The world’s statesmen had concluded that the Jews were a nation which should be united in Palestine, going there by right and not by sufferance, Lord Snell declared, adding that it was incorrect to say that the Arab economic position was bad, since it had improved immeasurably, thanks to the Jews. Zionism, he said, had enriched and not impoverished the Palestinian Arabs, who were better off than all the other Arab peoples.
If it had not been for the Zionists, Lord Snell concluded, the position of the Arabs during the depression would have been desperate.
The Marquis of Reading, noted Anglo-Jewish statesman, who followed Lord Snell, pointed out that the shortage of labor in Palestine was causing serious economic disturbances and affecting both Jews and. Arabs. He pleaded with the government and with High Commissioner Sir Arthur Grenfell Wauchope to do everything possible to avoid serious economic trouble which, he said would “disastrously affect the prosperity now enjoyed by all Palestine.”
Lord Melchett ridiculed theories that the prosperity of the Holy Land would diminish rapidly and declared that Palestine, being on the eve of its greatest development needed a larger immigration for the immense work to be done there.
Lord Harewood asked the government to give assurances that the Arabs would not be dispossessed from the land.
WILL CARRY OUT MANDATE
Lord Plymouth, Under Secretary for Colonies, who replied for the government, said that the MacDonald government intended to carry out the mandate, combining the Passfield declaration with the MacDonald letter, and had no intention of departing from this policy. He declared that no further explanatory statements concerning constitutional changes in Palestine, since it had not been possible to establish a legislative council. He said, however, that the government intended to proceed along carefully worked out lines, after taking the matter up with the High Commissioner and with representatives of all the Palestinian groups.
At the same time in the House of Commons, Sir Philip Cunliffe-Lister, Colonial Secretary, was answering Vice Admiral E. A. Taylor, Conservative, who demanded that Jewish immigration quotas to Palestine be cut drastically because of unemployment among the Arabs.
Sir Philip informed the House of Commons that there were 14,000 unemployed Arabs in Palestine at the end of April.