London (Feb. 22)
The British Government has decided to re-admit to Palestine all Jews who had been deported as illegal immigrants to the island of Mauritius, it was announced yesterday by Colonial Minister Oliver Stanley. He added that he could not promise when the Jewish internees will be transferred from Mouritius to Palestine “in view of formidable transport difficulties.”
Speaking in the House of Commons, the Colonial Minister rejected the demand by some members of Parliament that compensation be paid to the survivors of the “Patria”, the ship which sank in Haifa harbor with the loss of several hundred Jewish refugees, after they were forbidden to land in Palestine. The Minister said that payment of such compensation would be an imposition upon the British tax payers. If the survivors of the vessel, who are now in Palestine, are destitute, it is a terrible indictment against the Palestine Jewish community, he argued.
The Colonial Minister also replied to questions regarding the methods of the Palestine police in carrying out arbitrary arrests and deportations. “The recent outrages which culminated in the Killing of Lond Moyne necessitated the most drastic police measures in order to suppress terrorism, including the detention of terrorist suspects,” he said. The cases of the arrested persons are periodically reviewed by a committee which advises on whether the prisoners should be released or not, he added. Another committee is at present inspecting the camp where the deportees are being detained, he announced.