London (Apr. 3)
His Majesty’s Government will continue to administrate Palestine in accordance with the terms of the Mandate as approved by the Council of the League of Nations, declared Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald this afternoon in the House of Commons in reply to last Monday’s question by ex-premier Stanley Baldwin as to whether the government would now make a statement regarding the policy in Palestine.
The Mandate “is an international obligation from which there can be no question of receding,” continued Premier MacDonald. “Under the terms of the Mandate His Majesty’s Government is responsible for promoting the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil or religious rights of the existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine and the political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.
“A double undertaking is involved, to the Jewish people on one hand and to the non-Jewish population of Palestine on the other, and it is the firm resolve of His Majesty’s Government to give effect in equal measure to both parties of the Balfour Declaration and to do full justice to all sections of the population in Palestine. This is a duty from which they will not shrink and to the discharge of which they will apply all the resources at their command.”
Referring to the Inquiry Commission’s report, Premier MacDonald said “the report of the Shaw Commission, which is now in the hands of the members (of Commons) covered a wide field. The Commission was appointed to consider the immediate causes of the deplorable outbreaks of last August and to suggest means of preventing a recurrence. In endeavoring to faithfully carry out the terms of reference the Commission must have found it difficult to draw a line very rigidly. The government is now studying the various recommendations of the Commission with a view to dealing with the immediate causes of the outbreak and of preventing a recurrence and is in consultation with the interests concerned.
“I wish it to be understood that this statement includes immediate provision of the police forces required to secure civil peace with the existing circumstances.”
Cheers greeted the conclusion of the Prime Minister’s statement and Mr. Baldwin then declared that he thought “the statement which the Premier made is as far as we can go at the moment and I think his statement will be received with satisfaction by the House. I presume that in due course, when the government has had an opportunity for further consideration, an opportunity will be given in this House for discussion.” Lloyd George associated himself, on behalf of the Liberal Party, with Mr. Baldwin’s statement.
Replying to Mr. Baldwin, the Premier said “as a matter of fact we are in active consultation now with all the parties concerned both in Palestine and those who are available for a conference here and no time will be lost in amplifying the statement that I have been able to make today.”