayside with the pretext that they were being searched for implements of sabotage. The authorities were deliberately wreaking a spitefulness upon these people, for they were still smarting from the 'Patria' inquiry.… Some of the police officers who travelled with the party misconducted themselves on board the ship.
That is not a complaint from a Jew. It comes from a man who is not only too per cent. English but not even a Zionist.
Then there is another statement here, the author being Dan Melville. He states:
I am prepared to do anything in my power to assist in breaking down a system which I not only believe to be absolutely cruel and unjust but which I earnestly consider is doing ineradicable harm to our reputation.
That comes from a man who not only goes to prison for a long term in order to get out of this Police Service, but is prepared to give his name and to do what lie can to stop what is wrong. Another man, Robert Hunter, writes:
In fact, all ranks of the Palestine Police Force are largely (not entirely) composed of men who are intolerant, vicious and completely lacking in understanding.
§ LORD WEDGWOOD
The statement goes on:Anti-Semitism in a violent shape is a moral convention, with which recruits are Unlined at the depot.In connexion with the riots that took place over the last White Paper about two years ago, this same man writes:The Assistant Superintendent of Police (Mr. I. M. Flanagan) was in command.I should explain that this relates to an occasion when the Jews had been allowed to have a procession and to make a demonstration. The writer goes on:He told us: 'They may try to break down the railings of the Law Courts, and that's just what we want them to do. I shall give you the order to charge. Don't hit a man twice; kill him and then get on to the next man. Don't waste two blows on one man.That is something which I have had corroborated from another source. I suggest that that attitude in the Police Force must be absolutely damning to our reputation for impartiality.
Here is a communication from another man, whose name is Rowland. He writes:The main subject of the Police Mess conversation, after women, is the 'bloody Jews.' They can be classed in that respect as good Nazis. In a broadcast from Berlin to the Middle East the Palestine Police were praised 543 as being the only people besides the Germans who know how to deal with the Jews. They were promised that when the Germans came to Palestine they would raise the pay of the 'poor underpaid British police.'Later, the writer states:The bombing of Tel Aviv met with great approval among the police.He also says:One of the Nashashibi family once asked the Chief Secretary why he did not dismiss the Fascists in the Administration. He replied that to do that he would have to dismiss everyone, clown to the office boys.He goes on to point out that the Communists have at last been released, and says:The Communist Party of Palestine is now solidly behind the war effort and, if encouraged, would be a great help in making the Arabs pro-Ally, an outstanding case of Arab-Jew co-operation.He speaks, too, of the victimization of the Jewish constables in the Police, and of the bribery which goes on, bribery of which the Colonial Office is perfectly well aware, because there was the case of the assistant superintendent of police who was dismissed after a charge in which it was proved that he had taken bribes from Jews in order to allow illegal immigrants to come over the frontier. Those are only short extracts from long statements which went to the Colonial Office some time ago; and I submit to your Lordships that, unpleasant though it is for me to extract from these statements here now, it is my duty to make them, since the Colonial Office will not act otherwise. I had postponed saying anything about this either in the Press or here because I hoped that something would be done.
With this one-sided evidence before us, I think that something ought to be done. I should like to know, first of all, how many people got out of the Police by favour, without having to go to prison, in order to join up; secondly, how many have got out by going to prison; thirdly, how many still wish to get out; and fourthly, how many are still in gaol. I should also like to know what is being done about these assistant superintendents of police. These gentlemen with the good old Anglo-Saxon names of Flanagan and Cafferata, and about the apparent Fascist spirit of the Force. Has anyone been punished or reproved for the looting which took place on the voyage to Mauritius? In view of the military occupation, could not the Colonial Office have 544 the British Police disbanded, and transfer them all to the Army? I should like to know, finally, what the Colonial Office propose to do if they are not taking steps of this sort.
I am particularly sore about the matter, because I asked for the address of a fifth man, who I was told had throughout his service taken notes of all that was going wrong. His name is Waterhouse and the address which I was given was Preston—the Colonial Office would not tell me his address. That is all right if they have seen him themselves, but it is all part, it seems to me, of an entirely wrong attempt to try to hush things up, without caring whether they are right or wrong. I am sorry to have had to bring this matter up to-day, but I am far sorrier that we should have a Police Force with such a bad reputation that men do all they can, even to the extent of going to prison, to get out of it, and one officered by people who are not a credit to the British name. I beg to move for Papers.
My Lords, I address your Lordships on this topic with even more trepidation that I should otherwise have, with an elder statesman of Lord Samuel's vast experience of that country sitting just below me; but I have been in Palestine as recently as May last. For my own part, I hope that the Government will treat this mare's nest with the contempt that it merits. It may be that the noble Lord who has moved this Motion has other sources of information at his disposal than I have, but, when I left that country in May, none of the conditions about which he has told your Lordships prevailed, and to suggest that the Palestine Police Force or any part of it—many of its members live in Tel Aviv—welcomed the bombing of that place is an allegation as childish and as monstrous as any allegation could be. There is one thing which I should like to urge on His Majesty's Government, and that is that, if they propose to make any changes of any kind in Palestine, whether in the Police Force or anywhere else, they should do nothing without the close cooperation and guidance of the men on the spot. I do not think that Palestine could be regarded as one of the happiest ventures of British Governments, which have successively made an appalling mess of the "Palestine problem," as it is called. If one wants a parallel for their ineptitude 545 and lack of understanding, I think one would have to turn to Ireland.
Nevertheless, we are extremely fortunate to-day, and have been for some tine past, as I am sure the noble Viscount, Lord Samuel, will agree, in the men on the spot there—in the High Commissioner, Sir Harold MacMichael, in the Chief Secretary, Mr. Macpherson, in the Attorney-General, Mr. Fitzgerald, and in the; Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Saunders. All these men—I know them well—are particularly fine examples of the Colonial Service; it would be impossible to find better. I think that it would be a good idea—unless, of course, the: noble and learned Viscount on the Woolsack thinks that I am wandering too far from the terms of the Motion, and that my proposal is not germane—that some form of message should be sent from this country and from your Lordships' House to these men in Palestine who have done and are doing such vitally important, helpful and highly successful work in that troubled land.
Last week Palestine celebrated twenty-five years of government and of administration under our œgis. It has been, I think, extremely successful. There were some unfortunate troubles at one time, but they were, I think, inevitable with a child as delicate as Palestine, which had to have its teething troubles. Every time I look at the map, however, I marvel that we have not had infinitely more trouble in Palestine than we have had. When one thinks of the battles which have been waged on its southern borders, in Egypt and Libya, in the last few years, and when one thinks of the trouble to the north, in Syria, where, for once in our history, we walked in before Hitler, and when one thinks of the trouble in Iraq, it seems to me nothing short of miraculous that there has not been far more trouble in Palestine than there has. We have heard this afternoon about the Police Force. I think it was Gilbert who said thatTaking one consideration with another,The policeman's lot is not a happy one.Presumably Gilbert was referring to England or America, or some northern country we al. know about; he was not referring to Palestine. And you can picture the life of a policeman in Palestine, where you have three Sabbaths in one week, the Arab's on Friday, the Jew's on Saturday and the Christian's on Sun- 546 day; and in fact every second day seems to be a festival of some kind. The life of the police there is extremely difficult. Many of them have to have a smattering of at least three languages, English, Hebrew and Arabic, in order to get on at all. The problems they are presented with would, I imagine, completely defeat a great many people occupying high posts in His Majesty's Government. They do a very delicate and very tricky task, in my estimation, extremely well.
For nine months last year, in addition to my normal duties in my own Service, I acted as Military Prosecutor in Palestine, and therefore I can speak with some little knowledge of the work being done in Palestine. I received every morning a confidential report of their work, arid I am happy to be able to tell your Lordships that in my view there is no liner body of their kind in the Empire, or I think in the world to-day.
I think they endeavour to follow the example set them by the Government there, in spite of the rather large Irish element, of which I believe the Government, and certainly I myself, am extremely proud. They endeavour to preserve that very necessary, very desirable, and indeed absolutely vital, balance which is called for in that country. There have been very sad and very unfortunate occurrences in Palestine, too, during the short time I was there. There was the incident in Haifa harbour. Then a very large British liner—this is not generally known in this country—was bombed and "blitzed" in Egyptian waters, and burnt down to the water's edge. In that horrible catastrophe numbers of people in Palestine, members of our Services there, lost their wives and children. Some were burnt to death, others died from exposure; it was really a dreadful tragedy.
Some of these men I have been talking about have been out there in Palestine for many years. Perhaps they were due for leave at the outbreak of war. They have not had leave, they have not been able to go home, so that their leave at the moment is over three years overdue, and if the prognostications of the First 547 Lord of the Treasury and the Defence Ministers are verified, it will be some time before they do get home. I do ask again, in all seriousness, that your Lordships might, if you agree with me, ask the noble Viscount, the Leader of the House, to convey on behalf of your Lordships and, for that matter, on behalf of this country generally, a word of gratitude, a word of appreciation, a word of approbation of the good work that these people have been doing out there for a very long time in what, I can tell your Lordships from first-hand experience, are extremely difficult circumstances, and perhaps a word of confidence in them and a word of good wishes for their future.
My Lords, I suppose there is no one in this House who does not hold the noble Lord, Lord Wedgwood, in high esteen. We admire his championship of the under-dog, and we admire the broad humanity of his outlook on all the problems with which we are faced. I would assure him that on no occasion has it ever been my desire or intention to attribute to him, in the many exchanges that we have had, unworthy motives. If I made that impression on him I can only tell him again that nothing was further from my wish. But I think we must all of us agree that his approach to some subjects, and notably to the subject of Palestine, is unusual, and might even be described as deplorable. The course which the ordinary man seeks to adopt in considering a thorny question of this kind is to listen to the arguments on both sides, to consider them objectively, and to come, if he is able to do so, to a balanced conclusion. Now, if he will forgive me for saying so, that is not the noble Lord's approach. He seems to start on the assumption that the Palestine Administration—everything to do with it—is always wrong and, what is more, is always actuated by the lowest possible motives. Everything which fits in with that assumption he accepts without any doubts. Anything which does not fit in, however well documented and however authoritative the source from which it comes, he dismisses as biased and Anti-Semite.
We had an example of that in a recent debate, also in reference to the Palestine 548 Police Force. Noble Lords may remember that the noble Lord made a remark that the Palestine Police were composed of Irish Roman Catholics, actuated by a strong pro-Italian bias. Now this was a rather startling and surprising suggestion, and I thought it was one worth following up. I therefore, while I was at the Colonial Office, made careful inquiries. I found there was no substance in it at all. I do not say there is not a single Irishman in the Palestine Police Force—that would clearly be an over-statement of the case—but the vast majority are Englishmen, Scotsmen and others, selected in the ordinary way. It is perfectly true that there were a number of Army reservists who were taken in at the time of the Arab troubles before the war, but the great majority of these came from the Scots Guards, which are known to have no special affiliation with Fascist Italy. Now that is a typical case of the noble Lord's form of argument on the Palestine question. He throws out these remarks here, there, and everywhere, and these irresponsible charges go out to the world against people who are going through exceedingly difficult times.
Perhaps the noble Lord will allow me to continue. They do go out to the world and, if the noble Lord will believe it, they do a great deal of harm. To-day he has returned to the charge about the Palestine Police on very similar lines. He has heard certain stories detrimental to the reputation of the Police Force and he accepted them all immediately at their face value. He has spoken of certain police officers who were discharged from the Palestine Police Force. He seemed himself doubtful why they left the Force. At one moment he said they left it because they wanted to go to the war, at the next moment because they did not like the Police Force itself.
These are not the same reasons; and, what is more, they are conflicting reasons. So far as concerns his complaint that they wanted to go to the war and that the authorities, with undue harshness, refused to allow them to go, I must say I have no sym- 549 Pathy with the view which the noble Lord has expressed.
As the House is probably aware, since June, 1940, the Palestine Police Force has been a military force. If a soldier or sailor in any other part of the world were to strike a superior officer or to commit what the noble Lord called a "technical offence" to obtain his discharge, he would be severely punished and in my view rightly punished. Members of the Palestine Police Force, tinder present conditions, cannot choose where and how they will serve. The same considerations apply there as in any other military force. Were firm action not taken with regard to these individuals, the whole discipline of the Force would disappear, and neither the civil inhabitants nor the Administration would benefit from that. So much for the first reason he has given why these men wished to leave. Then the noble Lord gave another and, in my view, conflicting reason. By this second argument, they wanted to leave because they considered it a bad Force arch they would rather be away from it. So I understood him.
I must say I have not been as impressed by all the arguments used by these young constables as the noble Lord has. He has told the House that no inquiry was made into what they said. That is quite untrue. I am sure he did not wish to mislead the House, but these are the facts. He raised this matter in your Lordships' House some time ago asked whether an interview, could be given. I was at that time at the Colonial Office, and I arranged with my right honourable friend the Under-Sectary to sec these men himself, and he did see them. I do not wish to throw the least doubt on their sincerity. I am sure these constables were saying exactly what they believed, but not all the things they said necessarily indicated so deplorable a state of affairs as the noble Lord has painted.
One of their charges was that some of the senior members of the Police Force expressed rather improper views about the Jews in the Mess. It is no doubt very regrettable and very wrong that they should express improper views about either Jews or Arabs. But it is not surprising that they should speak freely in private. We all do that. But that is not going to affect the propriety of our behaviour whether as constables or in any other walk of life. The noble Lord him- 550 Self frequently gives vent to the most violent expressions of opinion. Anyone who did not know him would think he was an extreme revolutionary with advanced anarchist views. But in fact, as we all know, he is a highly respected and respectable member of society. What is true of him is no doubt also true of the members of the Palestine Police Force. They may speak light-heartedly at one time or another, but that is not evidence to prove that the officers concerned are biased in their actions or in their duties.
So far as the really serious charges are concerned which he has made—and there are serious charges—relating to individual incidents, I can assure the noble Lord that my right honourable friend will make the most careful inquiry into any individual instance which he has mentioned. If there is substance in his complaints the Government will take the necessary steps to prevent a repetition. Clearly it is not the wish of the Government or of my right honourable friend, any more than it is the wish of the noble Lord, that there should be misbehaviour on the part of any member of the Police Force. But I wish strongly to rebut the vague and general charges which the noble Lord has made against the Palestine Police Force. The noble Lord will forgive me for saying it, but they have been unbridled, they have been reckless and they are calculated to do a great deal of serious harm. He gave me no notice of a number of these particular charges.
There were some which were not mentioned in the letter. For instance, the accusation that there was a constable named Waterhouse whom we had refused to see. I have made inquiries since the noble Lord spoke, and that name had not been passed on to the Colonial Office.
The noble Lord wrote about another constable; but I shall not pursue that matter. There were other charges to-day of which the noble Lord did not give me notice. Some of these general charges have already been completely refuted by the noble Lord, Lord Morris, who has just come back from 551 Palestine. I only hope that the noble Lord, Lord Wedgwood, will not regard Lord Morris as a dangerous Anti-Semite because he has expressed clearly his views of the situation this afternoon. During the whole time I was at the Colonial Office I inquired into these questions because they were being raised by the noble Lord, and I found no evidence to confirm such general charges as he has made. On the contrary, I found that the police have a remarkably fine record of patience and restraint under circumstances of particular danger and difficulty, and I am very glad to pay tribute this afternoon to their most admirable work. The House will be aware that the task of the police is riot the same in Palestine as it is here in this country, where we are a law-abiding community, and where the main duties of the police in peace-time are of a routine nature. In Palestine that is not the case. There is a section of the population there—not very large, but very active—who are not in the strictest sense of the word criminal, but are actuated by extremist political ideas, and these political ideas lead them at any moment to commit crimes of violence. Under such conditions, members of the Police Force need not only tact but courage and a high degree of firmness. The Palestine Police Force are at all times in danger of assassination—I am sure my noble friend Lord Morris will agree—and many of them have lost their lives.
There is one particular man I remember—Drummond—who was shot through the head. I do not say that happens frequently, but the danger exists.
The point I was making was that the police have a dangerous life, whether at the hands of the Jews or at the hands of the Arabs. There is this comparatively small section of the population who are extremist in their political views, and who are liable at any moment to indulge in crimes of violence. These are the conditions under which the police have to carry out their duties of maintaining law and order. It may be that, on occasions, they are unduly firm—everyone would deprecate that—but law 552 and order must be preserved in Palestine as elsewhere. That, I suggest to Lord Wedgwood, is as much in the interest of the Jews as it is in the interest of anyone else. I could not help thinking, as I listened to the noble Lord, that his attitude was strangely illogical. To-day he painted a very black picture of Palestine, giving the impression of a peaceful population suffering from a reign of terror at the hands of the police: In other debates he has painted a very different picture. The House will remember discussions we have had on the subject of illegal immigration, and at that time the noble Lord's passionate plea was that His Majesty's Government should allow more Jews into Palestine. On those occasions he gave an entirely different Impression of the country, He described it not as a hell on earth, but as a sort of Promised Land flowing with milk and honey, with the Jews happy and prosperous, and his complaint was that we did not allow more of them to come into the country.
Both pictures cannot be correct, and this House ought to try to consider what is the truth. I suggest it is this. The noble Lord is quite right in saying that the Zionist experiment has had a very great measure of success. Tel Aviv and other Jewish Colonies are among the most remarkable examples of colonization in recent times, and he is quite correct in saying that many Jews in Palestine are happy and prosperous. But how has this laudable result been achieved? I suggest to your Lordships that it has been achieved because His Majesty's Government and the Palestine Administration have managed to preserve law and order, and have managed to provide conditions under which the tender plant of Zionist colonization has been able to germinate, sprout, and flourish. Without the firm hand of British administration I believe the Zionist experiment would have only too probably been doomed to early and complete failure. For this I suggest that both His Majesty's Government and the Palestine Police Force can fairly claim a great measure of credit. It is not the ordinary law-abiding citizen in Palestine who suffers from the Palestine Police activities. It is those who, for political and for other reasons, seek to break the peace; and it is the interest I suggest of the overwhelming majority of the population of Palestine that the activities of 553 these people should be firmly and promptly curbed. I cannot help feeling, in spite of what the noble Lord said in his speech, that it is unwise of him, both from his own point of view and from the point of view of the Zionist Movement, to spread unfounded doubts about the integrity of the Palestine Police. It can only tend to weaken the authority of law and order: and were this result to be achieved, he would have played his part in destroying the essential foundations on which the Zionist experiment, and indeed all civilized government, depends.
§ LORD WEDGWOOD
My Lords, the noble Viscount could have saved his speech and mine if he had told me that he had cross-examined these people. I would point out to your Lordships that so far from making any charges myself, what I have done has been to read out the statements which I put before the noble Viscount in order to get the answers to them. In every country the police are at the present time more important than they have ever been before. It was the police who smashed democracy in France. Suppose we had police here who were definitely Fascists what would be the fate of democracy in this country? Noble Lords on the right would start with the police. You have got a force in Palestine which in spite of what the noble Lord, Lord Morris, said, is undoubtedly extremely Fascist at the present time.
No, it is not. I absolutely deny that. There is no foundation whatever for the noble Lord's statement.
§ LORD WEDGWOOD
How can you deny it when you have not heard the evidence? Have you taken evidence from these people?
I must say the noble Lord has no right to make these charges. He takes the evidence of three constables and he takes no evidence from the other side. He does not look at the whole picture at all. We have had other evidence to the contrary here, in your Lordships' House. We all know the noble Lord, Lord Morris. Does the noble Lord, Lord Wedgwood, take that into account? Not at all. He speaks to his three constables and makes accusations which do an infinite amount of harm in the Middle East.
§ LORD WEDGWOOD
What does the noble Lord, Lord Morris, say? He says these men are an excellent body of men. That has nothing to do with Anti-Semitism. I can imagine that there are quite a number of Anti-Semites who might be described as an excellent body of men. I should not so describe them. That does not affect my views. If you have a police force anywhere holding political views you are ruining your civilization and your democracy. You have now growing up all over the world these police forces of the Gestapo type who are politicians in uniform interfering with our lives. You have got that, or the beginning of it, in Palestine, and unless you stop it the danger will get worse and will finally destroy any chance of democracy in that country. I am always losing my temper over this, and I do apologize to your Lordships for doing so. Here you have a case of twenty-five years of misgovernment—twenty-five years during which the Colonial Office has not done its duty by that mandated territory, by the people whom we have put there. I feel that unless some voice is raised to protest against that we shall be damned in the eyes of history. Although we have got a black record in the past, there have always been people who have denounced the Government at the time for these black pages in history. It is time that we got rid of the idea that everything is for the best and that it is a mistake to criticize. Criticism, indeed, is the secret of good government and you will get more of it.
§ VISCOUNT SAMUEL
My Lords, I wish before the Motion is put to utter just a sentence or two. I. had not intended to speak in this discussion. I have been in Palestine twice during the war—in 1940 and again this last spring. I saw a great many people and heard a great deal about the conditions in the country. I did not, of course, make any formal inquiries into matters such as those which have been discussed to-day. It may be that there are some abuses in the police, and if there were I should perhaps not have heard of them; but if any state of things prevailed such as has been described by the noble Lord, Lord Wedgwood, certainly it would have come to my ears, and I heard nothing of the kind.
If this debate is to be prolonged by speeches I must say 555 one word in defence of my noble friend below me. Nobody who knows the record in both Houses of my noble friend could for a moment suppose he could be actuated by any other motives than those of the very best and the most honest. I am perfectly certain my noble friend would not make these charges unless there was some foundation for them. I am sure, whatever the hard things said about him by the Leader of the House, the speech we have heard from my noble friend to-day will cause a certain amount of inquiry in the Colonial Office, and if there are things which, even on the admission of Lord Samuel, may exist, let us hope they will be eradicated.
§ On Question, Motion negatived.