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Volume 245: debated on Wednesday 19 November 1930

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether His Majesty's Government have entered into any fresh financial commitments in Palestine during the last three months; and whether they propose to enter into any further financial commitments during the present financial year?

I have been asked to answer this question. As a result of the decision by His Majesty's Government to continue to maintain the present garrison in Palestine, it will be necessary to provide further accommodation for the troops. Full details of the liability of His Majesty's Government on account of defence will be found on pages 5, 6 and 7 of the Supplementary Estimate for Colonial and Middle Eastern Services which was presented to the House on the 14th intant.

As I stated on the 17th November, His Majesty's Government intend to submit to the House proposals for the guarantee by His Majesty's Government of a loan of not exceeding 2½ million pounds on which it is contemplated that the interest and sinking fund should be met, for the first few years, from votes of Parliament. It is not anticipated that any expenditure on this account will fall to be met during the current financial year. I am not aware of any contingency that might entail further commitments during the remainder of the current financial year.

Is this loan the price which we have to pay for Lord Passfield's tactlessness and incompetence?