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Sharp Debate in Commons over Admitting Pro-axis Arabs into Palestine

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A demand by Major Victor Cazalet, Conservative, for further information concerning the admission of alleged anti-British Arabs, now in Iraq and Iran, into Palestine, precipitated an acrimonious debate in the House of Commons today.

Under-Secretary for Colonies Harold MacMillan, evading Major Cazalet’s query, stated that he would ask the High Commissioner for Palestine, Sir Harold MacMichael, to report if particulars had been submitted concerning the admission of such Arabs. The Earl of Winterton, Conservative, who is known for his pro-Arab sympathies, interrupted the debate to charge that Commons was biased against the Arabs. He urged the Under-Secretary to state that Arabs were free to return to Palestine unless they had been previously barred on the grounds of sedition. MacMillan acceded to Winterton’s request.

Oliver Locker-Lampson, Conservative, then asked MacMillan, “Where is the Grand Mufti?” Several members of the House shouted in reply, “Still in Berlin.”

Replying to Den Frankel, Laborite, who expressed the fear that recently announced restrictions on use of Palestine surface waters will hinder expansion of agricultural production, the Under-Secretary stated that Colonial Minister Lord Cranborne had communicated with the High Commissioner concerning postponement of these restrictions.

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