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Illegal Immigrants

Volume 344: debated on Wednesday 1 March 1939

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether any legal proceedings are being taken against a body of Jewish immigrants, landed on 7th February from the Greek steamship "Artemisi" on the Palestine coast north of Jaffa, and against the agents who conveyed these illegal immigrants inland after their landing?

The crew of the steamer in question, together with 17 passengers, have been arrested and are being prosecuted for offences against the provisions of the Customs and Immigration legislation before the Chief Magistrate at Tel Aviv to-day. It has not, so far, proved practicable to take any action against the local agents, but the feasibility of doing so is under review

Will the ships be, or have they been, confiscated, under any provision of the Palestinian law?

As I say, action is being taken against those who have been arrested. Pending the decision before the magistrates I cannot make any statement.

Will the number of these illegal immigrants be taken into account when the numbers of legal immigrants are next considered?

That matter will have to await consideration after the Palestine Conference.

Has not the right hon. Gentleman's own Department caused these people to be in an illegal position?