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Palestine Questions Raised in Commons; Query Attitude to Women Lawyers

Does the government of Palestine intend to discard the oriental attitude toward women who are now prohibited from practicing law in the country? This question was directed by Col. Josiah Wedgwood to the Colonial Secretary in the House of Commons yesterday.

Replying, Col. Amery declared that this prohibition is due to the strong opposition displayed by the Palestine Advisory Council which met in 1920, to the admission of women to the bar. Also, upon the recommendation of the High Commissioner in 1926, it was decided that under present conditions Palestine cannot admit women to legal practice. The Secretary said he is unaware as to whether or not women are permitted to become doctors, teachers or inspectors, but he is of the belief that drastic measures on this matter are undesirable, an example being provided by the recent developments in Afghanistan.

The Colonial Office was asked whether the draft contract with Engineer Moses Novomejsky for the exploitation of the salts of the Dead Sea contains a fair wage clause. Major Ormsby Gore replied in the negative to the question, which was raised by Miss Susanne Lawrence.

Any concession granted will be subject to future legislation of a general character affecting employment conditions in Palestine and Transjordania, Major Ormsby Gore stated. However, the concessionnaire is not obliged to accept conditions other than the law imposes.

Miss Lawrence further asked whether a law had been introduced recently concerning corporal punishment. Major Ormsby Gore replied in the affirmative, stating that a recent law reduced the number of offenses for which corporal punishment may be inflicted.

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