HC Deb 07 December 1920 vol 135 cc1939-40W

asked the Prime Minister if he is aware of the programme of the Keren Hayesod, the provincial conference of which is about to be held at Manchester under the presidency of His Majesty's Chief Commissioner of Works; that among the objects of this organisation are the raising of large sums, to which Germany has contributed seven and a half millions, to promote the Jewish settlement of Palestine and the substantiation of a claim to secure in perpetuity the power of nominating the High Commissioner for Palestine; whether the fact that these proposals are supported by a Member of the Government are an indication of the Cabinet's approval of the purposes aimed at; and whether the Government have decided on any settled policy with regard to the government of Palestine so far as this affects the interests of the predominant Arab population?


I understand that the object of the Keren Hayesod is to obtain funds from Jews throughout the world with a view to assist in the economic development of Palestine in connection with the establishment of a national home for the Jews in that country. This object is in accordance with the policy of His Majesty's Government as set forth in the declaration of 2nd November, 1917. I am informed that no such claim as that referred to in the second part of the question forms part of the programme of the organisation. With regard to the fourth part of the question, the interests of all sections of the population of Palestine are safeguarded by the terms of the above-mentioned declaration, and by the policy of His Majesty's Government which it embodies, and it seems obvious that the introduction of capital for development must be to the advantage of all the inhabitants of the country. The conference at Manchester is not held under the auspices of the Government, but is being attended by my right hon. Friend, who is naturally interested in the success of the Association.

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