British Government Rejects Jewish Appeal for Creation of Home Guard in Palestine

The British Government today rejected the appeal voiced yesterday by the Jewish Agency for Palestine asking for the establishment of a Home Guard of 40,000 to 50,000 Palestinian Jews for the purpose of “defending their families and their national home.” The appeal was made in view of the danger which Palestine faces as a result of the increased threat of the Nazi armies on the Egyptian front.

Answering a barrage of questions concerning the defense and safety of Palestine, Harold MacMillan, British Under-Secretary for Colonies, announced that the Government does not intend to create a Home Guard in Palestine. The police in the Palestine settlements, the special police and the additional supernumerary policemen “are regarded in Palestine as fulfilling functions analogous to those fulfilled by the Home Guard in Britain,” he said.

RECRUITMENT INTO VOLUNTEER FORCE IS LIMITED BECAUSE OF LACK OF EQUIPMENT

“Are we to understand that the Palestine Government is affording every facility to the people in Palestine to defend their country?” the British Colonial Under-Secretary was asked by David Adams, Laborite member of Parliament.

“Yes,” MacMillan replied. He explained that the Palestine volunteer force is open to Britons, Jews and Arabs who wish to assist the military forces in all measures required for the prosecution of the war and for the maintenance of internal security. He added, however, that the recruitment of the volunteer force in Palestine is limited by available equipment and instructors.

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