London (Apr. 16)
Resentment against being made “a sounding board for anti-Arab or anti-Jewish propaganda” was expressed today in the House of Commons by Dr. Drummond Shiels, Under-Secretary for the Colonies, following a number of questions directed at him from all sides. He pointed out that “we are trying to find a way to peace in Palestine and these questions are not helpful.”
In discussing the question of flogging in Palestine raised by P. Freeman, a Labor M. P., Dr. Shiels denied that prisoners had been flogged for going on hunger strikes. Freeman declared that the law in Palestine regarding punishment should be revised so as to be in accord with the British corporal punishment law and flogging should be meted out in Palestine for the same offenses as it is meted out in England.
Dr. Shiels said that the number of offenses for which corporal punishment is meted out in Palestine had lately been reduced, but that it was not practicable to make the law there jibe with that in England. He admitted that the Palestine law contained no provision for different treatment for political prisoners, but said that every effort was being made to improve conditions.
The prerogative in the matter of death sentences rested with the High Commissioner “who may be relied upon to be guided in his actions by all proper considerations,” Dr. Shiels said in replying to Howard Bury’s suggestion that no death sentence be inflicted on either Jews or Arabs in Palestine in order to establish a better atmosphere.