HC Deb 28 October 1937 vol 328 cc266-7W
Mr. Sandys

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies when General Sir Arthur Wauchope is returning to Palestine?

Mr. Ormsby-Gore

Since Sir Arthur Wauchope came home on leave early in September he has suffered from an illness requiring treatment in a nursing home. He is now recovering and it is hoped that he will be sufficiently restored to health to be able to resume his post about the middle of November. He has, however, intimated that he does not feel that his health will permit his completing the full second term of office as High Commissioner and has therefore asked to be relieved of his duties in the early part of next year. I wish to take this opportunity of expressing the Government's deep appreciation of Sir Arthur Wauchope's long and distinguished services to the State, and I am sure the House will deeply sympathise with him in his premature retirement from an appointment which he has filled with zeal and devotion in most difficult circumstances for no less than six years.

Colonel Wedgwood

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he will circulate the new Ordinance concerning immigration into Palestine; and whether the onus of proving himself innocent is thereby to be thrown upon the immigrant and those who help or harbour illegal immigrants made guilty of a crime, and distinctions made between Jewish and other immigration?

Mr. Ormsby-Gore

I hope to receive in a few days copies of the Palestine Gazette in which the draft amending Immigration Ordinance was published, and I will then arrange for copies to be placed in the Library.

As regards the second part of the question, the new Ordinance provides that when a foreigner, that is to say, a person who is not a Palestinian citizen, is charged with entering Palestine unlawfully or with having remained in Palestine after the expiry of any period for which he was allowed to enter as a traveller or on a transit visa, the onus shall be on the accused person to show that he is lawfully in Palestine. The Ordinance also provides penalties for aiding, abetting or harbouring persons acting in contravention of the Immigration Ordinance and empowers the High Commissioner to prescribe the maximum aggregate number of foreigners to be admitted to Palestine as immigrants during any specified period and to prescribe what proportion of that number may be persons of Jewish race.