LONDON (Jun. 9)
In his first statement to the House of Commons as Colonial Secretary, William Ormsby-Gore announced today that further emergency powers, under a Palestine defense order in council, are being issued by proclamation.
The Palestine situation was the subject of heated discussion when Commons reconvened for the first time since the Whitsun recess.
Declaring that the previous improvement in the situation has not been maintained, the Colonial Secretary who succeeds J.H. Thomas said the Palestine authorities, facing a continuing series of acts of violence, are taking all possible action to protect life, property and communications.
He voiced confidence that “ultimately, upon the basis of recommendations by the Royal Commission which His Majesty’s Government has been advised to appoint when order is fully restored and acts of violence prevented, a means will be found within the framework of the mandate to establish a more lasting peace and contentment among the various peoples in Palestine.”
Questions following this statement elicited the reply that the Government has no intention of appointing a Royal Commission or publishing the terms of reference until “the British administration is once more master of the country and until law and order are definitely established.”
He said that leaders of the strike who are suspected of responsibility for crime and violence have been arrested and placed in concentration camps.
W. Gallacher, Communist member, interrupted a discussion to shout that the Arab strike is justifiable. He urged that justice be granted the Arabs in the form of the proposed legislative council instead of trying to impose a military dictatorship.
Herbert Morrison, Laborite, pointed out that the leaders of the Arab strike, which appeared to be political, were “well-to-do men, some of them capitalists, not union leaders.”
A query on whether Mussolini’s Arabic anti-British propaganda via wireless could be stopped received no reply.