§ Mr. R. Gibson
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he can now supply the promised information regarding Arab houses destroyed in Palestine?
§ Mr. Ormsby-Gore
I have now received a report from the High Commissioner for Palestine which shows that 102 houses were blown up in 1936 and 14 in 1937 as punitive measures. These figures do not include the clearing demolitions at Jaffa in 1936, for which compensation is being paid. All demolitions were carried out by the military forces.
With regard to the last part of the hon. Member's question of 22nd November last, I am informed that in some cases the houses destroyed were the property of persons whose guilt could be proved but who could not themselves be apprehended and therefore could not be tried. In other cases it was not possible to trace the particular offender, and the buildings selected for demolition were chosen as a general punishment on the inhabitants of a village whose collective guilt had been clearly established but amongst whom the actual offenders could not be traced.