London (Oct. 30)
A proposal that a conference be called of Arab and Jewish leaders with a view to reaching a settlement on the Palestine question is now under consideration by the British government. This was brought out in the Government replies to questions regarding Palestine raised at the opening session of parliament yesterday.
From the Government’s replies to questions raised, it is evident that discussion on the major issues of the Palestine question will be postponed until the report of the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry, which is now holding its hearings in Jerusalem, is presented. To Wardlow Milne, Conservative Member, who suggested a general discussion in Parliament of the Palestine situation in view of its being so serious and the scope of the Inquiry Commission so limited, Undersecretary for the Colonies, William Lunn, replied that as a matter of fact, the situation in Palestine is not so serious. In his opinion it is not to the advantage of Palestine or Commons that discussion take place now. Mr. Lunn was unable to say whether the Inquiry Commission now holding its hearing in Palestine will have submitted its report before Parlia (Continued on Page 4)
Major H. L. Nathan, new Liberal Member, was the first to raise the question of Palestine in the House of Commons. In the absence of Premier MacDonald. Major Nathan directed his question to the Acting Premier, Philip Snowden, asking whether the latter could give any information regarding the recent Palestine occurrences and the Palestine situation.
Undersecretary for the Colonies, William Lunn, who is in charge of Colonial matters in the House of Commons, Lord Passfield, Colonial Secretary, being in the House of Lords, replied that official announcements appeared in the press giving information daily as to the Palestine situation while the disturbances lasted. As far as actual events are concerned, he does not think he could usefully add to the very full information contained in those announcements. Recent reports state that the situation from the military viewpoint is quiet. In view of the appointment of the Commission to inquire into the immediate causes of the outbreak and make recommendations of steps necessary to avoid a recurrence, the Secretary for the Colonies would prefer to defer for the present any general statement regarding the Palestine situation. The Commission has already arrived in Palestine and started its inquiry immediately.
Lord Winterton, Conservative, asked whether the Commission’s report was anticipated before the Christmas recess and whether there would be an opportunity to discuss the matter before the parliamentary recess for Christmas. Mr. Lunn replied that in view of the nature of the inquiry and the possibility of its length, it is impossible to say whether the report would come before Christmas, but he thinks that it is within the discretion of any member of Commons to raise questions when the report will be presented.
Fenner Brockway, secretary of the Independent Labor Party, asked the government to consider a proposal that a conference to be called of Arab and Jewish leaders with a view to reaching a settlement on the Palestine question. Mr. Lund replied that the matter is under consideration at the present moment.