HC Deb 13 May 1948 vol 450 cc249-50W
Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what steps are being taken on the termination of the Mandate for Palestine to place on record the nation's appreciation of the work done by British Administration there.

Mr. Rees-Williams

The Prime Minister has sent the following message to the High Commissioner: On the termination of the British Mandate I wish to send you and the members of your Administration a message of gratitude from His Majesty's Government. The high hopes with which we took up the Mandate have not been fulfilled and we say farewell to the peoples of Palestine in conditions tragically different from those to which it had been our purpose to lead them. But, even at this time of our greatest disappointment, when so much of the constructive work done over many years for the benefit of all communities is threatened with destruction, officers of the Palestine Service have no cause for self-reproach or for any sense of personal failure. History will honour their achievements. Faced with the most intractable problems, rewarded with baseless calumnies and imputations of partiality, often in personal danger, they have established a tradition of loyal public service which should be of lasting value to whatever authorities succeed us. We recall with special pride the gallant record of the Palestine Police Force and we remember at this time those members of the Force as well as of the Civil Service whose lives have been sacrificed. Those whose service under the Crown in Palestine is now ended take with them the heartfelt thanks and good wishes of the people of this country.

A brief review of the history of British Administration in Palestine and of the policy pursued by His Majesty's Government has been prepared by the Colonial Office and the Foreign Office and will be published by His Majesty's Stationery Office tomorrow. It will be made available to British Information Offices overseas and copies will be placed in the Library of the House