Italian Aims in Near East Aired in House of Commons

Questions raised in the House of Commons today revealed that members are still nervous over alleged designs of Italy on Egypt and Palestine.

The persistent report that plans for an Italian attack against Egypt had been found in the wreck of an Italian plane that crashed last August in the Sudan was brought up by Geoffrey Mander, Liberal.

Viscount Cranborne replied that no plans had been found in that particular crash, but asked time before answering a further question as to whether plans had been found in any other crash.

Peter Mac Donald, Conservative, urged the Colonial Office to arrange to receive and examine the Arabic broadcasts from Italy to the Near East, particularly Palestine and the Transjordan.

Colonial Secretary Ormsby-Gore said the matter was receiving the most careful consideration of the Palestine Government.

Replying to a query by James Maxton, Independent Laborite, the Colonial Secretary revealed that he has already approached individuals on accepting appointments to the Royal Commission, but that he would not reveal their names until the entire commission was constituted.

Mr. Ormsby-Gore denied the charges of W. Gallacher, Communist, that Jaffa’s old quarter had been dynamited without warning and declined to accept his statement that troops mishandled Moslem women and old men while searching for arms in the town of Yazur.

To Gallacher’s demand that the Palestine Government abandon collective punishment of Arab villages for terrorism, the Colonial Secretary replied, “Most certainly not!”

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