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Sir John Chancellor’s Last Word in Palestine

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We must ardently hope for the success of the new Government, and pay a tribute of respect and admiration to the courage and patriotism of those leaders who have not hesitated to sacrifice their political future and put their duty to their country before their duty to their party in this time of national crisis, Sir John Chancellor, the late High Commissioner for Palestine, said at a Civil Service dinner given him here on the eve of his departure on relinquishing his post.

Palestine with its clash of interests of races and religions, he went on, has always been a difficult task, and his Majesty’s servants here have perhaps a more difficult task than His Majesty’s servants in any part of the Empire. In the Colonies and Protectorates they have usually a single duty to perform and a single objective before them, while we have a dual task and dual responsibilities; and we have been told by the Mandates Commission that we are not to give primacy or priority to either part of our obligations over the other. That is a heavy charge and difficult to carry out.

We, as representatives of the Mandatory, have equal responsibilities to all sections of the people of Palestine and it is our bounden duty to act impartially to all alike without looking for approval or thanks from any quarter. You have all had difficulties and trials during the troubles of the last two years. It has been a great privilege to me to have you as colleagues and I am grateful to you all for the loyal service you have rendered to me and to Palestine during my three years of service as High Commissioner. We, the servants of His Majesty in Palestine, must see to it that we keep up the reputation of the British Empire for truth and justice and maintain the tradition of loyal service to His Majesty the King and the Empire and carry out in the letter and spirit the decisions of those who are placed in authority over us.

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