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Jewish Citizenship

Volume 334: debated on Tuesday 12 April 1938

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I beg to move,

"That leave be given to bring in a Bill to extend Palestinian nationality."
Might I ask hon. Members to consider once again an international problem for a very few moments? We are still shuddering from the shock of the recent rape of Austria. It is but yesterday that the great big bully of Europe continued his career of spoliation and gobbled up another victim. Would that Herr Hitler were not the kind of personality that he has been painted to us, and that he were not a person of chilly personal correctitude that we have been told. If only he did smoke, and eat meat, and drink, he might be more human and less dangerous; he might, like other dictators, be content to covet somebody's concubine rather than somebody's country. But true to type, he has brought another 7,000,000 people under the iron heel and in doing so he has done this: He has intensified terribly the problem of Jewry all over the world. His calculated policy is to wipe out 300,000 innocents who have never done him or others any harm. Some of them have made Austria a sort of artistic centre of Europe. Among them are the most eminent scientists in the world. One of them is the famous scientist Freud. Freud is over 80 and he is dying. Half his jaw was removed not long ago to save his life.

On a point of Order. We have only 10 minutes for referring to this Bill. Could we not hear something about the Bill. My hon. and gallant Friend is talking about something else.

I understand that the hon. and gallant Member is leading up to his Bill.

I promise to be not more than another five minutes. In spite of Freud being old and dying, the Nazi monsters have deprived him of liberty. I am not here to consider the general reaction of all this upon His Majesty's Government, or to ask them to do anything but to consider its relation to Palestine. I for one deplore the lack of grip of past Governments in relation to the promised, perhaps the too much promised land. It was vacillation which sold the pass in Palestine. We should never have taken our marching orders from Signor Mussolini. We should have countered the proposals and the propaganda which Italy and Germany poured in to make the Arabs not anti-Jew but anti-British. The "Times" has informed us that for five pounds an Arab can be got to kill a Jew. I wonder where the money comes from?

The colonisation of Jewry should have gone on and there should have been no defeatist policy of partition at all. Assuming that it does go on, my idea is this: Although I hold to the creation of a State in Palestine of possibly millions of Jews who will act as a buffer State against any military monster who may advance from the North to seize the Canal or cut the pipe-line which provides our only oil supply in the Mediterranean, the purpose of my Bill is this: It is forgotten that it is a very ancient principle, that of preserving citizenship to subjects of a State who remain abroad. For instance, there have been more citizens of Norway living outside than in Norway in one period of that country's history. I would like to give the potentially persecuted Jew in Europe the chance, if he wishes it, of becoming a Palestinian subject. Why, for instance, should Jews in Poland, who cannot move to Palestine, not be able to take up extra-territorial citizenship? They would then become what Jews are in Palestine, protected persons under the Mandate and freemen of a State. They could pay a yearly fee for the Government of Palestine, which would make that place once again a land flowing with milk and money.

Our Government cannot be called upon to take any action in relation to Austria. We know that it is pledged not to interfere in Austria's affairs, but where Jews are wantonly rendered homeless there is an implicit pledge to protect on the part of the Power to which mandatory duties have been given to build up a Jewish citadel for refugees; and the sudden extermination of another 300,000 Jews in Austria makes the claim paramount. Hopeless, helpless, unhappy, these tragic wanderers should not look in vain to us for sanctuary, and I will prophesy that the Almighty will bless those who are good to the stranger at the gate.

I wish to oppose the Motion on three grounds. First, it seems to me, from the speech we have just heard, which is bound to be reported in Palestine, that it might be held that Jews have a right to go to Palestine whether they come from Poland or elsewhere, and that the remarks of my hon. and gallant Friend will merely inflame the Arab people.

I understood my hon. and gallant Friend to say that Jews everywhere should have Palestinian nationality. That is just enough to inflame all the feelings of patriotism amongst Mohammedans in Palestine. I say quite seriously to my hon. and gallant Friend that statements of that kind made in this House may mean the loss of several lives of British police and soldiers in Palestine. My second reason for opposing the Motion is that I doubt whether it is really in order.

On a point of Order. Is the hon. and gallant Member in order in casting a reflection on you, Mr. Speaker, in the Chair?

Division No. 173.]

AYES.

[4.10 p.m.

Acland, R. T. D. (Barnstaple)Ede, J. C.Leonard, W.
Adams, D. (Consett)Fletcher, Lt.-Comdr. R. T. H.Leslie, J. R.
Adams, D. M. (Poplar, S.)Gallacher, W.Lipson, D. L.
Adams, S. V. T. (Leads, W.)Gardner, B. W.Logan, D. G.
Adamson, W. M.George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesey)Lunn, W.
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (H'lsbr.)Gibson, R. (Greenock)Maodonald, G. (Ince)
Ammon, C. G.Graham, D. M. (Hamilton)McEntee, V. La T.
Anderson, F. (Whitehaven)Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.McGhee, H. G.
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R.Green, W. H. (Deptford)Maclean, N.
Banfield, J. W.Grenfell, D. R.Mainwaring, W H.
Barnes, A. J.Griffith, F. Kingsley (M'ddl'sbro, W.)Mander, G. le M.
Barr, J.Griffiths, G. A. (Hemsworth)Mathers, G.
Bellenger, F. J.Griffiths, J. (Llanelly)Maxton, J.
Benn, Rt. Hon. W. W.Groves, T. E.Messer, F.
Benson G.Guest, Dr. L. H. (Islington, N.)Montague, F.
Bevan, A.Hall, G. H. (Aberdare)Morrison, G. A. (Scottish Univ's.)
Bromfield, W.Hall, J. H. (Whiteehapel)Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)
Brown, C. (Mansfield)Hardie, AgnesMuff, G
Brown, Rt. Hon. J. (S. Ayrshire)Harris, Sir P. A.Nathan, Colonel H. L.
Buchanan, G.Haslam, Sir J. (Bolton)Naylor, T. E.
Burke, W. A.Hayday, A.Noel-Baker, P. J.
Cape, T.Henderson, A. (Kingswinford)Oliver, G. H.
Cassells, T.Henderson, J. (Ardwick)Paling, W.
Charleton, H. C.Henderson, T. (Tradeston)Parker, J.
Chater, D.Hills, A. (Pontefract)Parkinson, J. A.
Cluse, W. S.Holdsworth, H.Pearson, A.
Clynes, Rt. Hon. J. R.Hollins, A.Pethick-Lawrence, Rt. Hon. F. W.
Cocks, F. S.Hopkin, D.Price, M. P.
Courthope, Col. Rt. Hon. Sir G. L.Jagger, J.Pritt, D. N.
Cove, W. G.Jenkins, Sir W. (Neath)Quibell, D. J. K.
Cripps, Hon. Sir StaffordJohn. W.Rawson, Sir Cooper
Daggar, G.Johnston, Rt. Hon. T.Ridley, G.
Dalton, H.Jones, A. C. (Shipley)Riley, B.
Davidson, J. J. (Maryhill)Kelly, W. T.Ritson, J.
Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton)Kennedy, Rt. Hon. T.Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Brom.)
Day, H.Lansbury, Rt. Hon. G.Roberts, W. (Cumberland, N.)
Dunn, E. (Rother Valley)Lathan, G.Robinson. W. A. (St. Helens)
Eckersley, P. T.Lee, F.Salter, Dr. A. (Bermondsey)

The reason why I express doubt is that, while I realise that anyone can bring in a Bill on any subject in this House, and while I would not think of challenging Mr. Speaker's discretion in the matter, it seems to me that we have no jurisdiction over a mandated territory, and that we might pass a law which would have no possible effect in Palestine. To do that makes the House look foolish. A third reason for opposing the Motion is this. I cannot see that we shall arrive at any solution in Palestine by dealing with the Jews of all those countries in which they have been persecuted. To lump them all in one mass, to give them Palestinian nationality and to imagine that thereby you solve the Palestinian trouble or help the Jews, is to make a very great mistake. It would be only adding to the fears which to a great extent are causing the trouble in Palestine to-day, and this Motion can only add to Arab fears without doing the Jews the slightest good.

Question put,

"That leave be given to bring in a Bill to extend Palestinian nationality."

The House divided: Ayes, 144; Noes, 144,

Sexton, T. M.Sueter, Rear-Admiral Sir M. F.White, H. Graham
Silverman, S. S.Summerskill, EdithWhitelay, W. (Blayden)
Simpson, F. B.Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)Wilkinson, Ellen
Smith, Ben (Rotherhithe)Thurtle, E.Williams, D. (Swansea, E.)
Smith, E. (Stoke)Tinker, J. J.Williams, T. (Don Valley)
Smith, Rt. Hon. H. B. Lees- (K'ly)Tomlinson, G.Windsor, W. (Hull, C.)
Smith, T. (Normanton)Viant, S. P.Woods, G. S. (Finsbury)
Sorensen, R. W.Walker, J.Young, Sir R. (Newton)
Stephen, C.Watkins, F. C.
Stewart, W. J. (H'ght'n-le-Sp'ng)Watson, W. MeL.

TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—

Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, N.)Westwood, J.Commander Locker Lampson
and Mr. W. Thorne.

NOES.

Acland-Troyte, Lt.-Col. G. J.Fox, Sir G. W. G.Ponsonby, Col. C. E.
Albery, Sir IrvingFremantle, Sir F. E.Procter, Major H. A.
Allen, Col. J. Sandeman (B'knhead)Fyte, D. P. M.Radford, E. A.
Anstruther-Gray, W. J.Gibson, Sir C. G. (Pudsey and Otlay)Raikes, H. V. A. M.
Astor, Viscountess (Plymouth, Sutton)Graham, Captain A. C. (Wirral)Rathbone, J. R. (Bodmin)
Astor, Hon. W. W. (Fulham, E.)Grimston, R. V.Rayner, Major R. H.
Baillie, Sir A. W. M.Hacking, Rt. Hon. D. H.Reid, W. Allan (Derby)
Baldwin-Webb, Col. J.Hannah, I. C.Rickards, G. W. (Skipton)
Barrie, Sir C. C.Hannon, Sir P. J, H.Ropner, Cotonel L.
Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.Harbord, A.Ross Taylor, W. (Woodbridge)
Blair, Sir R.Harvey, Sir G.Rowlands, G.
Bossom, A. C.Haslam, Henry (Horncastle)Royds, Admiral Sir P. M. R.
Boyce, H. LeslieHeilgers, Captain F. F. A.Ruggles-Brise, Colonel Sir E. A.
Briscoe, Capt. R. G.Hepburn, P. G. T. Buchan-Russell, R. J. (Eddisbury)
Broadbridge, Sir G. T.Hepworth, J.Salmon, Sir I.
Brocklebank, Sir EdmundHolmes, J. S.Salt, E. W.
Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Newbury)Hope, Captain Hon. A. O. J.Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir P.
Bull, B. B.Hopkinson, A.Scott, Lord William
Bullock, Capt. M.Howitt, Dr. A. B.Selley, H. R.
Burton, Col. H. W.Hulbert, N. J.Shaw, Major P. S. (Wavertres)
Butcher, H. W.Hunter, T.Shepperson, Sir E. W.
Carver, Major W. H.Hurd, Sir P. A.Smiles, Lieut.-Colonel Sir W. D.
Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)James, Wing-Commander A. W. H.Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)
Channon, H.Keeling, E. H.Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde)
Clarke, Colonel R. S. (E. Grinstead).Kerr, Colonel C. I. (Montrose)Stourton, Major Hon. J. J.
Cook, Sir T. R. A. M. (Norfolk, N.)Latham, Sir P.Strickland, Captain W. F.
Cooke. J. D. (Hammersmith, S.)Leighton, Major B. E. P.Tasker, Sir R. I.
Craven-Ellis, W.Liddall, W. S.Tale, Mavis C.
Croft, Brig.-Gen. Sir H. PageLloyd, G. W.Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (Padd., S.)
Crooke, Sir J. S.Loftus, P. C.Thomas, J. P. L.
Crockshank, Capt. H. F. C.MacAndrew, Colonel Sir C. GTouche, G. C.
Cross, R. H.McKie, J. H.Train, Sir J.
Crewder, J. F. E.Macquisten, F. A.Tree, A. R. L. F.
Davies, Major Sir G. F. (Yeovil)Magnay, T.Ward, Lieul.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)
Davison, Sir W. H.Maitland, A.Ward, Irene M. B. (Wallsend)
Dawson, Sir P.Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.Warrender, Sir V.
De la Bère, R.Markham, S. F.Waterhouse, Captain C.
Denville, AlfredMason, Lt.-Col. Hon. G. K. M.Watt, Major G. S. Harvie
Dower, Major A. V. G.Maxwell, Hon. S. A.Wells, S. R.
Duckworth. W. R. (Moss Side)Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J.Whiteley, Major J. P. (Buckingham)
Dugdale, Captain T. L.Mellor, Sir J. S. P. (Tamworth)Williams, H. G. (Croydon, S.)
Duggan, H. J.Mills, Sir F. (Leyton, E.)Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Eastwood, J. F.Mitchell, Sir W. Lana (Streatham)Wilson, C. H. (Atterclifle)
Edmondson, Major Sir J.Morris-Jones, Sir HenryWinterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Emery, J. F.Munro, P.Wood, Hon. C. I. C.
Erskine-Hill, A. G.Nicholson, G. (Farnham)Wright, Wing-Commander J. A. C.
Evans, Capt. A. (Cardiff, S.)Patrick, C. M.
Fildes, Sir H.Peake, O.

TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—

Fleming, E. L.Petherick, M.Colonel Clifton Brown and
Mr. Pickthorn.

I must give my vote for leave to bring in the Bill, in order that the House may be able to deal with it as it sees fit.

Bill ordered to be brought in by Commander Locker-Lampson, Colonel Wedgwood, Rear-Admiral Sir Murray Sueter, Mr. Vyvyan Adams, and Mr. T. Williams.

Jewish Citizenship Bill

"to extend Palestinian nationality," presented accordingly, and read the First time; to be read a Second time upon Tuesday, 26th April, and to be printed. [Bill 127.]