§ 2.35 p.m.
§ [The question was as follows:
§ To ask His Majesty's Government: whether they are now in a position to make a further statement about the position of British business men still in Palestine; whether in the case of those who are allowed to stay, their families 474 are to be compulsorily evacuated; what is the position with regard to British civilians of the Jewish faith, and what is the estimated number of these including their dependants; what is the policy with regard to American and other non-Palestinian residents; how many women in Government employment are being permitted to remain; and whether British business men are to be allowed to enter Palestine on their lawful occasions?]
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY (VISCOUNT HALL)
My Lords, the cases of British business men in Palestine are being considered individually by the authorities, in consultation with the heads of the business houses concerned. Such limitations as are placed on the activities of those allowed to remain will be the minimum which circumstances demand. Their families are being evacuated unless there are reasons which, in the opinion of the Palestine authorities, are sufficient to warrant their remaining. British Jews are not being evacuated. I am not in a position to state their numbers. Foreign nationals are not being evacuated.
As regards women in Government employment, I take it that the noble Lord is referring to British women. There are some fifty British women employed in Government hospitals and only a very few in other Government Departments. As I stated in my reply to the noble Viscount, Lord Simon, on February 4, the only Government officers who are being evacuated are some women teachers who have gone to Trans-Jordan. As regards the entry of British business men, no entry permit for Palestine is being granted to any British subject without reference to the Palestine authorities. In the present situation, only urgent and important cases are being referred.