Bill to Give Europe’s Jews Palestinian Status Advances in Commons

A bill to extend Palestinian citizenship to Jews in Europe unable to go to the Holy Land passed its first reading in the House of Commons today by a vote of 145 to 144, with the Speaker casting the deciding vote.

The bill to extend to the Jews extra-territorial nationality in the British mandated territory was introduced under the ten-minute rule by Commander Oliver Locker-Lampson, Conservative, who declared its purpose was to “give the potentially persecuted Jew in Europe the chance, if he wishes, of becoming a Palestinian subject.”

“Why should not the Jews of Poland who cannot go to Palestine be able to take up extra-territorial citizenship?” he declared. “They would then become what the Jews are in Palestine — protected persons under the mandate, freemen of a State.”

Replying to Commander Locker-Lampson, Brigadier-General H. Clifton Brown, also a Conservative, warned that giving Jews everywhere Palestine nationality “would enflame all the fires of patriotism among the Mohammedans.” He asserted that the House had no Jurisdiction to adopt such a law for a mandated territory, adding that to enact it would be to add to Arab fears without doing the Jews the slightest good.

In introducing his bill, Commander Locker-Lampson assailed the British Government’s policy on Palestine, and also excoriated Chancellor Hitler as “the great big bully of Europe” who only yesterday “continued his career of spoliation.”

The German dictator has brought “under the iron heel” another seven million people through the Austro-German Anschluss, the anti-Nazi member said, and “in doing so has intensified the terrible problem of Jewry the world over.”

Referring to Dr. Sigmund Freud, noted psychologist who is reported under house arrest in Vienna, Commander Locker-Lampson declared that “despite his being old and dying, the Nazi monsters deprived him of his liberty.”

The Austro-German Anschluss also formed the subject of a demand by Arthur Henderson that the British Government make representations to the Reich Government declaring Britain would not accept any differentiation between “Aryan” and “non-Aryan” holders of British passports. Richard Austen Butler, Parliamentary Under-secretary for Foreign Affairs, stated he had been informed that no formalities were required for British visitors wishing to leave Austria unless they were resident in Austria. He added that he would make further inquiries.

Mr. Butler announced in Commons yesterday that the British Government intends to propose to the League of Nations Council at its next session that it consider the desirability of extending authority of the League High Commission for Refugees from Germany to apply to refugees from Austria.

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