LONDON (Oct. 29)
Colonial Secretary William Ormsby-Gore announced today that the six-man Royal Commission under the chairmanship of Viscount Peel will leave for Palestine at the end of next week to begin its investigation of the Arab disorders which lasted nearly six months and took a toll of more than 300 Arab, Jewish and British lives and caused economic destruction estimated at $14,000,000.
The Colonial Secretary declared that the Holy Land was now generally quiet and that steps have been taken to reduce the reinforced British garrison, numbering approximately 30,000 effectives. (War Minister Sir Alfred Duff-Cooper yesterday announced that the 15,000 troops recently sent to Palestine would be recalled immediately.)
Casualties during the disorders, which broke out in Jaffa on April 19 and ended October 12 with the official termination of the Arab general strike against Jewish immigration and the Government, were officially put at 1,651 by Mr. Ormsby-Gore. Of this number, 314 were fatalities, divided as follows: Moslems, 187; Jews, 80; British troops, 21; Christians, 10; Moslem policemen, 8; Palestine and British personnel, 7; Jewish personnel, 1. (Figures compiled by the J.T.A. put the Jewish dead at 88.)
Total population of the Holy Land was estimated by the Colonial Secretary at 1,335,000, of which 370,000 are Jews.
Replying to a question by Col. Josiah Wedgwood, Laborite, Mr. Ormsby-Gore admitted that a virtual armistice existed in Palestine. He deplored all military activities, except defensive or retaliatory, on the ground the Government wished tranquillity during the Royal Commission investigation.
Col. Wedgwood urged the disarming of lawbreakers. He asked if martial law would be used if necessary to disarm the rebels. The Colonial Secretary replied that no question had arisen of delegating further powers to Lieut. Gen. John G. Dill, commander-in-chief of the British forces in the Holy Land.