27. Miss Rathbone
asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies what arrangements have been made for the mobilisation of Jews in Palestine for Home Guard duties; and whether he will take advantage of the offer which has been made for the enlistment of some thousands of Jews in the urban areas where little has been done hitherto apart from the mixed unit of the Palestine Volunteer Force, which is limited to 2,000 men?
§ Mr. Harold Macmillan
As regards the first part of the Question, I would invite the attention of my hon. Friend to the reply given to the hon. Member for Consett (Mr. D. Adams) on 1st July, and to the statement made by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War on 6th August, regarding the enrolment of 1,500 additional recruits for the Jewish Rural Special Police and the provision of training facilities and equipment for these and for existing units. The number of Jews serving in the various police formations has now reached a total of nearly 25,000. As regards the second part of the Question, difficulties in providing instructors and equipment and of the commitments already undertaken in respect of the existing police formations and of the Palestine Volunteer Force make this proposal impracticable.
Has there been no progress since 6th August, in view of the fact that certain promises were given since that date of the further utilisation of the Palestinian Force?
§ Mr. Macmillan
I think the hon. Lady has in mind the recruiting of the new Palestinian Regiment. That, of course, is going ahead under the auspices of the War Office. With regard to the police, the position is as I have stated. We are making increased progress with the rural police, but it is not possible to go further at present because of shortage of instructors.
Can we be satisfied that there is no other objection except shortage of equipment and so forth?
§ Mr. Macmillan
We will press forward as fast as we can, having regard to all the other demands upon man-power and so on for war purposes.