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Holy Places, Jerusalem

Volume 466: debated on Monday 27 June 1949

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he has received a recent report on the present condition of the Holy Places in Jerusalem; and if he will continue to press for the establishment of an international administration of Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

The Conciliation Commission have not yet issued any report on the state of the Holy Places. My right hon. Friend has had no reports of a deterioration in their condition. His Majesty's Government continue to support the proposal for the internationalisation of the whole area of Jerusalem as laid down by the United Nations.

Is the Under-Secretary of State aware of the anxiety prevailing throughout the Christian world in regard to the Holy Places, and will he as far as possible accelerate the Commission's coming to a conclusion?

I cannot undertake to do what was asked in the last part of that supplementary question but I think the concern felt in this country has been well expressed by the Lord Chancellor in another place.

Is the Minister aware that many of these Holy Places are under Eastern Christian Churches? As some of these Holy Places are owned by Eastern Christian Churches, does the Minister approve or disapprove of the participation of Russia and the Eastern European countries in this international administration?