British Government to Back Samuel, Gore Tells Commons

Palestine was again the subject of much discussion in the House of Commons when Sir Harry Brittain, and Lieutenant Colonel Howard Bury inquired of Ormsby-Gore of the Colonial Office whether there was anything to report of Sir Herbert Samuel’s position in regards to the dif-

ferences on the Advisory Council. Mr. Ormsby-Gore was asked specifically whether the Moslem and Christian members were contemplating resigning and whether their views were taken in consideration in shaping the future policy of Palestine.

The Arab members had written to the High Commissioner, Mr. Ormsby-Gore replied, that they would be unable to take part in the Council until assurance is given that participation will not imply acknowledgement of the constitution set up under order of council of 1922. Until he was able to talk over the question with the High Commissioner, he would prefer to make no statement, Mr. Gore said. He would only say that the amendment to the Order in council recently published provides for all contingencies and whether any particular faction or its representatives abstain from cooperation, the government, they may rest assured, would support the High Commissioner in his policy of carrying on, he declared.

In reply to an inquiry by Commander Kenworthy when it was intended to bring before Parliament for ratification the “treaty recently concluded between the government and the British Arab government of Transjordania, Ormsby-Gore said that no treaty had been concluded and that all the government thus far had done was to discuss with the Arab government how it could carry out its international obligations under the mandatory system without conflict with the principle of utmost freedom for the Arab population. Mr. Ormsby-Gore further announced he did not think that any treaty would be concluded.

Mr. Ormsby-Gore was also asked whether the attention of the government had been drawn “to the fact that the government of Palestine was authorizing change of the names of all towns and villages from Arab, Roman and Greek to Hebrew. Mrr. Ormsby-Gore replied he had no reason to believe that such was the case.

Replying to the question whether the government had received representations from Palestine protesting the slow progress of the Rutenberg concessions “and in view of the prolonged delay would the government consider the withdrawal of the concessions?” The Colonial Office representive said that the answer to the first question was in the negative and the second question was hypothetical and he was therefore unable to answer it.

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