Colonial Secretary Tells Commons Palestine Raids Justified by Results Obtained

Colonial Secretary George Hall told the House of Commons today that the British raid on the Jewish Agency and the arrest of its members on the Sabbath was justified by the results obtained.

Hall’s statement came in reply to a question by Squadron Leader Samuel Segal, Labor, who asked the Colonial Secretary whether he was aware that this “debasing” of religious and administrative standards could be justified in time of war only and that no action by the British Government could have done more to convince Palestine Jews that they were engaged in a “body war.” Hall replied that it was necessary to carry out the action “with the least possible inconvenience” and to leave the matter in the hands of the local authorities who were most competent to make a judgment.

Laborite Sydney S. Silverman said that as the local authorities had picked on an entirely unsuitable time for their raids the House should be given information why the early hours of Saturday were chosen. Hall declined, adding that no explanation had been called for from Palestine.

To another query by Segal as to what damage had been done at Yagour during searches for arms, Hall said that as far as he has been informed 25 vines were damaged. He added that troops had discovered in 35 caches, 92 mortars of two-inch caliber, 5,267 mortar bombs, 5,016 grenades, ten machine guns, 321 rifles, 1,404 magazines and 420,000 rounds of ammunition.

Hall promised another questioner he would ask for a report from Palestine on the number of leaders of the Jewish trade unions and Socialist Party and of the cooperative societies who were arrested.

Both the Conservative London Times and the liberal Manchester Guardian today propose partition as the best solution of the Palestine problem. The two papers praise Dr. Chaim Weizmann for his attempt to restrain the Jews of Palestine.

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