Thomas Refuses to Answer Queries on Legislative Council

Colonial Secretary J.H. Thomas refused today to reply to a barrage of questions on the floor of the House of Commons on the proposed Palestine legislative council. He said no answer could be given until the official reply of the Arabs to the council proposal was received.

After Mr. Thomas had declined to reply to a question by Tom Smith, Laborite, Col. Josiah Wedgwood, Laborite, pressed for an answer, demanding to know whether the legislative council was to be considered a policy of the British Government.

The Colonial Secretary replied that the legislative council as well as Palestine’s policy was the responsibility of the Government, but refused to state whether the cabinet was committed to the council idea.

He declined to answer a demand by Archie Sinclair, Liberal, that the Government not give a statuatory majority “to elements hostile to the Palestine mandate.” (The Arabs have been given fourteen out of twenty-eight seats in the projected council.)

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