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Palestine (Mr Abramson)

Volume 155: debated on Wednesday 28 June 1922

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether it is proposed to appoint Mr. Abramson to a post in Palestine; if so, will he say what his name was before it became Abramson; and what his nationality was before it became British?

With regard to the first part of the question, Mr. Abramson has been holding a post under the Palestine Administration for the last two years, and it is proposed to retain his services. I have no information in regard to the second and third parts, and am not aware that there is any ground for the insinuations that they contain. Mr. Abramson has served the British Government with great credit both during and since the War.

Has the Colonial Office no information as to the latter part of the question, whether this gentleman is not an English-born subject, and whether there are not hundreds of retired officers, who fought during the War for us, who could have been appointed to this Governor's berth, rather than seeking a gentleman who was not. British born, but who was born a subject of one of the enemy countries?

We are at the present moment administering one of the former enemy countries, and it is natural that persons who have been resident in those countries and are deeply acquainted with all their affairs should be able to be of use and service. Mr. Abramson held a commission in the British forces and rendered valuable services during the whole process of the reconquering and reconquest of Palestine, and he is from every point of view a most reputable and competent man.

And not by faith a Jew. Will the right hon. Gentleman put a stop to these insinuations which suggest that, while a Jew may be employed in the British Civil Service in this country, or anywhere else, he may not be employed in Palestine: which is the policy of the anti-Semitic party led by the hon. Member?