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Palestine (Water-Power Concession)

Volume 155: debated on Monday 26 June 1922

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asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he can now inform the House when an opportunity will be given for full discussion of the Rutenberg concessions?

We hope to take the Colonial Office Vote, which was postponed last week, on Tuesday week.

Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that the Acting Foreign Secretary in another place declared that the delay in giving details of this concession was due to the fact that a full Debate was going to take place in this House? Does he not agree that a full Debate cannot take place if the other multifarious questions relating to his Department are to be discussed?

I think the arrangement is that the time up to the dinner hour shall be devoted to some of the other matters hon. Members have asked to have discussed, and that the time after dinner shall be devoted to this particular subject. My right hon. Friend the Colonial Secretary will be quite prepared to defend the action of the Government on that. occasion.


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether His Majesty's Government, in conjunction with the High Commissioner of Palestine, have granted, or contemplate granting, a concession to Mr. Pinhus Rutenberg; and, if so, whether His Majesty's Government have satisfied themselves as to the antecedents of the proposed concessionaire?

I understand that this matter is to be raised on the Colonial Office Vote. I propose to deal fully with it during the Debate on that Vote.

Is Pinhus Rutenberg in any way connected with Pinhus Rutenberg who is known in Russia as a dangerous world revolutionary, and who is suspected most strongly of having murdered with his own hands the priest Gapon?

I cannot be expected to give a biographical sketch in answer to a question. I was quite ready to do it on Thursday last—to go into the matter fully—and I shall be quite ready when the Colonial Office Vote comes on; but it is an entire delusion to imagine that he is a Bolshevist. He is an anti-Bolshevist, and was driven out of Russia because he was an anti-Bolshevist.

Would it not be useful to know beforehand the antecedents of this man?

If the hon. and gallant Gentleman will wait, the information will come upon him with surprise.