asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies why no appointment has yet been made to fill the posts of Mufti of Jerusalem and President of the Moslem Supreme Council?
An important distinction must be drawn between the two offices referred to by my hon. Friend. The post of Mufti of Jerusalem is a purely religious office with no powers or administrative functions, and was held by Haj Amin before he was given the secular appointment of President of the Supreme Moslem Council. In 1937 Haj Amin was deprived of his secular appointment and administrative functions, but no action was taken regarding the religious office of Mufti, as no legal machinery in fact exists for the formal deposition of the holder, nor is there any known precedent for such deposition. Haj Amin is thus technically still Mufti of Jerusalem, but the fact that there is no intention of allowing Haj Amin, who has openly joined the enemy, to return to Palestine in any circumstances clearly reduces the importance of the technical point. As regards the presidency of the Supreme Moslem Council, the Government do not propose, in the absence of any request from the Council, to intervene in a matter which is giving rise to no trouble, and which is not impeding the adequate transaction of business in those affairs for which the Council is responsible.
Will my right hon. and gallant Friend give an assurance that no nominees of the ex-Mufti will be appointed?
I am not at the moment intending to appoint anybody.