HL Deb 09 June 1948 vol 156 cc528-9

My Lords, I beg to ask His Majesty's Government the question standing in my name on the Order Paper.

[The question was as follows:

To ask how many lives of British sailors, soldiers and airmen respectively and British civilian officials and police, have been lost in Palestine in the course of the performance of their duties or in local disturbances or outbreaks of violence, between the dates of assumption of the British Mandate on September 23, 1923, and the date of the termination of the British Mandate on May 14–15, 1948.]


My Lords, during the period in question, 28 members of the Royal Air Force, 141 members of the British Police and 21 British civilians were killed in Palestine as the result of hostile action by Jews or Arabs. I believe that statistics distinguishing casualties in Palestine from other casualties in the Royal Navy and the Army are available for certain periods only. Those periods, and the numbers of deaths due to the causes in question, were: Royal Navy—from September 3, 1939, to May 14, 1948, 7; Army—from 1937 to 1939 inclusive, 105; and in the Army again—from January 1, 1946, to May 14, 1948, 228.


My Lords, I would like to thank the noble Earl for his reply. I can only say that I hope these figures, the sacrifices we have made in taking up this Mandate reluctantly (as we did) and the degree to which people have lost their lives and suffered, will be borne in mind in future when this question is being discussed in other parts of the world.