§ 58. Mr. Maxton
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he has considered the statement issued by the Arab Centre in London and sent to him detailing 19 cases of brutality against Arabs by the authorities in Palestine and giving the names of those who have suffered; and whether he proposes to take any action to deal with this matter?
Mr. M. MacDonald
I have received a copy of the statement in question, and have referred it to the High Commissioner for Palestine for a report on the details. I should, however, say at once 402 that I regard this document as a piece of propaganda which contains a mass of falsehoods.
§ Mr. Maxton
Will the right hon. Gentleman take steps to meet the people who are responsible for issuing this document and find out whether they have any justification for their charges?
I would like to await the report of the High Commissioner before taking any further steps in the matter. I can assure the hon. Member that I shall then take whatever steps are appropriate.
§ Mr. McGovern
Will the right hon. Gentleman inquire whether the originator of this document is a Nazi agent in this country?
§ Mr. Crossley
Is it not a fact that the British Army in Palestine has on the whole, throughout these troubles, behaved with great patience and fortitude?
That is so, and among other tributes that have been paid to the British soldiers in Palestine have been many very generous tributes from the Arab population themselves.
§ Mr. Maxton
Is the Minister able to say now, in this House, that the more gross of these charges—the foul and filthy ones—are not true, without inquiring of the High Commissioner?
I have not any hesitation in saying that this document contains what I have called a mass of falsehoods.
Is it not true that it is being sent to all sorts of people, and is a very dangerous document?