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Palestine (Refugees)

Volume 387: debated on Tuesday 16 March 1943

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that refugees of all Continental countries are liberally admitted into the Mandated Territory of Palestine without regard to numbers or nationality excepting only those of Hebrew extraction; that such policy is contrary to the Mandate which provides that no person shall be excluded from the Mandated Territory because of his religious belief; and will he therefore direct that refugees of the Hebrew persuasion shall be permitted the same privileges and facilities granted to those of other creeds?

No, Sir. There is no such discrimination in the treatment accorded in Palestine to Jewish and non-Jewish refugees as my hon. Friend suggests, and there is consequently no contravention of the Mandate. As was stated in the reply given on 11th June last to my hon. Friend the Member for Stoke Newington (Sir G. Jones), of some 4,000 persons who by that date had been admitted to Palestine specifically as war refugees about 40 per cent. were Jews. This figure does not, of course, include Jewish immigrants to Palestine, who numbered about 38,000 in the period from 1st April, 1939, to 30th September, 1942.