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Palestine (Jewish Immigra Tion)

Volume 387: debated on Wednesday 10 March 1943

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he will give particulars of the arrival of Jewish children and adults in Palestine from Iraq; and in what circumstances and by what means they were enabled to reach their destination?

I assume that my hon. and gallant Friend is referring to the recent arrival in Palestine of Polish Jewish refugee children and adults from Persia who had been granted immigration certificates for Palestine, 858 children, 100 men and 269 women arrived in Palestine on 18th February, having travelled from Persia to Egypt by sea, and thence overland to Palestine.

Would it not be true to say that they reached their destination by the good will and efforts of the British Government, and under the protection of the Royal Navy?

Can the right hon. and gallant Gentleman give any news as to the arrival in Palestine of any of the 4,000 children and of the 500 adults from Bulgaria whose transmission was promised to us? Are they on their way?

Can the Minister tell us whether there is any disposition on the part of the Government to increase the number of Jews who will be allowed to go to Palestine?

I made a very full statement on that the other day. As the hon. Gentleman is aware, the number amounts to over 30,000.

Is the Minister aware of the tremendous persecution of the Jews; and does he not realise that that figure is quite inadequate?

If the hon. Gentleman realises the difficulty there was to get in even these 1,200, he will also realise the difficulty there is to get in 30,000.

Can my right hon. and gallant Friend say whether they travelled in British ships or not?

This was arranged by the Ministry of War Transport, and I am afraid I am not certain of the nationality of the ships.