Oral Answers to Questions — Palestine. – in the House of Commons at on 13 July 1938.

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Photo of Mr Frederick Cocks Mr Frederick Cocks , Broxtowe

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, seeing that the Palestine Commission is unable, under its terms of reference, to consider any settlement other than that of partition, the Government, with a view to seeing whether it might form a basis of negotiation between the parties concerned, will examine the plan put forward by the Emir Abdullah to avoid partition by reconciling Jewish and Arab interests in a united state of Palestine and Transjordania?

Mr. M. MacDonald:

I can add nothing to the answers which I have given previously to questions regarding the plan referred to by the hon. Member.

Photo of Mr Frederick Cocks Mr Frederick Cocks , Broxtowe

Will the Minister say whether the Government will examine this plan or ask the High Commissioner to examine it for them?

Mr. MacDonald:

The Government have expressed their view that the policy of partition offers the best and most hopeful method of solving the deadlock. At the present moment a Commission is in Palestine making further inquiries into that question, and until that Commission returns to this country I do not think any useful purpose would be served by considering the next step.

Photo of Mr Morgan Jones Mr Morgan Jones , Caerphilly

In view of the fact that the House of Commons deliberately refused to commit itself on the question of partition will the right hon. Gentleman examine this matter so that the House may have some further information upon this suggestion?

Mr. MacDonald:

I have taken note of this suggestion and many other suggestions, but I must say I have no evidence that any suggestion which has yet been put forward would form a basis of agreement between Jews and Arabs. Beyond that I cannot go.

Photo of Mr Frederick Cocks Mr Frederick Cocks , Broxtowe

Will the right hon. Gentleman ask the High Commissioner to report on the other plan?

Mr. MacDonald:

I cannot add anything to what I have said.

Photo of Colonel Josiah Wedgwood Colonel Josiah Wedgwood , Newcastle-under-Lyme

Is the right hon. Gentleman also considering now the imposition of martial law in Palestine in order that we may get a solution in a time of peace, and not of disorder?

Mr. Speaker:

That question does not arise.