Jews.

Oral Answers to Questions — British Army. – in the House of Commons on 7th July 1942.

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Photo of Mr Ian Hannah Mr Ian Hannah , Wolverhampton Bilston

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he has yet come to any conclusion as to the practicability of forming a Jewish Army?

Photo of Sir James Grigg Sir James Grigg , Cardiff East

For reasons already stated in Parliament, it has not been found practicable to adopt the suggestion put forward in the hon. Member's Question. As the House is aware, Jews of British nationality are liable for service in the British Forces or are free to volunteer for such services in the same way as other British subjects. Jews of alien nationality have also opportunities of service in the British Army as volunteers. So far as Palestine is concerned, there are over 10,000 Palestinian Jews serving in units of the British Army in the Middle East, and over 23,000 in various police formations which perform functions analogous to those of the Home Guard in this country. Within the last few days my Noble Friend the Colonial Secretary has telegraphed to the High Commissioner for Palestine urging the acceleration of the arming and training of all police formations and the forming of plans for the immediate expansion of the part-time police.

Photo of Mr Ian Hannah Mr Ian Hannah , Wolverhampton Bilston

Is it not a fact there are a large number of Jews in Palestine who are willing to serve, but whose services have not yet been accepted?

Photo of Sir James Grigg Sir James Grigg , Cardiff East

I am sure that that is not so; a very large number are already serving, as my answer shows.

Photo of Mr Oliver Locker-Lampson Mr Oliver Locker-Lampson , Birmingham Handsworth

Will my right hon. Friend receive a deputation on this matter?

Photo of Sir James Grigg Sir James Grigg , Cardiff East

I will consider that.

Photo of Mr Ian Hannah Mr Ian Hannah , Wolverhampton Bilston

On account of the great interest in this matter in three Continents, its enormous importance and the obvious responsibility of this House, I beg to give notice that I will raise it in the friendliest possible way on the Adjournment.