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Jewish Agency

Volume 438: debated on Wednesday 18 June 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, in view of the declared intentions of the Jews to use force in imposing illegal immigration into Palestine, he will now take steps to close down the Jewish Agency.

My hon. Friend is no doubt referring to a resolution passed by the Elected Assembly of the Jewish Community in Palestine on 22nd May, declaring that the Jewish Community is prepared to use force for the protection of immigration, land settlement, and its own security. I regret the terms of this resolution, particularly in present circumstances. I do not consider that the occasion calls for such action as my hon. Friend suggests against the Jewish Agency.

Does not my right hon. Friend recollect that many of the responsible members of the Jewish Agency were directly involved in the King David Hotel incident, as illustrated in the White Paper; and how does he tie that up with the present threat to the Arabs which he gave in this House last week not to give any incitement to violence or strong measures would be taken? Why not take equally strong measures against the Jews?

I think it must be obvious to everyone that law and order must be preserved in Palestine and terrorism must be repressed, but in view of the special commitments of the Jewish Agency under the Mandate there is no action at present which can in any way be taken for suppressing the Agency.

I know, but does my right hon. Friend realise that the Arabs do not recognise the Mandate for a moment?

While I accept the Minister's answer, will he indicate that if any individuals in this country advocate violence in Palestine, as has been recently done in America, they will be prosecuted with the full rigour of the law?