London (Jun. 12)
Although the present labor shortage in Palestine has resulted in houses and other buildings in that country remaining uncompleted, the High Commissioner of Palestine has to consider the ‘general future,” not only the immediate present, as regards immigration, Sir Philip Cunliffe-Lister, the Colonial Secretary, told the House of Commons today.
Cunliffe-Lister’s statement was made in answer to an interpellation by Captain W. F. Strickland, Conservative member, who questioned the Colonial Secretary on several points of the government’s immigration program.
Commenting on the restriction of immigration, Strickland had asked if the Colonial Secretary were aware of the fact that building construction in Palestine had been hampered by the shortage of labor. Cunliffe-Lister then told him that the present was not the immediate concern of the government.
To questions from A. L. S. Todd, another Conservative, Cunliffe-Lister declared that an average of 300 illegal immigrants settled in Palestine each month between November, 1933, and January, 1934, as compared with an average of 1,000 per month for the ten months previously.
He rejected as “a complete misstatement” a suggestion by Strickland that illicit immigration was due to the restriction of essential legal immigration.