Jerusalem (Aug. 29)
A Legislative Council will be established in Palestine shortly, the retiring High Commissioner, Sir John Chancellor, is stated to have told Soliman Abu Gazala, an Arab lawyer, during a farewell reception given him to-day by the Jaffa Municipality.
Sir John advised the Arabs, it is added, to participate in the Legislative Council, and thus alleviate their position.
Sir John also promised that he will do all he can in England to help Palestine.
When Sir John Chancellor arrived in Palestine to take up his post as High Commissioner, the Palestine Arab Executive went on deputation to him to renew their demand for the establishment of a parliamentary system of Government in Palestine. When Sir John went on leave of absence in June 1929, it was understand that he was going to come back to Palestine with a scheme ready for the establishment of a Legislative Council. Meanwhile the serious disturbances of August 1929 broke out in his absence, and when he returned in September, Sir John issued a proclamation expressing his “horrow at the atrocious acts which had been committed, the savage murders perpetrated upon defenceless members of the Jewish population, regardless of age or sex, accompanied, as at Hebron, by acts of unspeakable savagery, crimes which have brought upon their authors the execration of all civilised peoples throughout the world”, and he proceeded to state that “in accordance with the undertaking which I gave the Arab Executive before I left Palestine in June, I initiated discussions with the Secretary of State when in England on the subject of constitutional changes in Palestine, but in view of recent events, I shall suspend these discussions with His Majesty’s Government”.
An Order-in-Council was issued by the British Government in August 1922, under which a Legislative Council was to have been set up in Palestine at that time, consisting of ten official and twelve elected members, eight Moslems, two Jews and two Christians, but the Arab Executive strenuously opposed the plan, demanding that the Council should consist of elected members only on a clear majority of Arabs over the official members together with the Jews, and as the Government refused to concede this demand, the Arabs boycotted the elections. An amending Order-in-Council was therefore issued by the Government, nullifying the proceedings.