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Title: British speeches of the day
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Title: British speeches of the day
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Full Text


V.4 6

HOUSE OF COMMONS, July 3, 1946 [Extracts]

The Minister of Food (Rt. Hon. John Strachey): The purpose of this
Debate is to afford the Government the opportunity of telling the Com-
mittee, as fully as we can, the reasons which have necessitated the decision
to ration bread. The very short answer to the question implied in that,
is that we are rationing bread because we are short of wheat. This after-
noon I shall attempt to describe the extent and character of that shortage,
and, in that connection, deal with the question of United Kingdom stocks
of wheat. Then I shall attempt to tell the Committee why that shortage
as thus defined exists, and that will take me to the question of world stocks,
or rather, as I think it is better put, of the world balance of wheat between
the exporting and importing countries. I shall try to deal with that sub-
ject under the two heads of the crop year 1945-46 just coming to a close
and about which we really know, and what we can foresee of the crop year
1946-47, which opens at the end of next month.
I come at once to the vexed question of the publication of the United
Kingdom's stocks of particular foodstuffs. It will be well within the recol-
lection of the Committee that successive Ministers of Food have refused
publication of the stocks. [HON. MEMBERS: "During war time."] Since
the war, too, they have done it under the advice of the most experienced
procurement officers in these divisions, most of them men of long, practical
commercial experience-the very men whose advice we are often enjoined
by hon. Members opposite to heed most strongly. Rightly or wrongly,
they are firmly of the opinion that it would cost this country millions of
pounds if we revealed, from week to week or month to month, the exact
size of our stocks of particular foodstuffs. I think I may say of my prede-
cessors that they surely would have undertaken a very heavy responsibility
if to suit their political convenience-as undoubtedly it would have-they
had gone against that advice.
But I think that wheat stocks today are a very special case. They are,
obviously, of the utmost moment to all of us. Wheat is a particularly simple
homogeneous commodity, in which questions of the quality and types of
the commodity matter very little, and therefore, without committing myself
to any precedent either in stocks of other foodstuffs, or in giving wheat
stocks from week to week or month to month, I propose to give the Com-
mittee a picture of our wheat and flour position as it will be in the immedi-
ate future, because that, of course, is the immediate proximate cause of
our decision to ration bread. First, I must explain that there is no stock
whatever in the sense of there being some great reserve store of wheat lying
idle somewhere in the country. There is only the stock which is going
through what our American friends call the pipeline from the ship as it
arrives in one of our ports to the counter of the baker's shop in its final
form as the loaf. The figures I am about to give refer to the supply in
motion through that pipeline, and to nothing else, because there is nothing
else to refer to.

British Speeches of the Day [Mn. TRBACHEY]
The Government decided to ration bread because this pipeline of sup-
plies-its upper reaches in the form of wheat, and its lower reaches, after the
point of the mill, in the form of flour-so far as we are able to foresee-I
will come to all the qualifications in a moment-at the end of August will
be in the following position. There will be in ships in our ports, in barges,
coasters and warehouses in the ports, 140,000 tons of wheat. There will be
80,000 tons in transit to the mills from the warehouses, barges, etc. Actu-
ally in the mills themselves, being milled, there will be 280,000 tons. That
adds up to half a million tons. Issuing from the mills in the later part of
the pipeline, passing down from the mills to the bakers' shops, the whole-
sale depots and the like, there will be some 300,000 tons of flour. We
must always remember that, roughly speaking again, 100,000 tons of wheat
or flour is the week's supply in this country. Therefore, one might sup-
pose, since that is true, that these figures will be eight weeks' supply of
wheat or flour in the country, but I must warn the Committee most seri-
ously that they would be entirely deluding themselves if they thought that
the country's grain supply would continue for eight weeks after the end
of August at that level, without new supplies coming in. A breakdown
would occur very much before eight weeks.

Just exactly at what point that breakdown would occur is a matter of
opinion. Stocks never have reached that breaking point, and none of the
experts in my Department is prepared to say that it would occur when the
stock was at 700,000, 600,000 tons or any particular figure, but there is
not the slightest doubt that somewhere below the figure of 800,000 tons-
not very far-there would come a point where the distribution system of
the country, first of the wheat and then of the flour after it had been milled,
would begin to creak and groan, and, finally, break down.
In this or that district, there would be dislocation; there would be a
temporary bread shortage, which would have to be put right by rushing
supplies to that area from some other area and then, if the supplies sank
lower, there would be increasingly grave breakdowns in the supply of
bread to the community. So, the pipeline of 800,000 tons of wheat and
flour which we anticipate-on certain assumptions which I will give in a
moment-we shall have in hand at the end of August will be, we believe,
enough to satisfy, with certainty, the bread supply of the country if we
institute a system of bread rationing. But not without it, because one of
the most important considerations about rationing-as I have ventured to
point out to the Committee and to the House on several former occasions
-is not merely the saving which it gives you, but also the fact that it en-
ables you to operate if you have to do so-you will not do it unless you
have to-with a considerably smaller amount in your pipeline. That is,
perhaps, the most important of the considerations which have animated us.
We believe that the discussion on what is the exact level of safety, to
which that pipeline should be allowed to drop without bread rationing is
a somewhat academic one. Our greatest experts strongly believe that it

Bread Rationing
would be reckless to let it drop below that level without bread rationing.
In fact, they believe that, steadily maintained, the minimum safe figure is
750,000 tons of wheat and 300,000 tons of flour. It may be that they have
been over-cautious. I think it possible that they have been over-cautious,
but it seems to me to be going far to suggest that it is safe to assume that
they have been over 200,000 tons over-cautious, and, therefore, I believe
that it would be a great responsibility to overrule their opinion in this
Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur Salter (Independent): Could the Minister com-
pare the figures he has now given, with the average stocks in pre-war years
at the same season of the year?
Mr. Strachey: I am perfectly willing to do that; the difficulty is that
what were our pre-war stocks in the pipeline is itself a matter of acute
controversy. There were over a million tons of wheat and flour but
whether that has any element of reserve in it is again a matter of acute
controversy. As to what they were if you go back 10 or 15 years before the
war, again the authorities in the grain trade differ very strongly amongst
themselves, but the actual figures we have got are over a million tons.
I warn the Committee in that connection, that the grain trade and the
milling industry operating at that time naturally and rightly kept its stock
of wheat and flour to the minimum, because every extra ton cost it money.
Obviously it was kept down to the minimum figure possible.
Now I come to the assumptions on which the estimate I have given,
the forecast-and it can be no more than a forecast-that our stock of wheat
will be 500,000 tons and of flour 300,000 tons, as at the end of August next,
is based. The first assumption is that the United States will, in fact, de-
liver to us the whole of the 456,000 tons of wheat which repays the loan
of 200,000 tons, and makes good the inability of our Canadian friends to
supply us with their usual quantities of wheat during the next two months.
That arrangement was, as the Committee knows, made by my right hon.
Friend the Lord President of the Council, and I think that when the bal-
ance sheet is finally cast of these transactions this summer, the whole House
of Commons and the whole nation will have the greatest cause to be thank-
ful to him for that arrangement which he made in Washington. In my
recent visit to Washington, I formed the impression that the United States
Government were entirely determined to send us, if it is in their physical
capacity to do so, that sum of wheat during the next three months. I
have no doubt whatever of the United States Administration's intentions
to do that; but as to their ability to do that-well, just before my recent
visit to the United States, a maritime strike of the dockers and the seamen
of the United States actually broke out and was only settled a few hours
after it had broken out. Can we have any guarantee that such a thing
will not happen again? We may say that that strike is over, but, as we
know, the United States have resorted to a policy which is very warmly
advocated in some quarters in this country: they have just removed all
price controls. We may be told that even if this does result in new labor

British Speeches of the Day [MB. STRACHEY]
disputes, that would not really mean that we have forfeited any wheat,
that it would only delay the arrival of wheat in this country. But a delay
in the arrival of wheat in the next three months in this country might be
a disastrous thing for this country if we did not take the great precau-
tionary measure which we are taking of rationing bread.
I would add on that subject of the ability of the United States-not
their intentions-that there comes this morning the news that because of
the removal of all those price controls in the United States, the United
States Government this morning ceased buying wheat. That need not
affect us immediately; they have already very considerable stocks in hand;
but of course it does depend on the action of Congress-what action it takes
about substituting some new price control mechanism, or what other meas-
ures they may like to take-whether there is to be any interruption in that
very massive and well organized program of bulk export of wheat which
is going on in the United States. Therefore, I would say that, on that
first assumption, to ignore it and to assume that we should have that 800,-
000 tons at the end of August, and, therefore, to postpone any decision
on bread rationing, would be to gamble on American labor relations and
to gamble on the course of things in Congress in the next few weeks.
Now, I come to the second assumption on which this is based. The
second assumption of the 800,000 tons stock is that we shall receive from
our own harvest during August 75,000 tons and during September 250,000
tons. The 75,000 tons is, of course, alone relevant to the stock figure at
the end of August, but the other figure is very relevant in our minds, be-
cause there is no immediate prospect of any very rapid rise in that stock
during September. Therefore, while in some respects the harvest prospects,
I am informed, are good in this country, the harvest is not yet reached,
and to gamble on the vagaries of the British climate during the next two
months would, I think, be still more rash. Therefore, to postpone again
our decision to ration would again be to gamble on all going well with
our own harvest which, though it promises well at the moment, is already
running some three weeks late of its normal period.
I come to the third assumption on which these stocks are based-some-
what more indirect-and that is the Canadian crop prospect. This is in
the long run by far the most important assumption of all, though it does
not immediately affect to a great extent our August figure, because the
Canadians have almost run their elevator stocks down to nothing, and can
send us comparatively small amounts in any case during the next two
But their ability to send even these small but very important amounts
in our pipeline position depends to a considerable extent on the new crop
which their farmers see, because the amount they release of the last rem-
nants of the old crop will logically depend on the new crop they see com-
ing forward. If we look a little further forward, the question of the size
of the new Canadian crop will be the dominant factor in our prospects

Bread Rationing
of wheat supplies in the autumn, and also beyond the August point which
I have taken. That must be the relevant consideration in our minds.
Although the Canadian crop promises very much better than it did a few
weeks ago, it has by no means passed the danger point yet. The Canadian
Government do not make their first estimate of that crop for two weeks
more. There may be scorching suns on the prairies and early frosts in
August. The crop has several dangers to face yet. Once again, to gamble
on any flinching from the rationing of bread at the moment would be to
gamble on the third factor going right, the weather on the Canadian
If I may sum it up, we are rationing bread because we cannot depend
on "might be's" and "ifs" in our forecasts. If all these assumptions-I say
this perfectly frankly to the Committee-and some others I am going to
mention, turn out to be well justified, if things turn out to be even better
than those estimates, possibly we might scrape through without rationing.
But what a wholly unjustifiable risk that would be to take with the food
of the people I say for myself and, I know, for every one of my colleagues,
that we just will not risk it-and that is flat. I say to the Leader of the
Opposition, who affected to think last week that the Government were
doing this for some obscure reasons of their own and through no necessity
-I say in justice to him, that if he was in our place here, he would do the
same as we are doing, because in office, and only in office, the right hon.
Gentleman is a responsible person.
There is a further uncertainty, when we come on to the period of the
autumn. In the present situation acute shortage will undoubtedly exist
in animal feeding-stuffs. If we do not ration wheat and flour, a good deal
of wheat and flour will find its way, not to human consumption, but to
animal consumption. That, again, is a risk which, if we have no control
of the off-take, is a very serious one to take. In that connection, I would
again like to take issue with the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the
Opposition, who alleged categorically in the House last week that our
ability to make a small increase in the meat ration of 2d. a week, which I
announced, was due to the fact that it was the Government's policy to
slaughter our herds in the autumn. . .
That is not the Government's policy. I beg the right hon. Gentleman's
pardon if I misquoted him, but in any case allow me to say that I have
looked into the figures since then most carefully. Not only is it not our
policy to increase the slaughter of herds in this country, but the figures
on which the increase in the meat ration has been made are based entirely
on our present stock of meat, and are due to more favorable imports of
meat from abroad. In our estimates we hope and believe that there will
be no appreciable increase in the slaughter of herds during this autumn.
I now come to the last of the imponderables which must be in our
minds, when we have to take a grave decision of this kind. That is our
inescapable international obligations. I wish to go into this problem fully,

British Speeches of the Day [MR. STRACHEY]
and to state fully to the Committee exactly what this country has done to
help the semi-starving countries of the world and also to say why His
Majesty's Government now believe that we have come to the end of our
ability to help any more in that direction out of our own meagre resources.
Since November, 1945, we have sent, or diverted, the following amounts of
foodstuffs to the following countries: 60,000 tons to India-these are cereals,
mostly wheat; 60,000 tons through UNRRA to Italy, Poland, Greece and
Yugoslavia; 60,000 tons to Germany; 10,000 tons to South Africa; and 10,000
tons to Belgium. All this tonnage was lent, and will be replaced by the
United States Government in the figures I quoted just now to the Com-
mittee. In addition to that, we have sent to the British zone in Germany
since the same date, 192,000 tons of wheat, 109,000 tons of flour, 105,000
tons of barley and 132,400 tons of potatoes. As the Committee will know,
these latter amounts add up to just over 400,000 tons of cereals and these
have been sent as a direct contribution from this country to the fighting
of famine in the world. . .
If anyone thinks, on the other hand, that the Government have sent
too much of our resources to help the rest of the world, then remember
that the Government would have sent much more if they had not resisted
very strong pressure from many parts of the House. The sending of these
amounts to India and Western Europe has been a factor-not the main
factor, but undoubtedly a factor-in the present decision to ration our own
bread. For my part, I believe that, faced with all the circumstances of
the past nine months, the Government were fully justified in sending those
amounts, and I 'am proud to be a citizen of a country that has made a
contribution like that. Equally, I say once more, that those figures show
what this country has done, and that it has reached the limit of what it
can do in that respect.

Next I want to deal with the question of the real condition of nutrition
in the countries to which these supplies are sent. Above all, I think I
ought to deal-and it is undoubtedly the most difficult from the psycho-
logical and political standpoint-with the country which, for our sins, is
our own most direct responsibility, the situation in the British zone in
Hon. Members: What sins?
Mr. Strachey: Surely hon. Gentlemen know what I mean by that.
Surely they realize it seems very hard for this country to be saddled with
the responsibility of feeding 20 million of our ex-enemies. [An HON. MEM-
BER: "Not our sins."] I refer to the British zone in Germany, not because
I have any particular concern with the feeding of Germans. I admit frankly
that I am far more concerned with the feeding of our Allies, with the
standard of nutrition in India, France, Holland, Greece, Yugoslavia, and
many other Allied countries. I refer to the British zone because our direct
responsibility is there, and for another reason which should not escape us.
That is, that the British zone in Germany contains the Ruhr, and the
Ruhr is the industrial and raw material heart of Europe. Whether we

Bread Rationing
like it or not, the industrial and economic life, and the prospect of re-
covery, of all Western Europe depends upon the Ruhr. Ask any French-
man what he feels about the necessity of coal production in the Ruhr, any
Italian, any Western European-they will not fail to tell you of the para-
mount importance, not merely to the Germans in the Ruhr or any part
of Germany, but to the whole of the peoples of Western Europe, that there
should be no breakdown in the situation in Western Germany. ...
In this vital matter for us, we have, on a number of occasions, sent our
greatest expert on nutrition, Sir Jack Drummond, and his last tour took
place in May last. We send him to the British zone in Germany, and he
investigates, with his expert knowledge, in the utmost detail, what is the
real standard of nutrition there and what is happening there. If the Com-
mittee will bear with me, I should like to read several extracts from his
last report, that is, the report which he furnished, together with his col-
leagues, Inspector General Coulon of France, and Colonel Wilson of the
United States, on their investigation of conditions in Germany about six
weeks ago.
It begins by saying that children up to six years of age are "fairly all
right" in the British and United States zones. Of children from six to 18
years of age, it reads:
"The caloric deficiency of the rations and of total food consumption of these
groups is reflected in retarded or arrested growth. Children of these groups are
generally under weight; indeed, a proportion is losing weight."
As to adults, the report says:
"The adult population is now losing weight. It is especially serious among the
old and others who cannot readily supplement their rations. Famine cedema, which
was seen immediately after occupation, but which had almost disappeared by the
end of January, reappeared in many urban areas and now tends to be increasingly
prevalent. The high incidence of famine cedema among civilian internees kept on
rations providing no more than 1,200 calories is a clear indication of what will soon
be seen among the population who are unable to supplement their rations to a
significant extent. Already the inmates of certain asylums, maintained on the basic
ration, are starving.
Workers: The caloric levels of the rations recommended for these groups by the
Combined Committee have never been met, much less their full energy needs. Satis-
factory industrial production has been, therefore, out of the question. The ration
auts have made the position very much more serious and they will, unquestionably,
adversely affect the work of Germans for the Military Government and towards re-
habilitation. The current rations, even supplemented by meals or unrationed sup-
plies, will cause reduced production, decline of physical strength, increased absentee-
ism and discontent."
The Committee must remember that what we are aiming to do, our
highest aim, is merely to maintain the conditions therein described by Sir
Jack Drummond, that is, the maintenance of the 1,000 calorie ration.

I should like to give the figures, in the clearest detail I can, of what
is needed to maintain today-no more than maintain-the caloric level of
1,000 calories, which produces the conditions which I have here described.
We estimate that in addition to the very utmost that we can do by way
of procuring grain for the Western zone from the Argentine, or anywhere
else, the United States will have to ship at the very least 120,000 tons of

British Speeches of the Day [MR. STRACHEYT
wheat to the British zone in each of the next three months if that 1,000
calorie ration is to be maintained. During the most valuable visit to the
United States of my right hon. Friend the Lord President of the Council-
[Laughter.] I shudder to think what the position of this country would be
if he had not undertaken that mission, and those who laugh at what he
did and what he secured there, simply prove their ignorance of the facts.
I have already said what he secured in relation to this country. ... .
With regard to the Western zone in Germany, he secured that the zone
should be given the right to import up to a certain figure, but the further
question of the United States share in that import-how much of it should
come from the United States-was left open. Let me say quite frankly that
during my own visit to the United States last week I found that the United
States authorities were much less definite about their willingness to ship
that 120,000 tons a month for the next three months to the British zone
in Germany, that they were much more hesitant about committing them-
selves finally to that, than they were in their determination to send 450,000
tons to us over the same period. That, of course, sounds gratifying and
flattering to us, because it reflects the greater concern which the United
States authorities have for the British than for the German people.
[Laughter.] Hon. Members really should not laugh too soon, because they
are, apparently, just like the United States authorities. They fail to realize
the very serious consequences, indirectly, to us, if the United States Gov-
ernment should fail to ship that 120,000 tons to Germany. It is just that
mood, which I encountered-perhaps among the less responsible members
of the United States Administration-which makes so difficult the task of
securing the imports which alone can save the situation as a whole.
If that 120,000 tons a month does not go to the British zone in Ger-
many, let there be no mistake about it, there will be a fatal breakdown in
the 1,000 calorie ration which is now being distributed there. There would
be from that breakdown, we must all agree, incalculable political and
social consequences throughout Western Europe, quite apart from the
human consequences. It is true that I found in Washington that there
was a misunderstanding about a matter of some coarse grain which we
hoped to import from the Argentine and Brazil. The United States au-
thorities, not without some justification, thought that we were attempting
to use for animal food in this country the whole of this import of coarse
grain, and trying to conceal the amount of it from them. I despatched the
very fullest statement of the facts yesterday by telegram to the United
States and I believe that that misunderstanding will be cleared up. There-
fore, I have every hope and expectation that the United States Government,
when they are fully seized of the whole situation, will supply that 120,000
tons a month over the next three months to the British zone in Germany.
Mr. Beverley Baxter (Conservative): Is there any hope of getting
any supplies from Russia? I have great sympathy with what the right hon.
Gentleman is saying about Germany because I have just been there. I
ask quite sincerely is there any prospect of Russia shipping from her zone
into our zone in Germany?

Bread Rationing
Mr. Strachey: I know of no such prospect. [An HON. MEMBER: "Why
not?"] If the hon. Member can get any grain out of Russia, I wish him
luck. This is a matter of great importance to the future of this country,
and to the future of the whole of Western Europe.
I would say I have every confidence that the United States Govern-
ment will ship that 120,000 tons per month to the British zone in Ger-
many, but I should like the Committee to face the facts now of what will
happen if the United States Government are unwilling or unable to ship
those amounts to the British zone. [Interruption.] I hope hon. Members
will take some interest in this question. It is of some considerable im-
portance ....
I must, with the permission of the Committee, go back over what I
have said, because it is a matter of the utmost importance outside this
House and I am just about to make a declaration which is of great im-
portance, and not only in this country. It is this: I ask the Committee to
face now the issue of what will happen if the United States authorities are
unwilling or unable to ship 120,000 tons of wheat during each of the next
three months to the British zone in Germany. If that happens, the ration
of 1,000 calories in the British zone in Germany will break down and will
not be honored. I hereby declare on behalf of His Majesty's Government
that we cannot, after having rationed our own bread for our own people,
divert further stocks from this country to supplement that ration in the
Western zone of Germany.
The Leader of the Opposition (Rt. Hon. Winston Churchill): When
is the new harvest in Germany?
Mr. Strachey: The new harvest will end in Germany, according to the
weather, in August and September, as here. It is over July, August, and
September that we are concerned with the matter. I believe it is impos-
sible for us to say, at any rate with anything like the same assurance, that
we were doing right and that we could make no further contribution, until
and unless we were driven to the point where we had to take the hard and
grievous step of rationing our own bread. But we have come to that point,
and therefore I can say and do say, with the full authorization of the Prime
"Minister, that we cannot go further and divert more of our own supplies
to the maintenance of the ration scale in the Western zone of Germany.
Therefore I say to our American friends-and they are our staunch friends
-that if the worst happens in the British zone in Germany, and the 1,000
calorie ration breaks down, then it must be for the United States Govern-
ment to decide whether they will face the incalculable political and social
consequences not only to Germany but to the whole of Western Europe
which that breakdown would occasion. I ask them to consider in time
whether it is not a paramount interest of ours, of theirs, and of the whole
world, that they should maintain at any rate that 1,000 calorie ration scale
in the British zone in Germany. We have done our utmost to maintain it.
Doing that utmost has contributed to the necessity of rationing our own
bread, and we now feel it necessary to say to our American friends in time,
in advance, so that they shall have notice of it, that we can do no more.

British Speeches of the Day ([M. STRACHEYT
I have now reviewed the immediate considerations which have caused
the Government to take this hard decision to ration bread. I will review
them. There is the possible inability of the United States Government to
ship the programmed quantity of wheat to the United Kingdom. There
is the speed, dependent upon our weather, with which we can gather our
own harvest, and there is the uncertainty of the Canadian crop prospect.
Then, going into the intermediate term, after the end of August, there is
the temptation, which undoubtedly will exist, to use flour or even bread
for the feeding of animals instead of human beings in this country. There
is the risk, which has happened time after time over the past year, that we
should be called upon once again to make good some international de-
ficiency. We should put ourselves in an impregnable position to be able
to say we had done our utmost and could not go further in that direction.
Rationing is, therefore, as I have ventured to say to the Committee several
times, a safety measure, an insurance policy against a series of risks which
I have endeavored to describe to the Committee, an insurance policy which
no responsible Government in these circumstances could possibly fail to
take, in order to ensure the safety of the supply of the basic foodstuff of
this country.
The right hon. Gentleman the Leader pf the Opposition again affected
to think, when I put these points to him last week, that there was nothing
in all this, but that the Government were rationing bread almost, it seemed,
out of spite. Does he really suppose that any Government in the world
would do such a thing as to ration bread, unless there was the most com-
plete neccessity to do so, or does he suppose that any Government would
not improve the ration scales if they could, and at the first moment that
they could, and would not abolish the whole rationing system at the very
earliest moment it could? . .
I now come to the wider picture of how that situation has arisen, the
world stock position, and the world balance between exporting and im-
porting countries in wheat, for it is only in that way that we can find the
answer to the question of why a squeeze is upon us, and almost every
other country, in the field of wheat. Taking the old crop year which is
coming to an end, the four great exporting wheat countries-and there are
only four-Canada, the United States, Argentina and Australia-had an
exportable surplus of 24 million tons. [HON. MEMBER: "Russia."] Russia
certainly did not have an exportable surplus. I am talking of the current
crop year. The importing countries needed 32 million tons. The export-
ing countries had 24 million tons to export; the importing countries needed
32 million tons. Therefore, there was a deficit of 8 million tons, and that
is why, all through the latter half of this crop year, there has been this
squeeze upon every importing country. This situation did not arise, let
me point out, because the exporting countries had unusually little. On
the contrary, they had more than usual. It was because the importing'
countries had vastly greater needs than usual. Take the figures for Europe.
Last year, Europe harvested 31 million tons of wheat. In the year before,

Bread Rationing
1944, she harvested 46 million tons, and, before the war, her average harvest
was 59 million tons. There, you have the record of the catastrophic con-
sequences, inevitable and obvious, of the war, and, above all, of the last
desperate year of the war in Western Europe.
Rt. Hon. R. S. Hudson (Conservative): What does the right hon.
Gentleman mean by Europe? Is he merely talking about Western Europe,
or does he include Hungary and Rumania?
Mr. Strachey: Europe outside the pre-war borders of the U.S.S.R. The
result was that Europe needed to import 152 million tons of wheat in
order to live, compared with only 38 million tons before the war. But
that was not all. In the Far East, the situation was almost as bad. The
Far East needed to import, during this crop year, 11 million tons in order
to live, compared with 2 million tons of wheat before the war. It was this
enormous emergency demand for wheat during this crop year which was
the basic cause of the world's wheat difficulties. In Europe, it is obvious
how it arose-the dislocation and devastation of war. In Asia, it arose,
not only from those causes, but, first, by the cutting-off by the Japanese
occupation and by the devastating effects of it, the cutting-off of the vast
Burma rice surplus from India. That directly affected the wheat situ-
ation, because India was thrown back on the substitution of wheat. The
dislocation of war, rather more far-reaching than the actual physical devas-
tation, extended into the producing countries, and, indeed, to the two
great Southern producing countries, Australia and Argentine. There, the
dislocatory effects affected the actual amount they had to export, and they
would have had still more-exporting countries as a whole-but for the
fact that, in the case of the Argentine, the acreage was limited because
there had been no ships to take the crops if they had been planted. In
Australia, the same reason applied, with the additional reason that their
man power was devoted to the war. ...
I would say that, in Great Britain today, in her wheat production, we
are going back to our hard-pressed acres and we are going to ask them
again to'produce a very large acreage of wheat. Regarding the contribu-
tion which we have made to fighting the world famine, the figures of which
I have given, I would say that this country has made a contribution second
to none towards relieving that famine, and I say that we cannot make
further sacrifices. On the contrary, as one of the great bastions of free-
dom and one of the great democracies in this world, we confidentially call
on our friends and our Allies to assist us in our situation today.
I now come to the world crop year that is ahead of us-the harvest of
1946-47. Of course, nothing would be easier than to paint a rosy, opti-
mistic picture of what is going to happen in the next year. The prospects
do look better; there is a prospect of improved crops. In North America
and Canada the crop in some ways looks good, although it looks late, but
these crops are not yet harvested, and I do ask the Committee not to count
their bushels of grain before they are in the elevator. In the case of two
of the most important exporters, Australia and the Argentine, the crops

British Speeches of the Day [MR. STRACHEY]
are not only not yet harvested, but not yet planted, and that is also true
of some of the staple crops in Asia.
There is one other important factor which is very often forgotten when
we hear very optimistic estimates of what the situation is going to be next
year. That is the factor of the fall in the stocks of wheat in the great
exporting countries. The great exporters started the last crop year, 1945-46,
with great stocks. They had no less than 22,000,000 tons of wheat in stock,
and, it should be remembered, their total exports were only 24,000,000
-tons. This year, their carry-over stocks from one crop year to another will
be down to 11,000,000 tons, which is about the normal pre-war average,
and cannot, in practice, we are informed, be cut down much lower. There-
fore, we start the new crop year with an adverse factor of 11,000,000 tons
in the balance sheet, the difference between the old carry-over and the
new carry-over, and all our hopes for better harvests in Europe, all our
hopes for no more droughts in Asia, all our hopes for equal or better crops
in Canada and North America, all our hopes of larger crops and larger
acreages in the Southern Hemisphere. All these are substantial hopes, but
these countries all have to make up that missing 11,000,000 tons before they
can begin to improve the balance of the situation.
In this connection, I want to refer to a speech by ex-President Hoover
recently.... The press have suggested that Mr. Hoover said that the grain
gap had been closed, and that everything would be all right for the future,
I find that what he did say was that, on the basis of certain assumptions
which I will give in a moment in his own words, the gap in the old crop
year, that which closes in a few weeks' time, at the end of July, had been
closed on the basis of these assumptions. These are his own words:
"On the basis of our determination to hold the lowest of them"-
that is, all the peoples of the world-
"-at the level of 1,500 to 1,700 calories per person."
For, as he truly continued:
"This would at least prevent mass starvation."
So that, as ex-President Hoover said, even if the old crop year which is
just closing was on the basis-as he did not fail to point-out-of these
dreadfully low standards of 1,500 to 1,700 calorie ration for the lowest
and worst fed of the populations, we could just squeeze through in the
next few weeks. On the basis of that, and of all the efforts which he
specifically mentioned the British Government have made, and of all that
has been done, we might just reach the next harvest on that basis. What
did he say about the next crop year? He very wisely did not make any
estimate of what the balance would be, but he did give this wise and
cautious forecast. He said, and I will quote his words:
"It must not, however, be thought that our trouble is over. The war-devastated
areas will not have fully recovered their grain crops nor have restored their flocks
and herds during the next year. The famine will linger in China and India until
November when the rice crop comes. The food situation of the world in the next
year will not be easy, but next year, in my view, will not be one of such dreadful
crisis as the one which we are in now."

Bread Rationing
That was ex-President Hoover on the prospect of the next crop year.
I think we shall find that the people will respect a government which
prefers the safety of their bread supply to its own immediate popularity.
In any case, whatever the consequences in terms of temporary voting, we
are determined to go through with this thing because we know that it is
right, that it is necessary for the safety of the country, and we should not
be men if we were deterred from going through with it. It may be that
we shall be able to end this Measure when the immediate squeeze is over,
if all goes well. I can, of course, give no pledge of that, because I cannot
foresee how crops will turn out and how all the factors to which I have
referred will be decided. But I can give one pledge to the Committee,
and that is that we shall remove bread rationing on the very day that it
becomes possible to do so, compatible with the safety of the British people.
[House of Commons Debates]

HousE OF COMMONS, July 15, 1946

The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Rt. Hon. Hugh Dalton): The House
will, I am sure, share the satisfaction of His Majesty's Government that
the United States Congress has approved the Loan Agreement. [HON.
MEMBERS: "No."] If the Loan had not been forthcoming we should have
had to face a serious increase in the austerity which we have endured so
long. But now, though we shall still have to do without many imports
which we should be very glad to have, we can confirm the plans we have
already made for some much-needed expansion of supplies from abroad.
We shall be able to authorize my right hon. Friend the Minister of Food
to purchase foodstuffs which, if they can be obtained, will provide us with
a more varied diet. We shall also be able to carry out our intention to
arrange for more plentiful supplies of raw materials, and a limited increase
in imports of manufactured goods and, we hope, of newsprint. My right
hon. Friend the Minister of Fuel and Power will make a statement on
petrol in the course of a few days. We must keep a balance between the
various demands upon us, since we cannot yet afford to buy all that we
would like. To use a famous phrase, the Loan must be, for us, not a sofa
but a springboard. We cannot relax our efforts in production, especially
in the export trades. As soon as we can we must balance our overseas
account. The value of the Loan is that it gives us a breathing space and
new reserves of strength to accomplish this task. For this we sincerely
thank the United States, believing that they and we have a common
interest in reviving trade throughout the world, and providing good stand-
ards of living for men and women everywhere.
Mr. Oliver Stanley (Conservative): I think that everyone in the House,
whether they were in favor of or opposed to this Loan, must be glad that

British Speeches of the Day [MR. DALTON]
the long-drawn-out debates have come to an end. On behalf of those who,
like myself, believe that but for the Loan this country might well have
faced economic chaos, may I say how glad we are that it has come, and
how glad we are to hear the right hon. Gentleman repeat the phrase of my
right hon. Friend the Member for Woodford (Mr. Churchill) about its
being a sofa and not a springboard. [Laughter.] I have got it the wrong
way round. Watching right hon. Gentlemen reclining on the Front Bench.
certainly put me more in mind of a sofa than of a springboard. May I ask
the right hon. Gentleman two questions arising out of this: first, does he
now propose to undertake, with the various countries, negotiations with
regard to the sterling balances, and second, what is the position now with
regard to the international negotiations on commercial agreements which
were proposed?
Mr. Dalton: I am much obliged to the right hon. Gentleman for what
he has said. With regard to the sterling balance arrangements, as the
House is aware and as is clearly set out in the Agreement-of which, for the
sake of verification, I have a copy with me in Cmd. Paper 6708-we have
agreed that we will now undertake discussions with the holders of sterling
balances, and that of course we shall do. With regard to the international
arrangements, my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade
has explained to the House on previous occasions that it will be a natural
consequence of the Loan Agreement that conferences will be held on the
conditions which have often been explained. The full conference will be
preceded by a meeting of the so called nuclear Powers, which include not
only ourselves but the other members of the Commonwealth. All that
program will now proceed....
Mr. Scollan (Labor): I would like to ask the Chancellor what proportion
do you think that you will lose of this Loan due to the removal of controls
of prices in the United States? Do you know that it is estimated that you
are likely to lose 150 million? ...
Mr. Dalton: Calculations on the subject vary according to the calculator
and according to the day of the week. Prices move about very rapidly,
and I would prefer not to give an exact answer ....
Mr. Medlicott (Liberal National): Is the right hon. Gentleman aware
that many of us feel that it would not be out of place if we were to express
our appreciation and gratitude for what is, after all, a friendly gesture
from our late Ally?
Mr. Dalton: I wholly agree; and in my statement I said that we do sin-
cerely thank our American Ally in the war, hoping that we and they, and
all those others who fought together against the grim menace that con-
fronted us, will continue united in peace.
[House of Commons Debates]

Statement by the RT. HON. ERNEST BEVIN, Secretary of State for Foreign
Affairs, in the Council of Foreign Ministers

Paris, July 10, 1946. I welcome this discussion on Germany because one
of the duties imposed on the Council of Foreign Ministers at Potsdam was
to prepare for a peace settlement with Germany to be accepted by Ger-
many when a Government is eventually established. I cannot foresee how
long that will take or the date when that situation may arise, but it is
clear that any step which we now take must be related to that ultimate
For this reason the United Kingdom delegation think it imperative that
differences between the Allies be removed in order to preserve their soli-
darity and to work out a comprehensive policy with regard to Germany.
Any failure in this would encourage the Germans to seek the opportunity
for further aggression. We are all agreed, as I gather from the speeches
which I have heard, that it is essential to keep Germany demilitarized and
to make a new German aggression impossible if we are to make the peace
of the world secure. We are also agreed that de-nazification is essential.
When a country has been fed so long on these pernicious doctrines it can-
not be an easy matter to root them out, nor can this be done in a short
space of time. The fact that Hitler, whom they worshiped, was beaten
may make the German people democratic temporarily, but we wish to
make this conversion permanent. To this end, the whole education of
German youth will have to be reorientated. We are under no illusions
and do not lightheartedly accept a superficial renunciation of fascism by a
people who can be arrogant and servile as circumstances suit. The whole
British people, who, with their Allies, have taken part in the last two wars,
attach the greatest importance not merely to the eradication of nazism but
also to the eradication of the earlier Prussian spirit which is the foundation
of German militarism. The British people regard the resurgence of Ger-
many on a military basis as the greatest possible danger to peace. It is for
this reason that His Majesty's Government have expressed their warm
approval of the American draft treaty for the continued demilitarization
and disarmament of Germany. This does not mean that if the draft were
discussed we would not have proposals to make.
There are three possible approaches to the peace of Europe: a balance
of power between States of equal strength; domination by one Power or
two blocs of Powers; united control by the Four Powers with the co-opera-
tion of their Allies. His Majesty's Government regard the last approach
as being the one likely to produce the greatest stability. Under the last
concept I hope to see the continent of Europe raised to a higher standard
of living so that it may give an even higher example of culture to the
world. It was for this reason that I told the House of Commons recently
that I would come to Paris determined to prevent a division of Europe

British Speeches of the Day [Ma. BEVIN]
and to find a way of peace for all countries. It was for this reason that I
felt that Mr. Byrnes' draft treaty provided a basis on which studies towards
this end could be promoted.
Reference has been made to the period for which this treaty should
remain in force. This is not a matter which should stand in the way of
agreement, although I have no authority to commit my Government to any
particular period. It has been said that the seeds of all future wars are
sown in the settlement of previous wars. The opposite is equally true, if
we sow the right seeds permanent peace may grow from them. It is my
constant anxiety in all these questions whether I am producing a situation
which will cost a future generation the pain of another war. Therefore, I
hope that we shall not take our decisions hurriedly. The important thing
is that we should arrange matters so that the world can enjoy peace for a
very long time. Prussia has been a continuous danger since 1864. It is
a terrible record and we must ensure that this danger is finally removed.

We approach the problem of Germany from both the short-term and
the long-term point of view. On the solution of our short-term problem
depends to a great extent the success of our long-term policy. On the
short-term basis we stick to the Potsdam Agreement provided that it is
fully carried out and that every effort is made to make it successful. One
of the Potsdam provisions, which is not at present being carried out, is
the treatment of Germany as an economic whole. On this subject the
Potsdam Agreement reads as follows:
"During the period of occupation Germany shall be treated as a single economic
unit. To this end common policies shall be established in regard to (d) import and
export programs for Germany as a whole.
Paragraph 15 of the agreement reads:
"Allied controls shall be imposed upon the German economy but only to the extent
necessary. (c) To ensure in the manner determined by the Control Council the
equitable distribution of essential commodities between the several zones so as to
produce a balanced economy throughout Germany and reduce the need for imports."
Paragraph 19 reads:
"Payment of reparations should leave enough resources to enable the German
people to subsist without external assistance. In working out the economic balance
of Germany the necessary means must be provided to pay for imports approved by
the Control Council in Germany. The proceeds of exports from current production
and stocks shall be available in the first place for payment for such imports."
Mr. Byrnes stated yesterday that the American Government were spend-
ing 200 million dollars a year on subsidizing the zone of Germany as a
result of the failure to carry out these provisions of the Potsdam Agree-
The estimate for His Majesty's Government's expenditure in their zone
of Germany in the current financial year is 320 million dollars, and we
cannot agree that this should continue. A great deal of this expenditure
is due to the fact that we are not obtaining in our zone the benefit of the
surplus indigenous resources from the other zones of Germany. It is no
secret that a great part of this surplus is being removed from Germany con-
trary to the Potsdam provisions which I have quoted.

Another example of the failure to implement the Potsdam Agreement
is the refusal of the Soviet authorities in Germany to agree to a common
import-export program for the whole of Germany.
While the Potsdam Agreement does not exclude the taking of repara-
tion from current production, it does make clear that this should not be
done in any zone until the adverse balance of payments for Germany as a
whole has been eliminated. The Prime Minister and myself had certain
doubts concerning the decision which was taken on reparation at Potsdam,
but we never imagined that this agreement would involve the imposition
of taxation on the British public. When Generalissimo Stalin appealed to
me to agree to a higher reparation, figure for the Soviet Union I was sure
that no one envisaged that the agreement would not be carried out accord-
ing to the letter and in such a way that the British public would not have
to suffer additional taxation.
I will now turn to the question of demilitarization and will revert
later to this question of economic unity. Meanwhile, I wish to refer to the
Four-Power Commission of investigation into disarmament. When, to my
very great regret, it became apparent that agreement on such an investi-
gation could not be reached, we published in Berlin an exhaustive account
of the state of disarmament and demilitarization in all aspects in the British
zone. We gave copies of this report to our Allies in Berlin and to the
press. Since then, press representatives have been freely touring our zone
to satisfy themselves as to the accuracy of our report. We have received
no comments on our report either from our Allies or from the press.
If Germany is to be prevented from rising again as a formidable mili-
tary Power, it seems to me to be essential above all things that the manu-
facture of war material in Germany should be completely prevented, as is
laid down in paragraph 11 of Section II of the Berlin Protocol which says:
"In order to eliminate Germany's war potential, the production of arms, ammuni-
tion and implements of war as well as all types of aircraft and sea-going ships shall
be prohibited and prevented."
About this time we received reports alleging that the manufacture of
war materials was being carried on in the Soviet zone. I did not accept
these reports as accurate but, in accordance with the principle adopted by
the Council of Foreign Ministers, advised that a Four-Power Commission
should investigate them and satisfy the public by refuting them. If there
are any doubts existing in people's minds, the refutation of these reports
will assist our mutual relations and the German people will not be allowed
to obtain encouragement in the knowledge that there are such reports and
that they are undenied. If an investigation is agreed by the other three
delegations, the United Kingdom delegation would be prepared to put
these reports on the table and have them investigated. I agree with Mr.
Byrnes that the Control Council in Berlin should be instructed to begin
this investigation in all its aspects.
As regards the zonal division of Germany, we have always thought that
occupation troops would have to remain for a long period in certain areas
of Germany, but we did not envisage that this would involve the perpetual

British Speeches of the Day [M. BEVIN)
maintenance of the division into zones which M. Molotov seemed to con-
template yesterday. It would be helpful to His Majesty's Government if
he would elucidate his views on this question.
If the zones remain shut off from each other, it means that, in effect,
Europe is being divided, and this will cause serious difficulties and endan-
ger peace.
As regards reparations, I agree with Mr. Byrnes' statement that we never
agreed to a figure of $10 billion as the amount of reparation which Russia
should obtain from Germany.

As regards long-term questions, I should like to deal first with the policy
of administration. We must do nothing to deviate from the principle of
international control by the Allied Control Council. Any question such
as that of coal, with which the Allied Control Council has authority to
deal, can be considered, if necessary, in special committees or discussed in
the Council of Foreign Ministers, but we insist that it is the Allied Con-
trol Council, not the Council of Foreign Ministers, which will take action
in regard to these questions. I therefore propose that the administration
should remain as it is, under the Allied Control Council, but that special
deputies should also be appointed to consider the future policy in Ger-
many with special reference to frontiers, etc., and any other measures that
it will be necessary to take when the Four Powers reach agreement. I am
prepared to take the proposals circulated yesterday as a basis for the work
of the special deputies.
To sum up, His Majesty's Government considers that the Berlin Agree-
ment must be regarded as a whole and must be implemented in whole and
not in part.
A most important part of that agreement is that Germany should be
treated as an economic whole. That implies that indigenous resources
must be equitably distributed among the various zones. It implies, and
indeed states, that the proceeds of exports must be used in the first instance
to pay for approved imports.
I must formally state that the United Kingdom will co-operate on a
fully reciprocal basis with the other zones, but, in so far as there is no reci-
procity from any particular zone or agreement to carry out the whole of
the Potsdam Protocol, my Government will be compelled to organize the
British Zone of Occupation in Germany in such a manner that no further
liability shall fall on the British taxpayer. I should be very sorry to see
us forced into a situation of this kind, which would be injurious to future
I hope that we will institute a system of complete reciprocity, and set
up a special committee of deputies to look ahead to the future organization
of Germany with a view to preventing the growth of conditions likely to
cause war or aggression in the future.
[Official Report]

HOUSE OF COMMONS, July 29, 1946 [Extracts]

The Minister of State (Rt. Hon. Philip Noel-Baker): I understand that
it is thought to be to the convenience of the House that the Government
should, at this stage in the Debate, say something about the Report which
has been presented by the Select Committee . It is the result of free
and untrammeled inquiry by a committee of independent Members of
Parliament into the Government's conduct in one of the most important,
most difficult and most momentous tasks with which they have been
The main purpose of the Committee in their journey was to consider,
not the whole problem of German policy, but the cost of the British admin-
istration to the taxpayer in this country, why there is so great a gap between
the expenditure and the revenue, and what can be done to make that gap
smaller. Its purpose was, largely, to throw a searchlight on the figures
which form the basic problem which we faced. The figures ... represent
a total cost to our Exchequer of 130 million. Of that sum, 100 million
represent essential imports for the German population. Revenue from
exports amounts only to 50 million, leaving a net deficit in the current
year of 80 million. In considering these figures, the Committee were led
into examining the general work of our administration. They had to make
an estimate of what we are getting for our money, what has been done,
what results have been attained and whether they were worth while or not.
Nobody who has read their Report will fail to echo their tribute to the
work accomplished by the British Army and by the Services which my right
hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy now controls. They define the
task as that of bringing order out of chaos. They say that it is an aston-
ishing thing that we should now have to do that. We conquered Ger-
many. We met furious, insane resistance from the Nazis. To break that
resistance, we had to smash the production and transport systems of Ger-
many as no country has ever been smashed before. The administration
of the nation completely collapsed. It fell into chaos. And now, as the
Select Committee say, we have to bring order back to the conquered people.
... I think the Committee's Report and the language they used is a strik-
ing illustration of what my right hon. Friend said the other night when
discussing the South Tyrol and Trieste. He said that everybody still talks
loosely about the independence of nations, while, in the modern world,
the fundamental fact of international life is their inter-dependence. ..
I remember that the right hon. Gerntleman the Member for Warwick
and Leamington (Mr. Eden), in what I then thought and still think a very
remarkable speech, said somewhere about 1941 . that we could not in
the future afford to have Germany in a state of economic misery and de-
pression, as a running, festering sore in the body of Europe. It is not our
tenderness for the German people; it is not that we forget the crimes which

British Speeches of the Day tMa. P. NOEL-BAKER]
Hitler and others committed with their support. It is because it is our
interest and the interest of the world that Germany should make her
proper contribution to the wealth which the whole world must share.
This Report shows, in a narrower and more immediate sense, what we
have got out of the process of restoring order to the German people.
I was sent last September to Germany by the Cabinet to consider, with the
administration in the British zone, what measures could be taken to pre-
vent the spread from Germany of epidemic disease which might cost us
and the world a great price if it were not stopped. When I went on that
journey I did not forget the work in which I was engaged after the last
war in trying to combat the epidemics which then happened. Everybody
remembers the influenza which carried off 13 million people against the
10 million who were killed in the bloody conflict. Fewer people remember
that, in the Soviet Union alone, there were 30 million cases of typhus. If
we had had disease on that scale, or on a smaller scale, spreading from
Germany to other countries and eventually here, it would have been a
colossal setback to the process of reconstruction. When I got to Germany
I found that, in fact, there were, so to speak, endemic cases constantly recur-
ring-not only typhus but typhoid and diphtheria on a serious scale. I
found the administration facing the facts of which the Committee speak in
their Report-the fact that 92 per cent of the railway traffic was out of
action, that the housing situation in our zone was almost desperate--31
million houses out of 5/2 million were either totally destroyed or badly
damaged-and no fuel for cooking or heating for old or young through the
winter months.
I found that already in September the military authorities were des-
perately anxious about the shortage of food. The generals in charge at
that time were making herculean efforts to secure some kind of shelter for
everybody in the British zone. They were organizing great gangs of Ger-
man workers to cut their forests to provide timber for shelter and fuel for
their households; they were organizing the health services, both Allied and
German. They were beginning to carry through the immense campaign
of inoculation against epidemic disease, of which the Report speaks, and
which has given so magnificent a result. They were already beginning to
make every effort to increase food supplies, to stamp out an incipient black
market and to call the attention of our Government and of other govern-
ments to the urgent need for more imported food which would inevitably
come. I think, looking back to that journey last September, that we have
got something very real for this country by the expenditure which has been
made, By avoiding epidemic disease, and by avoiding all that would have
happened if we had had a collapse of organized administration in Ger-
many, we have obtained for this nation something very well worth
while ....
I now wish to deal, at not too great length, with five of the major recom-
mendations made in the Report. I take first one . namely, the number
of Germans who are still held in detention camps in the British zone-

The British Zone in Germany
40,000. These men . were members of the S.S., the S.D., the Gestapo
and other organs of the Nazi Party, which enslaved Germany and nearly
destroyed the world....
Those organizations are about to be put on trial in Nuremberg in a few
days' time. If we were to release them now, we might have to rearrest
them after a short period. I venture to think that if the policy had been
to let them loose, they might have been a great danger to the lives and
security of German democrats and to the re-establishment of a stable Ger-
man administration, and that it was certainly wiser to keep them under
detention until the major trial of the organizations has taken place. When
that trial is over, these men will get trial. They will have fair trials; they
will be able to put up anything they ought to be allowed to put up in their
defense-that they acted under orders, or under compulsion, any line of
defense which they or their agents may choose to plead....
I now wish to deal with Paragraph 45 of the Report, which refers to
the repatriation of prisoners of war from this country. ... I do not think
I can follow my hon. Friend the Member for Ipswich (Mr. Stokes), though
I would very much like to, into the question of the Geneva Convention. I
think I could show him we were all right on the letter, and that even on
the spirit of the Geneva Convention we have a pretty good case. In any
case, I think it is certain that since the Geneva Convention was made,
there has never been any war in which such enormous numbers of people
were taken by one belligerent state virtually as slaves to work on its terri-
tory for many years while the war continued. Therefore, it is not unreason-
able that when the war is over some prisoners of war may be held for a
certain time longer than the Convention might have contemplated orig-
inally, as some form of reparation. Certainly there has never been a war
in which there has been a such great physical destruction on the territories
of other countries, for which reparation was required.
Moreover, there are other considerations which are particularly rele-
vant, and particularly important, in the administration of our zone. We
have a great shortage of food in the British zone of Germany. We have
been making sacrifices in this country in order to send food there by the
hundreds of thousands of tons. These prisoners of war are producing food
in the United Kingdom for the Minister of Agriculture. If they continue
to do that, it is hot unfair to say that they are, in reality, producing food
for Germany itself. I suggest to my hon. Friend that many of these men,
if they had been sent home, and thrown back into the conditions of Ger-
many after the war, would not have been rendering useful services to our
nation and to their own nation, but would have been leading miserable
lives, with far less food to eat, with far less adequate shelter, and with their
clothes rapidly going into rags. In general, they would have a far worse
fate at home during this last winter, than they have had in this country.
... If we had indiscriminately sent home all German prisoners we might
have been sending home a considerable number of most dangerous Nazis,
who would have made our task of administration there very much more
difficult than it has been.

British Speeches of the Day [MB. P. NOEL-BAKEa)
Mr. R. R. Stokes (Labor): Is my right hon. Friend, in the first part of
his argument about the Geneva Convention, seeking to get this House to
accept that, so far as our enemies break the Geneva Convention, it is an
argument in favor of our doing so, even if only slightly, because that re-
minds me of the old story of the housemaid? Secondly, when my right hon.
Friend says that it is necessary for these people to stay here for our own
agricultural economy, would it not have been more just to explain that to
them, and ask them to express their willingness to do so?
Mr. Noel-Baker: As for explanations, I think it has been explained to the
prisoners who are here. I have explained it to them myself in more than
one camp, and I am told that what is said in one camp spreads to others.
As for the Geneva Convention, I cannot follow my hon. Friend. Hitler
was not breaking the Geneva Convention at all when he took civilians to
work in Germany; he was simply committing a grave crime against human-
ity, and I do not think, even on the spirit of the Geneva Convention, that
my hon. Friend would be able to show that we are acting out of accord
with that spirit at the present time. I am sure my hon. Friend will recognize
that, before we started a large-scale repatriation, it was essential to do what
we could to sort out the prisoners, to sort them into anti-Nazis, Nazis, and
those non-political persons who were neither-into the classes which are
roughly called white, black and grey. We have been doing that, and also,
though it is perhaps not in Order for me to say so, we have been doing a
great deal to re-educate the whites and the greys who are here.
Perhaps I might add, because it does affect the view which the Commit-
tee express, that it would raise the morale of the German people if they
knew what was to happen about prisoners of war in general, that the Gov-
ernment do not disagree. Indeed, we go further; we think the prisoners
have a right to know within a measurable future what lies ahead. We
want them to know; we have already said .. that there is no question of
keeping them as slaves for an indefinite future, as Hitler kept the displaced
persons in Germany. There is no question of that, and the prisoners know
it is true. We are now pressing on as fast as we can with the screening
and retraining of the whites and greys, and it is not an easy matter. We
have begun to send the whites back to Germany. My hon. Friend the
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster said in a Debate on 20th May that
we had then already sent more than 1,000. In this month of July, more
than 2,000 have gone back. There is a slackening of the rate, because we
are keeping them for the harvest, in order to ensure that we get the maxi-
mum amount of food available for this country and for Germany, but a
few hundreds will leave in August.
Mr. Stokes: It will take 17 years at that rate.
Mr. Noel-Baker: In September the rate will be restored to over 2,000 a
month, and as my right hon. Friend said, the time is coming soon when the
rate of repatriation will have to be very greatly increased ...
Mr. Paget (Labor): With regard to the blacks, does it mean that the
blacks are to be imprisoned indefinitely for their political opinions?

The British Zone in Germany
Mr. Noel-Baker: I did not say that, any more than I said that the 40,000
now held in the British zone will be imprisoned indefinitely for their politi-
cal opinions, but we shall have to see how many of them fall into the cate-
ory of those who ought to be kept in detention because,they are a menace
to society ..
I pass on ... to the third question raised in the Report, namely that
we must somehow increase the quantity of food available in the zone.
There again I shall leave the main answer to my right hon. Friend the
Chancellor of the Duchy. I must say that he recognized immediately he
took office that this for him was problem No. 1, and from the very first
week when he took over his present task, he sought means of increasing
the food supplies for Germany. He played a very great part, through the
international institutions of the United Nations-the Assembly, UNRRA,
the Food and Agriculture Organization, and the others which have been
involved in the general campaign for food for the starving parts of the
world-in putting that machinery into motion, and in achieving the very
important results that have been achieved. He was asked the other day
whether he was planning production for next year. He was and is plan-
ning; in fac( this year, in the crop which will be reaped, he hopes to have
100,000 more tons of grain stuffs than there were in Germany last year. If
I have got the figure right-he will correct me later if I am wrong-next
year, if all goes well, he will not only have a bigger acreage under cultiva-
tion than there was in 1938, but will have a larger output of food, and we
ought to remember that, in 1938, Hitler was using every effort in his power
to maximize the amount of food produced in all parts of Germany.
I come now to the fourth major issue raised-in the Report, that of coal.
The proposal which the Committee make, namely, that there should be a
temporary reduction of exports, is of course one which has been made
before, which can be defended on very strong technical grounds, which, in
itself, may seem so reasonable as to be almost inevitable, but which, if I
may so phrase it, from the Foreign Office point of view is not only difficult
but almost impossible to accept. We must look at this with the eyes of
the French, the Belgians, the Dutch and others who are receiving some of
the coal exported from the Ruhr. For years, their coal mines were ruth-
lessly exploited by the Germans, and they have terrible devastation to
make good. Their reconstruction-ask any Frenchman who knows the
facts about the life of his nation-depends upon coal now more than it
does upon all the other economic factors put together. France is already
back to something like 82 per cent of industrial output, as compared with
1938. France has made a magnificent effort in the restoration of her trans-
port system, an effort which reflects the highest possible credit on her Min-
istry, and upon the Minister who has been'in charge. France has made
a great effort in the last six months in the domain of national finance.
France can certainly reach a state of true social and economic stability if
she can secure enough coal, but to lose even 50,000 tons of coal at this

British Speeches of the Day [MR. P. NOEL-BAKEBu
moment, or in the next few months, as next winter comes along, would
not only mean a loss of foodstuffs for the French people, but might be a
tremendous blow at all the efforts which the French are making to restore
their shattered economy.
The same is true of the Belgians, the Dutch, and the other peoples;
and I put it to the House that the reconstruction of these nations, the
restoration of the stability of these European countries, is a major British
interest. I suggest therefore, to the Select Committee, and to the right
hon. Gentleman who also quoted this, that the right course is not to di-
minish exports, but, by other means, to increase production. I am not at
all certain that we are at the end of our resources . by the increase of
manpower, by the obtaining of steel requirements from outside Germany-
and it may well be possible on a barter basis to get them-and in other
ways, we can come nearer to reaching the target of 300,000 tons a day....
I pass to the most urgent issue dealt with in the Report, and the most
important subject with which I have to deal, namely, the economic posi-
tion of the zones of Germany and the necessity to reintegrate the zones
into a single economic whole. After the last war, the treaties which were
then made gave Europe something like 2,500 kilometres of new tariff walls.
They were a major factor in impoverishing the peoples of Europe in the
period between the wars, and they helped, in no small degree, to promote
the world economic crisis, which, in turn, helped to bring the second war.
The division of a single great country like Germany is even worse. Looked
at from the point of view of our zone, it is, of course, a disaster. Our
zone must have imports. It ought to have those imports from the other
parts of Germany. Figures given in the Report and quoted by the right
hon. Gentleman show that it used to draw them from other parts. If it
does not draw imports from the rest of Germany, it must draw them from
abroad, and it has- not got the exports with which to pay. That is our
I want, at the cost of wearying the House, to say exactly what the Gov-
ernment think about the meaning of the Potsdam Agreement, and what
we intend now to do in this matter. In the Potsdam Agreement, as the
right hon. Gentleman said, the three Powers that were there agreed that
German militarism and Nazism must be destroyed; that we must enable
the German people to reconstruct their life on a democratic and peaceful
basis; that we must look forward to their eventual peaceful co-operation
in international life; that we must establish a level of industry which will
enable them to have a standard of life not lower than the average of the
standards of other European countries. Paragraph 9 of the Potsdam Agree-
ment, as published, said that, for the time being, no central German Gov-
ernment would be established, but that there must be essential central
German administrative departments, headed by State Secretaries, particu-
larly in the fields of finance, transport, communications, foreign trade,
and industry. Paragraph 14 said that during the period of occupation:
"Germany shall be treated as a single economic unit to this end. Common politics
shall be established in regard to mining and industrial production and allocation,

The British Zone in Germany
agriculture, wages, import and export program, currency and banking, reparations,
and the removal of industrial war potential, transportation, and communications."
Paragraph 15 said that Allied controls would be imposed to the extent
necessary to ensure, in the manner determined by the Control Council,
the equitable distribution of essential commodities between the several
zones, so as to produce a balanced economy throughout Germany and re-
duce the need for imports. Paragraph 17 said measures should be taken
by common action to repair transport, and to enlarge coal production and
to obtain the maximum agricultural output-and to fulfill all these pur-
poses, which I have quoted from the text.
The order of these provisions in the Potsdam Agreement is most sig-
nificant. It shows that the requirement that Germany should be treated
as a single economic unit is fundamental, and takes precedence over any
question of reparations. We made specific proposals as to how these meas-
ures could be carried out. The Soviet representatives disagreed, and they
made proposals which, they said, were necessary in order to enable them to
secure the 10,000,000,000 dollars worth of reparations which they want
from Germany. I am not going to argue that now, for it is not the time.
We never agreed to that figure. We never said it was practical politics.
We always said that we must first apply the fundamental principle that,
during the occupation, Germany should be treated as an economic whole.
That provision was unqualified, unconditional, unambiguous; and it was
laid down that the payment of reparations should leave sufficient resources
to enable the German people to subsist without external assistance; and
that the payment for approved imports into Germany should be the first
charge against the proceeds of exports from current production and from
That is our view of how we ought to treat Germany as an economic
whole. In view of that, I have now a declaration to make. I want to tell
the House . that the Government have given very close attention to
the economic situation in the British zone, and that they have decided
that new measures must be taken. At the Council of Foreign Ministers in
Paris, the Secretary of State said that if it were impossible to secure agree-
ment on the treatment of Germany as an economic whole, it would be
necessary for us to reorganize the British zone, so as to reduce the burden
on the British taxpayer, but that we should wish to co-operate with any
other zone on a basis of reciprocity. Mr. Byrnes, for his part, made an
offer to the effect that the American zone would co-operate with any other
zone that was willing to do so, in such a way as to form an economic unit
with the other zone so co-operating. This offer was renewed by General
McNarney, the American Commander-in-Chief in Germany, at the meet-
ing of the Allied Control Council in Berlin on 20th July. In making this
offer, the American representative made it clear that their object was to
abolish the division of Germany into airtight compartments, and to ex-
pedite the treatment of Germany as an economic unit.
At the meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers my right hon.
Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs stated that the American

British Speeches of the Day [Ma. P. NOEL-BAKER)
offer would be studied by His Majesty's Government in the United King-
dom. After full consideration, His Majesty's Government have decided
to accept the American offer, in principle, so far as the British zone is con-
cerned. The British authorities in Germany have been given authority to
discuss details with the American authorities in order to carry this decision
into effect. The arrangements to be made will include the establishment
of suitable joint administrations for such matters as agriculture, trade,
industry and finance. In making this statement I desire to stress that it is
now, and always has been, the policy of His Majesty's Government that
Germany should, during the period of occupation, be treated as a single
economic unit in accordance with the Potsdam decision.
So far from regarding the action I have just announced as being a step
towards the division of Germany into two, it is the Government's firm
resolve to continue to work towards the realization of this Agreement to
treat Germany as an economic whole. Nor is it intended that this special
form of co-operation with the United States shall in any way detract from
our co-operation with our Allies on the Control Council. On the con-
trary, we shall seek by all means to promote this four-party co-operation
in all matters concerning the control of our administration in Germany;
and it is the hope of His Majesty's Government that the Governments of
the two other occupying Powers will also join in the inter-zonal economic
system now to be established between the British and American zones, and
so help to bring about in full the treatment of Germany as an economic
unit. This step is directed against nobody. I reiterate what my right hon.
Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and my right hon. Friend
the Prime Minister have so often said, that we are opposed-I almost said
bitterly opposed-to the division of Europe into two parts. We think, as
the Prime Minister said, that that would be a counsel of despair. We
agree . that the adoption of this new measure should not make it more
difficult, on the contrary, it ought to make it easier to secure the reintegra-
tion of Germany into one whole.
I have finished what I wanted to say. The Government want a Ger-
many which will no longer be a menace to the world, a Germany which is
disarmed, whose people hate the idea of war as much as we do. We be-
lieve that a dismembered Germany-dismembered by force-would not be
a peaceful member of the international community. We hope that we
can secure a system which will satisfy all our Allies, by which the political
as well as the economic unity of the German nation can be maintained.
We are striving to develop democratic institutions, and we think that
Germany must work out its salvation through Germans. Today we have
to consider whether this money we are spending on this administration is
wasted or not. I have given some reasons for thinking that it is not wasted,
and I have given reasons for thinking that we may be able greatly to re-
duce the deficit we have suffered this year; I am certain that the new
arrangement we have proposed will greatly reduce that deficit.
We must face the fact that we shall have to occupy Germany for a
considerable time to come. Some people say, and it is a respectable thesis,

The British Zone in Germany
that the Ruhr is no longer a danger to world peace, because iron and
steel will not be the foundation of the armaments of the future. Other
people say, and it is a respectable thesis, that if you made a true system
of world collective security, no nation of 67 million in the middle of a
continent could be a menace to the other nations. But we must now
recognize the fact that unless the German people become a stable democ-
racy with peaceful ideas, they may remain a potentially dangerous ally to
be used by any intending aggressor, as Mussolini used Hitler in the fate-
ful years after the last war. We must recognize that the Ruhr, whatever
its military importance-and it still may be very great-ought to make a
major contribution towards the happiness and prosperity of Europe and
the world. I end by quoting one paragraph from the Report:
"If our policy is merely punitive, and our desire is to make Germany an economic
desert, our stay should be as brief and as economical as possible. If, however, we
regard our stay in Germany as a mission-to change the German outlook and to
create a new democratic spirt-our expenditure in the building up of machinery for
education, culture and moral regeneration will be fully justified."
It is that mission which the Government hope to carry out.

[House of Commons Debates]


Paris, July 30, 1946. I would like at the outset to thank the French
Government and the French people, our kind hosts, for the excellent ar-
rangements they have made for our personal comfort and for doing our
business here. When I was last here the enemy was still fighting. Paris
was then just beginning to recover. I rejoice to see the progress made
since then. It is a good omen. Sir, we are met together to take the first
step in making peace, we are seeking to make a beginning in re-establish-
ing the normal relationships between nations by bringing back into the
European family circle five erring members. They were not mainly re-
sponsible for the calamity which fell upon the world but they have been
accessories. With their support or acquiescence the governments of these
peoples joined in the attack on civilization. To a greater or lesser degree
in the later stages of the struggle these peoples have sought to make atone-
By the treaties now submitted to you we are endeavoring to open a
new chapter in the history of Europe. I believe that we must approach
the problem looking forward, not backward, not dwelling so much on
past failures as considering how best we can make a success of the future.
We should not be devoting ourselves to examining historical claims or
the supposed interest of particular States, we should keep before our minds
the simple objective of removing from the hearts of the common people,
in all lands, the brooding fear of another war and of enabling them to live

British Speeches of the Day [MR. A =TTL)
together as good citizens, not only of their own States, but of Europe and
the world.
In my country, as in most of yours, the Government is dealing with the
very difficult task of reconstruction. Homes have been destroyed, people
have had to move from their accustomed dwelling places and have had to
change their occupations, while industry has been directed to war pur-
poses. Now we are engaged in re-knitting the fabric of our national life.
But we are not trying to make our life exactly on the old pattern. Re-
taining the best of the past, we are weaving a new pattern. In my view
we are engaged in a comparable task in these peace treaties. We must
seek to make a Europe in which the peoples will live more secure and
happier lives, in which the relationships of the members of the European
families will be more neighborly and friendly than ever before. This new
Europe will have, I hope, the best of the old but will discard much that
was evil.
Our task is limited. The major task of dealing with Germany and the
German people remains, but much will depend on how and in what spirit
we manage the immediate business before us.

These treaties in themselves are only contributions to the ground plan
of the city of European peace which we want to build. The life of the
city will depend on the conduct of the inhabitants. But agreement on the
plan is an essential first step.
Twice in my lifetime the world has experienced the horrors of a world
war. The peoples of America, Asia, Africa and Australia have been in-
volved. The primary cause on each occasion has arisen from the failure
of the people of Europe to dwell together in amity. It is therefore right
that these who live in other continents should join with the representatives
of the European nations to seek to make an enduring settlement. That,
after all, is our primary task, the minor gains and losses, the short-term
advantages of particular provisions in these treaties are as nothing com-
pared to the overriding interest of us all to make a peace that shall endure.
The greater part of the drafts before you have been agreed by the
Four Powers. They are put forward as embodying the greatest measure
of agreement. Having agreed to them ourselves we shall naturally support
them at this conference, but we are anxious to hear the opinion of the 17
other States, to whose judgment they are now submitted. Criticisms and
suggestions made here must be given full consideration when the final
drafts are framed. The remaining articles, which have not been agreed,
will come before you and I have no doubt that the discussions here will
be powerful factors in resolving difficulties and promoting agreement.
The Four Powers should not and indeed cannot be irresponsive to
the desires of the wider community of nations and equally of those na-
tions who have made such significant contribution to victory. Peacemakers
may be blessed, but their way is hard. I think that whatever method
has been adopted would have been open to criticism. The present pro-
cedure has certainly not passed unscathed but, whatever its defects, it

Speech at the Peace Conference
has in fact brought before the conference definitive drafts which will serve
to focus discussions and provide a basis for our work.
I have no doubt many will feel that the differences between the Four
Powers have taken too long to resolve. But the main fact is that we have
now found agreement on many important matters. This in itself is- a
matter for rejoicing and not an occasion for criticism. For, quite frankly,
without such agreement the chances of producing acceptable peace treaties
would have been remote.

I think we sometimes tend to forget that, after such an unparalleled
convulsion and catastrophe as the last war, the nations who did the fight-
ing (and that includes all these in this hall) are very tired indeed. They
are greatly exercised by the domestic difficulties attending the aftermath
of war, and for that reason we should all make quite exceptional efforts
to see each other's point of view. As the war recedes there also recedes the
stimulus of the common danger which brought us together. The enemy
is broken and humble. As States, Germany and Japan can hardly be said
to count at present, but let us never forget that they are still there and
that their capacity for making trouble, if there is any disunion in the
Allied ranks, is still very real. Let us not forget either that what brought
us together was not so much the aggressor himself as the spirit behind the
aggression. This spirit of militant totalitarian nationalism, the spirit that
animated Hitler, Mussolini and the Japanese War Lords, has not yet been
altogether killed. It is a virus which still remains and the culture in
which it will breed is famine, disease and social disruption. Only by a
great co-operative effort can we destroy this virus, and the putting of our
hands to just peace treaties, jointly agreed by the community of nations,
is only a first step on a long road.
My friends, I would like to end on this note. One of the chief char-
acteristics of the Hitler regime was that it rejected all standards of con-
duct other than that dictated by its rulers. The Nuremberg trials have
shown to what depth a supposedly civilized people could sink when there
was no objective standard of conduct. We are discussing these treaties
freely and openly in public, with the world as our audience. We can feel
here the force of world public opinion. Let us keep our ears open to it.
For no nation, no ruler can afford to disregard it. It is indeed the essence
of the democratic principles for which we stand that governments should
be responsive to the will of the people. We are delegates from our par-
ticular countries, but collectively we are responsible to all the'peoples of
the world who long for peace and security. We are trustees for the un-
born children of the future in all countries. I can never forget a cartoon
depicting a statesman of the Versailles Treaty saying at the conclusion,
"I seem to hear a child cry." A baby labeled 1939 was in the background.
That foreboding was justified. The child cried in the Second World
War. Let it not cry again.
[Official Release]

House of Commons, July 9, 1946.

The Secretary of State for the Colonies (Rt. Hon. George Hal):
During the past six years my predecessors, in the course of their annual
statements, dealt mainly with the work of the Colonies in war. Very heavy
war responsibilities had to be carried by the Colonial territories, some of
which were in enemy occupation; and it fell to the right hon. Gentleman
the Member for West Bristol (Mr. Stanley), and others, to inform the
House of how the Colonial peoples and their administrations were stand-
ing up to the strain of war, and what contribution they were making in
men, money and material, to the Allied war effort. I cannot leave the
Colonial war effort without paying a further warm tribute to the gallant
efforts made by our Colonial peoples during that great struggle. Half
a million men of the Colonial Empire served in the Armed Forces. In
Malta, Malaya and other territories, the whole population had to bear
either the weight of enemy attack, or enemy occupation. They did so
with great courage and unflinching determination. Only recently the
contingents from all Colonial territories joined the Victory march in Lon-
don, and Members of this House and millions of others of our fellow coun-
trymen and women were able to see the representatives of a fine body of
men and women, who gave such valiant service to the Empire, and to pay
them their well-deserved tribute.
In this, the first peacetime statement on Colonial policy since the Elec-
tion, I think I should state the policy of the party which is now the Gov-
ernment of this country. I can say without hesitation that it is our policy
to develop the Colonies and all their resources so as to enable their peoples
speedily and substantially to improve their economic and social conditions,
and, as soon as may be practicable to attain responsible self-government.
To my hon. Friends on this side of the Committee, the idea of one people
dominating or exploiting another is always repugnant. It is not domina-
tion that we seek. Nor on the other hand, is it our intention in any way
to abandon peoples who have come to depend on us for their defense,
security, development and welfare. To us the Colonies are a great trust,
and their progress to self-government is a goal towards which His Majesty's
Government will assist them with all means in their power. They shall
go as fast as they show themselves capable of going.
I would that this policy were better known and better understood. We
would then hear much less criticism at home and abroad of what, in some
quarters, is still stigmatized as British imperialism. I know that the policy
which I have just enunciated is wholeheartedly endorsed by the great mass
of public opinion in this country. When the present Government took
office there was, as it can be understood, an accumulation of matters de-
manding action. Some had been put aside during the war because emer-
gency conditions made action impossible. Decision on others, on which

Colonial Affairs
much preparatory work had been completed, was rightly deferred during
the last months of the Coalition. On top of this accumulation, came the
surrender of Japan, which brought further problems in the Far East. The
result has been that an immense amount of work has been carried through
partly covering old problems but mainly concerned with new ones.
I readily and thankfully acknowledge to the Committee how much I
have been assisted in this task by the work of my predecessor the right hon.
Member for West Bristol, who, while at the Colonial Office, gave much
thought and did much careful planning for the future, and laid the foun-
dations of much of the work which has been carried out in the Colonies
during last year. But, as will be appreciated, I find that the planning is
sometimes much easier to do than carrying out the job. For all that, I
am sure I express the opinion of the Colonial people when I say that they
are not unmindful of the services of the right hon. Gentleman.

As in this country, the immediate problems confronting the Colonies
are those of demobilization, reconstruction and resettlement of Colonial
Forces, repatriation of'prisoners of war, and the restoration of the damage
done by the war itself. Of the half a million Colonial troops who served
in the Forces during the war, 360,000 came from our East and West
African territories, and perhaps I might take them as an example of what
is happening in their resettlement. During the war they came under the
direct control of the three Service Departments, and their demobilization
has been the responsibility of these Departments working in collaboration
with the Colonial Governments. In spite of the shortage of troop trans-
ports, over 70 per cent of the African troops who served overseas have
been repatriated. More are on their way home and it is hoped to complete
repatriation by the autumn.
I found by personal contact during my visit to West Africa, that the
great desire of most Colonial ex-Servicemen-and in this I do not suppose
they differ from ex-Servicemen the world over-was to get back to their
own families and villages and take up their old life. As most of the re-
cruits came from the land, their desire was to get back to their farms. In
many respects this made the task of the Colonial Government easier, and
the development of agriculture and schemes of agricultural training are
some of the main features of all the programs submitted under the De-
velopment and Welfare Act. For those who will not return to the land,
the African Government have industrial training schemes and it is hoped
to be able to absorb them into industry without any serious degree of un-
employment. Though there have been difficulties and delays due to the
lack of supervisory staff and materials, I am satisfied that on the whole
resettlement is going well. At the same time as demobilization is pro-
ceeding, strenuous efforts are being made to repair the material damage
done by the war.
Reconstruction and development is the aspect of the work of the
Colonial Office during the last 12 months upon which I would like to lay

British Speeches of the Day [MR. GEOBGE HALL)
particular emphasis. Let me take political development first. As already
stated, every endeavor is being made to accelerate progress towards self-
government. Since the Government took office, new constitutions have
been introduced in a number of Colonies and some major constitutional
reforms have been inaugurated. The initiative had in some cases been
taken by previous Governments, but we have made some important modi-
fications and opened some new ground. There are very few Colonies where
there have not been constitutional changes of one kind or another during
the last 12 months. I think the fact that we have been able to hasten on
the growth of responsible self-government and the establishment of politi-
cal institutions based on popular control is an earnest of our desire for
political progress in the Colonies. A uniform rate of progress in all Colo-
nies is impossible. They contain a large variety of peoples at various
stages of development, so that there is no magic formula by which they
can be brought in regular procession to self-government. We therefore
have had to consider special needs of individual territories or of groups
of territories, and to make separate plans for each. The range of constitu-
tional progress which has been made is too wide for me to describe in de-
tail now.
I would, however, like to give the Committee one or two examples of
progress in Colonies in which hon. Members are particularly interested.
The Committee will recall that last October I made known the decisions
of His Majesty's Government on the recommendations of the Soulbury
Commission for a new constitution in Ceylon. These decisions had a good
reception in the island, and Ceylon has now been granted a new Constitu-
tion which affords her complete self-government in internal affairs, with
matters relating to defense and external affairs only reserved to His Maj-
esty's Government. This means the introduction of a Parliamentary sys-
tem with Cabinet responsibility based on the British model.
I will say a word about Malaya. His Majesty's Government, while fully
convinced of the essential rightness of their Malayan policy, which is de-
signed to lay the foundations for ultimate self-government in a united
and prosperous Malaya, are very desirous that progress should be made in
agreement with all sections of opinion in that country. I have carefully
considered the position in the light of the reports I have received from
Malaya, and with my authority several proposals have been put forward,
which have been designed to meet Malay feelings. Early in June, the Gov-
ernor-General and the Governor of the Malayan Union met their High-
nesses the Malay Sultans for preliminary discussions on this subject. They
had already met representatives of the Union. There have since been fur-
ther informal discussions of an exploratory character, but no conclusions
have yet been reached, and for the present I have nothing further to say.
I hope that the local discussions will be continued at an early date, and
in view of this fact I very much hope that the Committee will not press me
now for a statement which might create difficulties for those conducting
the discussions. I am sure that hon. and right hon. Members are as de-
sirous as I am that we should achieve an early and happy settlement in

Colonial Affairs
In the case of Sarawak, we are continuing for the time being the 1941
Constitution. Some minor modifications have been made mainly purely
mechanical, on account of the change of the status of the territory. But
it is, however, by no means certain that this Constitution, which was set up
in 1941 in circumstances far different from those of today, is the most
appropriate for Sarawak now. I propose, therefore, to ask the new Gov-
ernor to go very fully into this question on the spot with leading repre-
sentatives of the people and others concerned, and to let me have as soon
as he can do so his recommendations for revising the Constitution, with
a view to the fullest association of the people with the Government and
administration of the territory on the broadest basis that present condi-
tions permit. In this way it is hoped to achieve the maximum progressive
constitutional and economic development in that territory.
The position in respect of North Borneo is somewhat similar, except
that in the case of this territory we propose during the interim period, to
set up an Advisory Council with unofficial representatives nominated by
the Governor. I hope that it may be possible to arrange for the Advisory
Council to be rather more representative in character than was the Legis-
lative Council. I can assure the Committee that there will be full con-
sideration and consultation with all the interests concerned before final
decisions are taken on the future constitutions of these territories.

It is in Africa that the field for political advancement is greatest. There
is concentrated the largest area of our Colonial Empire and the largest
number of our Colonial peoples. Political development in the African
Colonies is proceeding as rapidly as circumstances permit. In the Gold
Coast, for instance, an unofficial majority is now elected to the Legislative
Council, and in Nigeria a new constitution has been approved which se-
cures a measure of genuine political unity, whilst allowing for the diversity
of the peoples and the varying forms of traditional government. In East
and Central Africa, there has been an increase in the direct representation
of Africans on the Legislative Councils of Kenya, Uganda, Tanganyika
and Zanzibar. A particularly noteworthy advance has taken place in
Buganda, the most important African state in Uganda, where 31 of the 89
members of the Native Assembly are now elected from the people them-
selves. In Tanganyika, two Africans already serve on the Legislative
Council, and provision has been made for more. Kenya has one African
member who has served with distinction, and a second has been tempo-
rarily serving in the absence of the nominated European representative of
African interests. In both Nyasaland and Northern Rhodesia, African
Provincial Councils are now in being. These are advisory bodies which
include tribal chiefs, native authority councillors and other representatives
of Africans. The experiment has been a great success. It has broadened
the interests of the Africans themselves in their own progress and has
kindled a spirit of co-operation between all sections of Africans, whether
old or young, traditional or educated, urban or rural. In both these terri-

British Speeches of the Day [MR. GEORGE HALL]
stories, a further important development is taking place. An African Coun-
cil has been set up in Nyasaland for the whole Protectorate, with delegates
drawn from the provincial councils; and a similar central council is about
to be created in Northern Rhodesia. When these councils have been se-
curely established, my intention is that members from them will be se-
lected to sit on the Legislative Councils of the two territories. Thus,
throughout Africa, constitutional developments are proceeding alongside
the great extension of responsibility and interest by Africans in local gov-
ernment and in native administrative services. Everywhere there are signs
of awakening political consciousness amongst Africans as the opportuni-
ties for service in administration, in technical fields, on advisory boards
and on the work of development continue to expand.

In the West Indies, a Bill to extend the secret ballot to all the out
islands of the Bahamas is being considered by the legislature. A consider-
able reduction was made last year in the property and income qualifica-
tions for membership of the British Guiana Legislative Council, which now
has an unofficial majority. British Honduras now also enjoys a large un-
official majority on its legislature; and, in Trinidad, property and income
qualifications for members of the Legislative Council have been much
reduced and the first elections under universal adult suffrage have taken
In pursuance of the undertaking given in 1943 to restore responsible
Government in Malta, a National Assembly, drawn from various repre-
sentative groups in the island, has been at work to consider the framing
of a constitution within the terms of that promise. To facilitate the prepa-
ration of the new Constitution, His Majesty's Government have recently
sent to the island a Commissioner to go into all relevant matters with the
Maltese representatives. An essential feature of the negotiations is the ques-
tion of finance, which, in view of the extent of the damage done to the
island by the enemy, presents many complex issues. In order to obtain
an expert analysis of these matters, Sir Wilfrid Woods was appointed last
year as a Financial Commissioner to visit the island and, after due con-
sultation, to report upon the financial problem. This report has recently
been published and has formed a most valuable basis for discussion in the
island. The Maltese National Assembly naturally wish for information as
to His Majesty's Government's decision before they feel able to reach their
final conclusions on the subject of the restoration of responsible govern-
His Majesty's Government have given much consideration to this mat-
ter and have been anxious to arrive at a settlement which, in so far as the
difficulties of their own financial position allow, will generously mark
their recognition of Maltese needs. A full account of their decisions would
occupy too much of the time of the Committee, and I have therefore ar-
ranged for the publication of a detailed statement in the OFFICIAL REPORT
tomorrow. For the moment, it will be sufficient for me to say that the

Colonial Affairs
financial assistance proposed for Malta, for which the approval of the
House will in due course be sought, falls under two heads. In the first
place, in fulfillment of the assurance given in this House on 10th Novem-
ber, 1942, His Majesty's Government are prepared to make a further grant
of 20 million from United Kingdom funds to supplement the free gift of
10 million made then for the restoration of war damage and the rebuild-
ing of Malta. This additional grant, which, with the former grant and
the interest earned on it, will bring the total sum made available for
restoration of war damage and reconstruction in Malta to over 31,000,000,
will be constituted a charge on the Consolidated Fund. In the second
place, it is intended to introduce legislation to enable Malta, after the in-
troduction of responsible Government, to continue to benefit under the
Colonial Development and Welfare Act. Subject to that provision being
passed by Parliament, I propose to allocate to Malta a sum of 1,000,000;
the Colony would also, of course, receive its share of the benefit from cen-
trally controlled schemes. Certain immediate and temporary help can also
be promised in the matter of a grant-in-aid for the next financial year and
assistance towards meeting the cost of commodity subsidies. I trust that
these decisions will find acceptance here and in Malta, as affording an as-
surance that the new constitution shall not be unduly handicapped by the
financial burdens thrown on this small community by its gallant part in
the war.
I think I have given the Committee in these examples a fairly clear idea
of the kind of constitutional development which we are carrying out in the
individual territories of the Colonial Empire. A word about regional as-
sociation. I would like to make it clear that this form of association need
not, and, indeed, in some cases, cannot, go so far as political federation.
For the three mainland East African territories, for example, proposals
have been made to broaden the basis of co-operation for common services,
such as communications, transport, customs, and so on, a basis which
already exists in the East African Governors' Conference. The Committee
will be aware, from the details published last December, that these pro-
posals fall far short of federation or union. They are designed solely to
help the three territories to co-ordinate action on these matters to associate
non-Government representatives more closely with the management of
common services and to provide an effective means of enacting common
legislation where this is required. As the proposals are still under discus-
sion in East Africa, the Committee will not expect me to comment further
on them at this stage. I will say, however, that it is becoming more and
more urgent to set up some effective machinery for co-ordination between
these three East African territories.
Then there is the West African Council, at the first meeting of which
I presided on the Gold Coast last January. That meeting was well worth
while, not only for the opportunity which it provided for the four West
African Governors and the senior Service representatives to discuss many

British Speeches of the Day [MR. GEORGE HALL]
common problems, but also because of the direct contact which it enabled
me to make with these four important Colonies. During my visit, I met
most of the members, unofficial and official, of the four legislative councils
as well as representatives of the municipalities and of the press, and I
heard their hopes and their criticisms at first hand. Some of their views
I could not accept, and I told them quite frankly where I thought they
were wrong. They may have been disappointed, but I think that they
all welcomed the opportunity of full and free discussion which my visit
provided. The Council will have a permanent office in West Africa, and I
have recently appointed Sir Gerald Creasy, a very able Assistant Under-
Secretary of State in the Colonial Office, as its first Chief Secretary.

There was one step towards political union which I must mention.
I refer to the Windward and Leeward Islands. In a dispatch published
in March of this year, I set out for the consideration of the local govern-
ments and peoples of these two groups of islands, proposals for closer politi-
cal union. I trust that will be brought about.
The question of the form of federation of the West Indian Colonies
is also under consideration, and if, as seems likely, the majority declare
themselves in favor of the principle of federation, I contemplate, later, a
conference of delegates from those Colonies to formulate detailed proposals.

I now come to the field of international co-operation in Colonial affairs.
I find it difficult to exaggerate the importance I attach to this. In the past,
the existence of, or the desire for, Colonies has often been the cause of war.
Today, ignorance of what is happening in Colonial territories still pro-
duces suspicion among nations. I welcome any move which can bring
other democratic countries to a closer understanding of Colonial peoples
and, indeed, of Colonial problems. The Committee will recall the setting
up, in March, 1942, by joint action of the United Kingdom and United
States Governments, of the Anglo-American Caribbean Commission. The
purpose of this Commission, a purely advisory body, was to facilitate social
and economic co-operation between the British and American territories
in the Caribbean area. The Commission was subsequently expanded by
the inclusion of additional members on each side, thereby allowing scope
for the appointment last year of two British West Indian unofficial on the
British team. At the end of last year, the French and Netherlands Govern-
ments agreed to enter the Commission as full members.
Out of this Commission a permanent advisory West Indian Conference
has arisen which includes members from all Caribbean dependencies of
these four countries. The Commission has also arranged for co-operation
on research, and the Caribbean Research Council has been set up. It was
recommended at the last West Indian Conference that an International
Secretariat should be set up in the Caribbean area as soon as possible to
serve both the Conference and the Commission.

Colonial Affairs
Another piece of machinery for regional co-operation was recently
agreed to between the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand at
the Conference of Commonwealth Prime Ministers. It has been decided
to call a conference in the near future to set up a regional organization in
the South Pacific for the purpose of exchanging views and information on
technical and economic subjects. The exchange of Colonial officers in
training is also being considered. This regional collaboration has been
followed by direct contact with three of the major Colonial Powers-the
United Kingdom, France and Belgium. A series of conferences has been
held with representatives of the French Ministry of Overseas France, with
whom we are now in direct liaison, and, more recently, with representatives
of the Belgian Colonial Office. We hope to widen the field later by similar
liaison with other Colonial Powers. The first Anglo-French Conference
was held in London last November and the first Anglo-Belgian Conference
a few weeks ago. Several more detailed conferences between British and
French experts have taken place in London, Paris and in West Africa.
We have also agreed to share our experience on the important question
of training for the Colonial Service. We hope to exchange officers in
training in the two countries, and we are proposing to make a start in the
summer of next year, with the administrative branch of the Service. A
selected number of officers in training for the British Colonial Adminis-
trative Service will go to Paris for a special course at the National School
of France Overseas, whilst some of the French students in training will
come to England to attend part of the course at Oxford for our own
Colonial administrative trainees. I regard this kind of international co-
operation as of the greatest importance.
As the Committee is aware, His Majesty's Government announced in
January their intention of placing our mandated territories in Africa-
Tanganyika, Togoland and the Cameroons-under the trusteeship system
established in the United Nations Charter. We regard it as a natural and
inevitable step that the terms of our trust should now be revised and
brought into harmony with the new international organization which has
replaced the League of Nations. The proposed terms of trusteeship which
have just been published are designed to carry that process into effect.
The Foreign Secretary, when he originally announced our policy to the
United Nations, laid stress on the importance of continuity of adminis-
tration. On that score the proposed new arrangements will not entail any
change; the published draft for Tanganyika and the drafts for Togoland
and the Cameroons, which will be published shortly, all provide for the
position of His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom to be main-
tained as the "administering authority."
As a natural consequence, we have used the existing Mandates as a
basis in drawing up these proposed terms of trusteeship, making such
modifications as are required to bring them into line with the trusteeship
chapters of the United Nations Charter. We have also taken the oppor-

British Speeches of the Day [MB. GEORGE HALL]
tunity, so far as the Charter permits, to make other improvements on the
mandate position which the experience of the last 25 years has shown to
be desirable. I do not propose to go into detail now about each Article
of the terms of trusteeship. The White Paper itself draws attention to
the two main changes from the Mandate, namely the treatment of defense
and economic affairs. We hope to be in a position to present our terms
of trusteeship for all three mandated territories to the United Nations
for approval when the Assembly meets again in September. The draft
terms now published are not necessarily in the final form in which they
should be presented. They represent simply our first draft text as agreed
upon by certain States whom we have consulted, namely, South Africa,
France and Belgium.
It may be that, following on publication, certain amendments to the
draft may appear desirable, and if so we shall be quite free to make such
alterations before approaching the United Nations in September. In par-
ticular, it is important that we should take account, so far as we can con-
sistently with the Charter, of any opinions which may be expressed by the
inhabitants of the territories themselves. Other governments besides those
whom we have already consulted may also have views on the proposed
terms of trusteeship. Indeed, the United States Government have already
suggested a number of amendments which have been discussed informally
between officials of my Department and representatives of the State Depart-
ment, who came over to London for the purpose. I am now myself con-
sidering these suggestions.
In view of the Debate on Palestine last week, and the further Debate
which is to take place shortly, the Committee will not expect me to make
any statement on Palestine in the course of this general Debate on Colonial
Political development is governed by social and economic progress. It
is difficult to create a democracy out of a hungry and illiterate people, and
too many of the inhabitants of our Colonies have, in the past, been hungry
and uneducated. The Committee will want to know what is being done,
and what we plan to do, to raise the general standard of life for those
people. First, education. I have been most anxious to encourage and
assist an advance along the whole educational front in all the Colonies. It
is pleasing to note that in the ten-year program of development now being
submitted, education occupies an important place. Great stress is laid on
every phase, whether it be primary or secondary, technical or adult, mass
education or higher education. Every part is considered important to
every other part as a basis of social and economic progress. Following
upon the three valuable reports presented last year, higher education in
the Colonies has progressed along several lines. Steps have been taken, in
collaboration with the British universities, to implement the recommenda-
tions of the Asquith Commission, and the preliminary work of founding
universities in West Africa and the West Indies has begun.
As regards the West Indies, the main recommendations of the Irvine
Commission have been accepted, and I am now in close consultation with

Colonial Affairs
the West Indian Governments and with the Inter-University Council here,
with a view to the establishment of a West Indian university as soon as is
For West Africa, I had hoped that development would proceed on the
lines of the recommendations of the Minority Report of the Elliott Com-
mission, because, in my opinion, its views seemed to be founded on the
principles set out in the Asquith Commission and were, I thought, the
more practical in existing circumstances and more consistent with the best
university experience and educational practice. But the desire of three of
the large territories in West Africa each to have its own university college,
and the very strong feeling expressed in the Gold Coast and Sierra Leone,
caused me to consider whether any suitable arrangements could be made
which would secure the co-operation of all sections of opinion in West
I have now sent a communication on this matter to the Governors pro-
posing that a university college for West Africa should be established in
Nigeria, where facilities for students in agriculture, forestry and animal
health already exist. I think it must include a wide range of art and
science studies, engage the best university staff possible, build up research
and have a suitable standard of admission. I propose that the research
school should be established there, and that each of the three territories
should broaden their secondary work so as to increase the number of
students who can work to intermediate level and beyond, and to urge for-
ward technical education. Each territory shall have its own local college
working to intermediate level, with training of teachers for post-primary
work, with social studies and with adult and "extramural" education. In
the case of Sierra Leone, I hope this much bigger conception will fit in with
those who would like to see Fourah Bay College of greater use in the life
of that territory.
As to the Gold Coast, I respect the tradition of Achimota College, and
do not wish to hamper the realization of the very high hopes entertained
by many for its future. But I feel that what West Africa needs is a first
class university, in fact and not merely in name. With the shortage of
available staff and supplies, a wide range of art and science studies in more
than one territory, I fear, is not practicable. Accordingly, I want the
Territorial College in the Gold Coast to be based on sound principles;
and, while I shall not discourage the development there of post-intermedi-
ate studies-indeed I shall ask the Inter-University Council here to give all ,
the guidance and advice it can-I hope that development in this field will
be consistent with, and not prejudicial to, the main project of a West
African University. I hope shortly to set up a Colonial University Grants
Advisory Committee, as recommended by the Asquith Commission, to
advise me on the allocation of the 41 million of development and welfare
money which has been set aside for higher education.
I am glad to be able to say that, following measures taken in 1940,
there has been a considerable improvement in the organization of labor

British Speeches of the Day [MB. GEORGE HALL]
throughout the Colonies. Eight years ago there were only two labor depart-
ments in all our Colonial territories; now there are only two Colonies
which have not got labor departments. These are the Falkland Islands
and St. Helena. In all, there are now 33 labor departments, with a staff
of more than 200 officers. I shall not be content until every Colony has a
labor department manned by officers whose status shall be equal to that
of any other Colonial servant. In passing, and as an example of the value
of the experience these officers gain, I might mention that the new Gov-
ernor of Singapore was for four or five years a Controller of Labor in
Ceylon. There are many other instances of labor officers being advanced
to positions of high importance. These labor departments have many
positive achievements to their credit. Trade unions have been established
and encouraged. In 1941 the experiment of selecting experienced trade
unionists from this country as labor officers was begun, and there are now
one or more trade unionist labor officers in ten of our major Colonies, all of
them doing excellent work. In the Colonial Office I have recently recon-
stituted and strengthened my Labor Advisory Committee. I would like to
add, however, that soon I should wish to see representatives of Colonial
peoples themselves associated with this Committee.
The growing emphasis which is being placed on social welfare has led
me, in the course of the year, to reconstitute and enlarge the Colonial
Social Welfare Advisory Committee, and to recruit 25 additional social
welfare workers from this country. Of these new posts, 11 are in the West
Indies and 10 in Africa. The arrangements for training social welfare
workers at the London School of Economics continue. Courses last for two
years, and have been attended by some 80 Colonial students from 21 dif-
ferent Colonial territories. A fourth course will begin next autumn, and
I am hoping that about 25 more students from Colonial territories will
attend. Local courses for training social welfare workers are also being
organized in certain Colonial territories.
I turn now to the Colonial Service. The organization of the Colonial
Service was last reviewed in 1929-30 by Lord Passfield, when the policy of
unification was adopted. That policy aimed at widening the field of re-
cruitment, providing a career not limited to any one territory, and facili-
tating the interchange of staff at all levels. Experience has endorsed the
value of that policy. But the political and social development of the
Colonies has gone forward a good deal since then, and I am convinced
that additional provision must now be made to enable the Colonial peopled
themselves to take their place in the staffing of their own public services.
Accordingly, 1,000,000 has been allotted under the Colonial Development
and Welfare Fund, to enable Colonial candidates to acquire the basic
qualifications for entry to the higher grades of the service, and 1,500,000
for giving selected candidates, whether recruited in the Colonies, in the
United Kingdom, or Dominions, the additional special training which they
require in order to apply their special qualifications to Colonial conditions.

Colonial Affairs
I have accepted the proposals of the report by a committee of university
and Colonial Office people under the chairmanship of the Duke of Devon-
shire, and am accepting its recommendations. The universities are being
most.co-operative, and I am hoping a start will be made with the new
training schemes this autumn.
As regards the general structure of the Colonial Service, I have
recently issued a White Paper, and only want to remind the House that
each Colony has and pays for its own public service. It is not, therefore,
possible to have any rigid standard of uniformity of salaries and conditions.
There are, however, some important general principles which affect all
Colonies. Perhaps the most important of these is that there should be the
same basic pay for officers doing the same job, irrespective of Colony, of
race, or of domicile.
I now turn to Colonial economic problems, and do not let me under-
estimate these. The fact-and it is an ugly fact-is that the majority of
our Colonial peoples are very poor. This is due primarily to the poverty
of their environment, and of their education. To raise their standard of
living, progress in education, in public health, social reform and political
and economic development must each play their part. We must face a
speed-up in economic development. As always after war, the immediate
shortages are the first difficulty. Like the rest of the world, the Colonies
need food, materials, men and machinery. So long as these things are
scarce, development is impeded. Machinery can be met for the most part
only from overseas, particularly by imports of industrial products from the
United Kingdom, all of which are in short supply at the present time.
Thus, major progress with development schemes in the Colonies has to
wait on reconversion elsewhere.
Many new industries have also been started in the Colonies during the
war, and industries which existed on a very small scale have been substan-
tially expanded. Some of these industries will be the foundations on which
we shall build for the permanent enrichment of the Colonies. Some are
suffering from the world food shortage, particularly the Far East Colonies
and Ceylon. His Majesty's Government are doing their utmost to mini-
mize suffering due to these shortages. In spite of them, there is everywhere
in the Colonies a determination to send more food to Britain, and with
the co-operation of my colleague, the Minister of Food, I am doing every-
thing possible to help them to fulfil this task. A bumper crop of ground-
nuts has just been harvested in Nigeria. Supplies of this valuable source
of fat are, however, so short, and are likely to be for some years to come,
that the Government have decided to make a special investigation of a
project for large scale new production of groundnuts in East Africa. A
team of expert investigators is now in Tanganyika carrying out that investi-
gation. We have also just decided to send a mission to West Africa to see
what assistance can be given to increase production, and to speed up the
transport of groundnuts and palm kernels. My Department is continuing
discussions with the Ministry of Food to ascertain whether a field exists
elsewhere in the Colonies for similar encouragement of fats production.

British Speeches of the Day [MR. GEORGE HALL]
As to sugar, the 1945 Colonial crop was severely reduced by three disas-
trous cyclones in Mauritius, but this year's prospects are good, and the
decision of the Minister of Food to continue his purchase of all Empire
sugar until 1949 should give Colonial producers more assurance on which
to make their future plans, and will, I hope, stimulate greater production
during the next three difficult years. On the side of raw materials, the
rehabilitation of the rubber and tin industries in Malaya is being pushed
ahead with all possible speed. The world shortage of hard fibers, which
will continue at least until the Far East is again able to supply its share
of world requirements, is stimulating production of East African sisal, and
arrangements for extending the existing contract with the East African
industry until the end of 1947, at a satisfactory price to producers, have
been concluded with the Ministry of Supply. We are endeavoring to make
an interesting experiment with regard to this price, for out of this new
price a sum of 2 10s. on every ton of sisal sold is being set aside for im-
proving the welfare of the workers on the plantations. It is hoped that a
sum of from 300,000 to 350,000 will be raised by this method. It is a
kind of workers' welfare scheme.
As I have said, the Colonies are poor. Their poverty is due, to some
extent, to the maldistribution of profits. But I should be deceiving the
Colonial peoples if I gave the impression that to correct this can do more
than touch the fringe of the problem of Colonial poverty. That problem
must be attacked mainly by improving the productivity of Colonial peoples
themselves. They must make a greater effort, supplemented by research
and more modern methods of production. For, in the long run, no peoples
can expect to enjoy a high standard of living without putting in a high
standard of effort and achieving a higher standard of efficiency. It cannot
all be provided from outside help. But, having said that, I recognize that
it is our responsibility to try to arouse in African people the desire to make
this greater effort by seeing that they get a fair reward for their work. The
abolition of poverty can be brought about in that way.
There are, therefore, several practical ways in which we can help. First,
we can improve the marketing of Colonial exports. There is no doubt
that instability of price and uncertainty of market is a very great handicap
to Colonial producers, and an obstacle to assured planning for the future,
as it is to farmers in this country. We are, therefore, giving the whole
matter very close thought. It is not a simple matter, and in view of the
many complexities of markets for Colonial exports, there is no uniform
solution. I am studying with my colleagues, very closely, what further
measures can be taken to improve the marketing of Colonial produce, and
to protect Colonial producers from the fiercer effects of world market fluc-
tuations. That examination-which includes bulk buying and selling
arrangements, price stabilization funds and co-operative selling systems-
is not yet quite complete. Meanwhile, the arrangements which have been
in operation during the war to stabilize Colonial produce prices are, in
many cases, being continued for further periods.
I should inform the Committee that none of these bulk purchase
arrangements affects Colonial preferences, which remain as before, and
which, as was made clear to the House by the Prime Minister last Decem-

Colonial Affairs
ber, will not be modified or abandoned by unilateral action. It is pro-
posed to deal with preference margins in the forthcoming international
trade discussions only as part of the larger question of future international
tariff policy. Meanwhile, I repeat, Colonial preferences stand unimpaired.
Nor do the bulk purchase arrangements contravene our existing interna-
tional obligations, as has been suggested. These are good commercial deals
for the United Kingdom and for the Colonies, and, as such, they cannot be
regarded as trade discrimination. I am also paying attention to the possi-
bilities of helping Colonial producers to greater stability from another
point of view. As the Committee is well aware, there are certain Colonies
whose crops are subject to serious, and sometimes disastrous, damage- by
hurricanes, droughts, and other climatic aberrations. In two of those
which have lately been most seriously attacked, Mauritius and Jamaica,
insurance funds are being set up with the assistance of His Majesty's Gov-
ernment for the sugar and banana industries respectively. These, it is
hoped, will enable the industries themselves to make proper provision
against disasters, and avoid the necessity for further appeals to His Maj-
esty's Government's assistance.

Secondly, we can help by encouraging the sound growth of co-opera-
tion, a development which has very great potentialities for helping the
people to increase their wealth and welfare by their own efforts. The form
which co-operation has chiefly taken up to now has been the co-operative
credit society among agricultural producers. This is a side of the movement
which should certainly continue to be maintained and developed. There is
no greater evil among peasant producers than rural indebtedness, and
co-operative thrift is the best line of attack against this evil. There are,
however, other sides of the movement in which less progress has been made
in the Colonies, but whose possibilities I am anxious to extend to the full.
They are consumers' co-operative societies and co-operative marketing
organizations. I recently published, in a non-Parliamentary paper, des-
patches which I addressed to Colonial Governments drawing their attention
to the importance which I attach to the development of the co-operative
movement in the Colonies, and sending them suggestions on the subject
of the recruitment and training of co-operative staff, and also a model co-
operative societies ordinance and regulations. It has also been decided to
appoint an adviser on co-operation, and to set up an advisory committee
to give me the benefit of outside advice and experience on this subject.
Thirdly, there is the very wide field of economic development. Here, I
want to see progress on several lines simultaneously. I hope to see a steady
advance in the provision of those basic services, which only Governments
can properly provide, and without which private initiative can do little,
such as communications by road and rail, land and water; water and power
supplies; education, general and technical; agricultural, forestry, mining,
and other technical services. I want to see private enterprise assisting in
building up new industries on the basis of those public services, with
proper regard, of course, to the public interest.

British Speeches of the Day [MN. GEORGE HALL]
Finally, in some cases, I believe, it will be appropriate for the Govern-
ment themselves to establish new industries, as in this country. I, myself,
would hope that, if the East African groundnut project I have already men-
tioned proves worth undertaking, it would be run by a Government spon-
sored organization, and I am already considering such an organization for
the operation of the ex-German plantations in the Cameroons.
There is a world of difference between the situation with regard to
Colonial development at the present time, and that in the years immedi-
ately following the Act of 1940. Colonial Governments in 1941 were pri-
marily concerned with economizing in manpower, shipping, and other re-
sources. They were advised to concentrate on preparing schemes to be
implemented after the war. But that event seemed so remote that even
detailed planning proceeded very slowly. Now that the brakes have been
released, completion of the plans is most pressing. It will be remembered
that Parliament last year, without opposition, agreed that, under the Colo-
nial Welfare and Development Act, a sum of 120 million should be spent
in the Colonies over a period of 10 years. This is a large sum of money
in relation to the nation's heavy financial commitments, and we must see
to it that it is well and wisely spent. But the sum is not so large when the
requirements of each of the Colonial territories are considered. Indeed,
the Colonies will have to cut their welfare and development plans accord-
ing to the resources available. My predecessor and myself have made no
pretense that the sum available is sufficient to meet more than a small
number of the many requirements in the Colonies, without substantial
sums being found by the local Governments out of their own resources and
out of loans, and by the introduction of a large amount of private capital.
It was my first task to allocate the 120 million provided by the 1945
Act so that the Colonies themselves could know where they stood. The
allocations were published last December. After 23 million had been
allocated for central schemes, including, in particular, research and higher
education, and 11 million had been set aside for a general reserve, 85
million remained for allocation to Colonial Governments, hon. Members
may ask on what basis they were made. The answer is that there was no
uniform basis, since there is no common yardstick to measure Colonies'
needs. Population, of course, was a main factor; but local resources, or
lack of resources, and the possibilities of constructive development had to
be taken into account. I am satisfied that the division is reasonable. Every
Colony would like to have had more-but that, I fear, is because, generous
as is the provision of the 1945 Act, it unfortunately falls short of needs.
Not all the 85 million was allocated to individual Colonies. In certain
cases, regional allocations were made; for example, to the mainland East
African Colonies. I attach great importance to block allocations of this
kind, not only to increase the efficiency of development schemes, but also
to encourage that regional co-operation on common problems to which I
made reference earlier. The central allocation I also regard as of the
greatest importance, since it provides for development work which it
would be impossible to organize on a Colony basis. Separate provision is

Colonial Affairs
made in the Act for schemes of research and inquiry. There is, perhaps,
no part of the work done under the Act from which the Colonies can ex-
pect in the long run to derive more benefit. I propose to mention later
some examples of research work already in train.
Plans covering the next 10 years are now reaching me from Colonial
Governments, and my Department is facing the difficult job of considering
and advising on them. I have long felt that the organization on the
economic development and commercial side, both in the central office and
in Colonial administrations, was not sufficiently comprehensive, and that
the connecting link between London and the Colonies should be strength-
ened. That feeling has been confirmed by experience gained in the exami-
nation of the plans now submitted. Indeed, in the circular which I issued
to the Colonies last December, I referred to this fact, and stated that I
wanted the maximum of outside help. I have decided therefore to appoint
a Colonial Economic and Development Council, with very wide terms of
reference, to include members with wide and varied business experience, to
advise me on the whole field of Colonial Development, and economic and
commercial policy. I hope to make an early announcement as to the names
of the Chairman and members of the Council. The new Council will take
over the work formerly being done by the Colonial Economic Advisory
Committee. I should like to take this opportunity of expressing the grati-
tude which I owe to the members of that Committee, who gave so gener-
ously of their time and experience, and some of whom will, I hope, con-
tinue to serve on the new Council. I propose to suggest to the Council
that it should conduct its work through two committees, one dealing with
development, and the other with economic policy.
I have also decided to reorganize and strengthen that part of the Colo-
nial Office which is concerned with the administration of the Colonial
Development and Welfare Act, and with economic affairs generally. The
departments previously comprising the Economic and Financial Division
are being expanded and regrouped into a Trade and Communications Divi-
sion, which will deal with problems of commercial relations, marketing and
communications, and a Development Division, which will concentrate its
energies on development work and will assist in laying down lines of
financial policy to facilitate development. The Development Division will
include the department concerned with research. Each of these divisions
will be under an Assistant Under-Secretary of State.
I would like now to refer to some of the work which is being done in
the Colonies themselves. Nigeria, that vast and varied territory which
contains one-third of the population of the whole Colonial Empire, has
been pursuing a most energetic policy of development. An ambitious and,
I am convinced, soundly conceived plan has been drawn up covering the
territory's whole development for the next 10 years. The cost is 55 mil-
lion, of which 23 million is being provided from the Colonial Develop-
ment and Welfare Vote, while the balance of 32 million will be made up

British Speeches of the Day [MR. GEORGE HALL]
from Nigeria's own revenues and from loans. The aim of this program is
to develop educational, medical and other services, to improve basic re-
sources, including agriculture and water supplies, to extend and improve
communications and to improve capital equipment. Other territories are
now at work on their plans, and some have already been submitted to me.
Zanzibar, on the other side of Africa, has its 10-year program; while
Jamaica's plan is drawn up on broad and ambitious lines, and has been
under consideration by the Legislature.
Nor has help been denied for urgent needs. In Malaya, for example,
extension of rice cultivation is an urgent and clamant necessity. For this
purpose, I have recently approved a grant for the purchase of modern land-
clearing and cultivating equipment, which, if it does not produce an
immediate sufficiency of rice, should, we hope, point the way to quicker
results in food production on which so much now hangs. These are but
a few examples of what is being done. I can assure the House that Colo-
nial Governments are pushing ahead with this important work.
I mentioned the central allocation for projects benefiting the Colonies
as a whole. The Government are determined to encourage progress by
Colonial peoples along the road of increasing self-reliance. There are
manifold benefits which the Colonies enjoy as members of the British
Commonwealth. The hidden yet useful work which is being done in this
country for the benefit of the Colonies in many spheres does not always
get the recognition it deserves.' Research projects figure predominantly
among the central schemes. The past year has, in fact, seen both the com-
pletion of the main structure of research organization, and a rapid growth
in the number of research schemes started. The fruit of the years of plan-
ning and survey under the wise guidance and leadership of Lord Hailey, as
Chairman of the Colonial Research Committee, is now beginning to be
seen as more scientific personnel is released from war work. In all, 54 new
research schemes were approved in the year 1945-46. I cannot list them
all. Members who care to study the official reports presented to the House,
will find points of absorbing interest in almost all of them.
There is a danger, in the planning of research, that it may get too far
out of touch with the practical problems of the people of the Colonies.
Visits have therefore been made to various Colonies by those concerned at
the center. For example, the Director of the Colonial Products Research
Council has recently visited the West Indies, the Secretary of the Social
Science Research Council has been to West Africa, and my agricultural
adviser, together with Sir Frank Engledow and Professor Munro, have
toured East Africa, and have made proposals to link up East African
research policies in the agricultural field.
The keystone of our whole policy for improving the wealth and well-
being of our Colonial peoples is, in my view, co-ordination; and steady
progress along several lines of development, all of which interact one on
the other, with the administration at the Colonial Office and the Colonial
Governments, each making their contribution in research, planning, men,
money and materials. Without great improvement in basic economic con-

Colonial Affairs
editions, few of the Colonies can be expected to show substantial social or
political progress. Improved social services can make a contribution to
greater efficiency and productivity, and in the Colonies the field of advance
which will be opened up by better education is immense. Even political
development of itself may react upon the social and economic welfare of
a whole community, by releasing potentialities for self-reliance and self-
help which were kept suppressed by too little political liberty.
That is the note on which I would end this statement to the Commit-
tee. That is the challenge to our future administration of the Colonial
Empire. If we can succeed, by patient industry, in providing the Colonies
with more liberty, higher standards of health and better education, and
with larger opportunities for creating their own wealth, then we shall have
carried out our trust, and the expanding prosperity and happiness of the
60 million of our Colonial peoples will be assured. We are with them on
the threshold of a great opportunity. A strong united Colonial Empire,
in a strong united British Commonwealth, can make the greatest possible
contribution to the world problems that face us, and I am convinced, play-
ing our full part as we must, we can look into the future with every con-
[House of Commons Debates]

HousE OF COMMONS, July 31 and August 1, 1946 [Extracts]

The Lord President of the Council (Rt. Hon. Herbert Morrison): This
Debate takes place in the shadow of a tragedy that must have moved the
most war-hardened among us. In the destruction of the Government offices
at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, 84 men and women-Arabs, Jews,
British-were killed, and 46 injured, while 22 are still missing. These were
people innocent of any crime, members of the public going about their
ordinary business, and many loyal and single-hearted servants of the com-
munity. I am sure that the whole House would wish me to express again
the deep sympathy felt by the whole British people for the victims of this
outrage. Police and military forces have, on each occasion of acts of terror-
ism, instituted measures to track down and arrest those responsible.
The greatest obstacle to success in these operations has been the refusal
of the Jewish population in Palestine to co-operate with the forces of law
and order. Jewish settlers have resorted to passive resistance of the most
determined kind against searchers for terrorists. The Government have
been equally determined to bring the perpetrators of these outrages to
account, and reached the conclusion that radical action was needed against
the organizers of illegal armed forces, and the organizations they control.
Action to this end was initiated on 29th June when widespread arrests and
searches were carried out by all the Security Forces in Palestine. The ex-
amination of detainees and the scrutiny of documents seized in those

British Speeches of the Day [MR. H. MORaISON]
searches was still proceeding, when the latest and most tragic incident oc-
curred-the destruction at the King David Hotel. Immediate action was
taken to pursue the perpetrators of the outrage and 446 Jews were arrested,
whose records showed association with the terrorist organizations. As
there was clear evidence that some, if not all, of the persons responsible for
the Jerusalem crime came from Tel Aviv, military operations in that town
took place on 30th July to apprehend them.
The House will expect me to say a word about the letter which, accord-
ing to newspaper reports, General Barker, the military commander in
Palestine, sent to his officers forbidding British soldiers from relationships
of a social character with Jews, and stating that any association in the way
of duty should be as brief as possible, and kept to the business at hand.
First, let me say that though the Government are satisfied that the instruc-
tions given by the Commander were justified in the present disturbed state
of the country, at the same time, making all allowances for the provocation
to which our Forces are exposed, and recognizing that the letter was written
shortly after the outrage at the King David Hotel, the Government feel
that they must dissociate themselves from the actual terms in which the
letter is couched. The Chief of the Imperial General Staff is dealing with
this aspect of the matter, and I am sure that it can be safely left in Field-
Marshal Montgomery's very competent hands. But the House will, of
course, bear in mind the difficult and delicate nature of the operations on
which our Forces in Palestine are at present engaged, and I am confident,
too, that the House will wish me to say that we fully appreciate how heavy
is the strain under which both the Army and the civilian officials have
been carrying out their duties, and to express our admiration for the mag-
nificent way in which they have discharged them. ...

The shock of the King David Hotel explosion has surely aroused us to
a fuller understanding, if that were needed, of the horrible and monstrous
nature of those "evil things"-to borrow a phrase used on a famous occa-
sion-against which we are fighting. The curse of Hitler is not yet fully
removed. Some of his victims fleeing from the ravaged ghettos of Europe
have carried with them the germs of those very plagues from which they
sought escape-intolerance, racial pride, intimidation, terrorism and the
worship of force. We are reminded that, in discussing the Palestine prob-
lem, we are dealing not only with the question of the displaced persons in
Europe-though, as I shall show, we have given most anxious attention to
that aspect-but also with the clash of political forces, deeply rooted in
history and stirring strong and, if unwisely directed, terrible emotions.
Zionism is regarded by its supporters as the expression of a profound and
splendid impulse in the soul of the Jewish people, and its purpose as
transcending the material needs of the immediate present. Let them be-
ware, however, lest this modern perversion of their faith brings ruin upon
them and it. Sane and healthy nationalism has inspired many of the finest

achievements of mankind; its perversion spells only degradation and
The leaders of the Jewish community in Palestine have, we feel bound
to say, failed to preserve their movement from the contagion of those false
ideals of which I have spoken. Many of them seem to have been drawn
into courses which their own consciences must at first have condemned.
The death of Lord Moyne in November, 1944, came as a startling proof of
the evil nature of Palestinian terrorism and the lengths to which it would
go. After that for a time the Jewish Agency co-operated with the Govern-
ment in a campaign against the illegal organizations, the Irgun Zvai Leumi
and the Stern Gang. There was, for some months, a lull in terrorist activi-
ties, but in May, 1945, following threats by the Irgun Zvai Leumi that
V-Day for the world would be D-Day for them, there was a renewed out-
break of violence.
The Anglo-American Committee have recorded how the Jewish Agency
ceased to provide that-co-operation with the Mandatory which is the duty
expressly laid upon them by the Mandate. Indeed, after the attacks on
the police headquarters and police stations in December, 1945, when eight
lives were lost, Mr. Ben Gurion, the Chairman of the Executive of the
Jewish Agency, in a statement issued to the Press by his authority, describ-
ing an interview which he and Mr. Shertok had had with the High Com-
missioner, indicated that the Agency could not assist in preventing such
acts, excusing themselves on the ground that, in the words of the statement,
it was difficult to appeal to the Jewish community to observe the law at
a time when the Mandatory Government was itself consistently violating
the fundamental law of the country embodied in the Palestine Mandate.
Mr. Pickthorn (Conservative): Gan we have the date of that?
Mr. Morrison: I am afraid I cannot say. It was some time towards the
end of last year; I am told it was in December. On this, the Anglo-Ameri-
can Committee comment:
"So long as this kind of view is put forward by the leaders of the Jewish Agency it
is impossible to look for settled conditions."
Several leaders of the Agency had already become directly implicated in
the terrorist campaign. Of this His Majesty's Government have ample
evidence, of which selections have been published in the recent White
Paper. The cumulative effect of this evidence in recent months was such
that, anxious as we had been to avoid any additional disturbance of the
situation while the Anglo-American discussions were in train, His Majesty's
Government were driven to the decision that drastic action could no longer
be postponed. The High Commissioner was accordingly authorized to
carry out the operations which began on 29th June, with a view to break-
ing up the illegal organizations and detaining those responsible for the
campaign of violence. I do not propose to dwell further on that matter
now, though there will be ample opportunity to raise it, if hon. Members
so desire, during the course of the Debate. I should myself prefer, and I
think the House, generally, will take the view that it would be more profit-

British Speeches of the Day [MR. H. MORRISON]
able, to turn away from the somber record of the past, and direct the atten-
tion of the House forward to the way by which we believe the peoples of
Palestine may be led to a brighter and happier future.

Representatives of His Majesty's Government and the Government of
the United States, whom I shall describe as the expert delegations, have
completed their examination of the recommendations made in the report
of the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry on the problems of European
Jewry and Palestine. The experts made unanimous recommendations on
both sides, British and American, as to the policy to be adopted in respect
of all the matters covered by the report of the Anglo-American Committee;
and I think that I should outline, inevitably at some length, the main fea-
tures of their proposals.
The expert delegations first dealt with the recommendations of the
Anglo-American Committee regarding the position of the Jews in Europe.
The events of recent years, after Hitler's rise to power, have given a special
emphasis to the character of the Jewish National Home as a sanctuary for
those who could reach it from among the tragically few survivors of Euro-
pean Jewry. It is the pressure of immigration from Europe that has so
intensified the difficulties of the Palestine problem. The Anglo-American
Committee recognized that Palestine alone cannot meet the immigration
needs of the Jewish victims of Nazi and Fascist persecution, and recom-
mended that our two Governments, in association with other countries-
for the whole world shares the responsibility-should endeavor immediately
to find new homes for all displaced persons, irrespective of creed or
The expert delegations proposed that our two Governments should
adopt the following means of making an immediate contribution to the
solution of this problem. First, they proposed that our two Governments
should seek to create conditions favorable to the resettlement of a sub-
stantial number of displaced persons in Europe itself, since it is recognized
that the overwhelming majority will continue to live in Europe. In the
British and American zones of Germany and Austria our two Governments
are doing their utmost to assist resettlement and to eradicate anti-Semitism.
In Italy and the ex-enemy satellite States, the authorities will be required
by the Peace Treaties to secure to all persons under their jurisdiction
human rights and the fundamental freedoms. As regards the countries in
Europe, the expert delegations recommended that our Governments should
support the efforts of the United Nations to ensure the protection of those
rights and freedoms. Further, -by assisting to re-establish political and
economic stability in Europe, we should continue to contribute to the
restoration of those basic conditions which will make possible the reinte-
gration in Europe of a substantial number of displaced persons, including
But, when all that is possible has been done in Europe, it is clear that
new homes must be found overseas for many whose ties with their former


communities have been irreparably broken. The expert delegations out-
lined the following measures-some of which are already in train-designed
to promote this movement. First, we should continue to press for the
establishment of an International Refugee Organization designed to deal
effectively with the problem of refugees and displaced persons as a whole.
Secondly, we should give strong support at the forthcoming General Assem-
bly of the United Nations to an appeal calling upon all Member Govern-
ments to receive in territories under their control a proportion of the
displaced persons in Europe, including Jews. I should here interpolate
that His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom have already given
a lead in this matter by accepting a commitment to promote the resettle-
ment of about 235,000 Polish troops and civilians and their dependents.
This is, of course, in addition to refugees admitted during the period of
Nazi persecution, of whom some 70,000 Jews remain in the United King-
dom. His Majesty's Governments in the Dominions have been informed
of the action being taken by His Majesty's Government in the United
Kingdom, and they will, we hope, support the appeal to Member Govern-
ments of the United Nations, an appeal which will include an invitation
to receive a number of displaced persons in the territories under their
control. I also understand that the United States, where 275,000 refugees,
including 180,000 Jews, have permanently resettled in the same period,
are now resuming normal immigration and expect to receive some 53,000
immigrants each year from the European countries from which the dis-
placed persons are drawn. Finally, pending the establishment of an Inter-
national Refugee Organization, we shall, in co-operation with the Govern-
ment of the United States, continue to promote the resettlement of refugees
and displaced persons through the agency of the Inter-Governmental Com-
mittee on Refugees. Plans are in preparation, in co-operation with the
nations concerned, for resettling large numbers of displaced persons in
Brazil and other South American countries.
It will thus be seen, from what I have said, that the broader aspects
of the refugee and displaced persons problem have not been overlooked,
nor the restoration of conditions in Europe permitting the reintegration
there of as many displaced persons, including Jews, as may wish to remain.
The ability and talent of Jews and others are needed for the difficult
tasks of reconstruction that lie ahead. At the same time, we are taking
urgent and practical steps to ensure that other countries as well as Pales-
tine will contribute to the resettlement of those displaced persons, includ-
ing Jews, who must look elsewhere than to Europe for their permanent
In formulating a new policy for Palestine, the expert delegations
accepted as a basis the principles laid down in the third recommendation
of the Anglo-American Committee, that Palestine as a whole can be neither
a Jewish nor an Arab State, that neither of the two communities in Pales-
tine should dominate the other, and that the form of Government should
be such as to safeguard the interests in the Holy Land of both Christendom
and the Moslem and Jewish faiths.

British Speeches of the Day [MR. H. MOBnsoN]
The expert delegations argue as follows. The political aspirations of
the two communities in Palestine are irreconcilable. The conflict which
these aspirations have provoked is so bitter that there is little hope of
securing within any reasonable period that measure of co-operation be-
tween Arab and Jew which would make possible the establishment in
Palestine of a unitary system of Government, consistent with these basic
principles, in which each people played its part. The only chance of peace,
and of immediate advance towards self-governing institutions, appears to
lie in so framing the constitution of the country as to give to each the
greatest practicable measure of power to manage its own affairs. The
experts believe that, in present circumstances, this can best be secured by
the establishment of Arab and Jewish Provinces, which will enjoy a large
measure of autonomy under a Central Government.
It is their proposal that, for this purpose, Palestine shall be divided
into four areas, an Arab Province, a Jewish Province, a District of Jerusa-
lem and a District of Negeb. The Jewish Province would include the
great bulk of the land on which Jews have already settled and a consider-
able area between and around the settlements. The Jerusalem District
would include Jerusalem, Bethlehem and their immediate environs. The
Negeb District would consist of the uninhabited triangle of waste land in
the south of Palestine beyond the present limits of cultivation. The Arab
Province would include the remainder of Palestine; it would be almost
wholly Arab in respect both of land and of population. The provincial
boundaries would be purely administrative boundaries, defining the area
within which a local legislature would be empowered to legislate on certain
subjects and a local executive to administer its laws. They would have no
significance as regards defense, Customs or communications, but, in order
to give finality, the boundaries, once fixed, would not be susceptible of
change except by agreement between the two Provinces. A provision to this
effect would be embodied in any trusteeship agreement, and in the instru-
ment bringing the plan into operation.
The provincial governments would have power of legislation and ad-
ministration within their areas with regard to a wide range of subjects of
primarily provincial concern. They would also have power to limit the
number and determine the qualifications of persons who may take up
permanent residence in their territories after the introduction of the plan.
The provincial governments would be required by the instrument of gov-
ernment which establishes the fundamental law to provide for the guaran-
tee of civil rights and equality before the law of all residents, and for the
freedom of interterritorial transit, trade and commerce. The provincial
governments would have the necessary power to raise money for the pur-
pose of carrying out their functions.
There would be reserved to the Central Government exclusive author-


ity as to defense, foreign relations, Customs and Excise. In addition, there
would be reserved initially to the Central Government exclusive authority
as to the administration of law and order, including the police and courts,
and a limited number of subjects of all-Palestine importance. The Central
Government would have all powers not expressly granted to the provinces
by the instrument of Government. An elected Legislative Chamber would
be established in each Province. An executive, consisting of a chief Min-
ister and a Council of Ministers, would be appointed in each Province by
the High Commissioner from among the members of the Legislative Cham-
ber after consultation with its leaders. Bills passed by the Legislative
Chambers would require the assent of the High Commissioner. This, how-
ever, would not be withheld unless the Bill is inconsistent with the instru-
ment of Government, whose provisions would afford safeguards for the
peace of Palestine and for the rights of minorities.
It would also be necessary to reserve to the High Commissioner an
emergency power to intervene if a provincial government fails to perform,
or exceeds, its proper functions. The executive and legislative functions of
the Central Government would initially be exercised by the High Commis-
sioner, assisted by a nominated Executive Council. Certain of the depart-
ments of the Central Government would be headed, as soon as the High
Commissioner deems practical, by Palestinians. The High Commissioner
would establish a Development Planning Board and a Tariff Board com-
posed of representatives of the Central Government and of each Province.
In the Jerusalem District, a council would be established with powers simi-
lar to those of a municipal council. The majority of its members would be
elected, but certain members would be nominated by the High Commis-
sioner. The Negeb District would be administered, for the time being,
by the Central Government.

This plan for provincial autonomy would greatly simplify the prob-
lem of Jewish immigration into Palestine. Though final control over im-
migration would continue to rest with the Central Government, this con-
trol would be exercised on the basis of recommendations made by the pro-
vincial governments. So long as the economic absorptive capacity of the
Province was not exceeded, the Central Government would authorize the
immigration desired by the provincial government. It would have no
power to authorize immigration in excess of any limitations proposed by
the provincial governments. Thus, though the Government of the Arab
Province would have full power to exclude Jewish immigrants from its
Province, the Jewish Province would, normally, be able to admit as many
immigrants as its Government desires. *
As part of this plan, the experts suggest that it would become possible
to accept the recommendations of the Anglo-American Committee for the
immediate admission of 100,000 Jewish immigrants into Palestine, and for
continuing immigration thereafter. The experts prepared a plan for the
movement of 100,000 Jews from Europe into the Jewish area of Palestine,
and this plan could be set in motion as soon as it is decided to put into

British Speeches of the Day [MR. H. MORRISONJ
effect the scheme as a whole. The immigration certificates would be issued
as rapidly as possible, and every effort would be made to complete the
operation within 12 months of the date on which the immigration begins.
The immigrants would be selected, primarily, from Jews in Germany,
Austria and Italy, and priority would be given to those who have already
spent some time in assembly centers in those countries and to others who,
though no longer in. those centers, were liberated in Germany and Austria.
Within those groups, priority would be given to building craftsmen and
agricultural workers, young children, the infirm and the aged. The bulk
of the 100,000 would be drawn from Germany, Austria and Italy; any cer-
tificates available for the Jews in other countries of Eastern and South-
Eastern Europe would be issued only to orphan children. Shipment would
proceed at the maximum rate consistent with the clearance of the transit
camps in Palestine, in which the immigrants would be temporarily accom-
modated until they could be absorbed.

Under this plan, the United States Government would be asked to
undertake sole responsibility for the sea transportation of those Jewish
refugees, to whom I have referred, from Europe to Palestine. They would
provide the ships and would defray the whole cost of sea transportation.
They would also provide food for the immigrants for the first two months
after their arrival in Palestine. The cost of transferring and settling this
number of persons in Palestine would, of course, be considerable. The
Jewish organizations have accepted the financial responsibility, and the
experts saw no reason why the required finance should not be found from
reparations, from contributions by world Jewry and from loans. The
experts accepted the recommendations of the Anglo-American Committee
that improvements of the economic and social conditions of the Arabs in
Palestine were desirable. The program which they suggested would
include the provision of a health service comparable to that already avail-
able to the Jews, an expansion of educational facilities, the provision of
cheap credit for the Arab cultivators, and other measures designed to
increase the productivity of the land, the promotion of the co-operative
movement, the development of light industries and improvements in both
rural and urban living conditions.
The expert delegations gave warning that, for some years, the imple-
mentation of these and other plans for the improvement of economic op-
portunities and living standards in Palestine would impose heavy capital
costs not eligible for loans, and would constitute a severe strain on the
finances of Palestine. The setting up of the provincial system would also
entail a deficit in the budget of the Arab Province which would have to
be met by a Central Government subvention. Further financial aid for
Palestine would be required if the plan, as a whole, is to be carried out.
To meet this situation, the experts suggested that the United States should
be asked to make a substantial grant to the Government of Palestine, to
be used principally for financing Arab development projects not suitable
for self-liquidating loans, and for assisting in the meeting of extraordinary

expenditure during the transitional period, while this country should be
asked to take ultimate responsibility for meeting Palestine's annual budg-
etary deficit up to the time when increased revenues made this unnecessary.

The experts believed that the need for economic development in Pales-
tine should be considered against the background of the Middle East as a
whole. They understood that the governments represented in the Arab
League were now examining the possibilities of economic development in
their countries, and they, therefore, suggested that if any of those States
found difficulty in obtaining international loans for this purpose, the
United States should authorize large scale development loans. These loans
would be made through an appropriate agency for the development of the
Middle East region, including Palestine. Most large scale development
from which Palestine could benefit should be undertaken in co-operation,
at least, with Transjordan, and probably with Syria and Lebanon. The
experts proposed that, subject to the consent of the Government of Trans-
jordan, the common water resources of both Palestine and Transjordan
should be surveyed as soon as possible by consulting engineers acting under
Government auspices.
I have now completed my outline of the recommendations of the ex-
pert delegations. His Majesty's Government, believing that these recom-
mendations represent the best line of advance towards a solution of the
problem, informed the United States Government of their willingness to
accept them as the basis for negotiation. We had hoped before the Debate
to receive from President Truman his acceptance, but we understand that
he has decided, in view of the complexity of the matter, to discuss it in
detail with the United States expert delegation who are returning to
Washington for the purpose. The President is thus giving further con-
sideration to the matter, and we hope to hear again from him in due course.

Meanwhile, however, the situation in Palestine will brook no delay.
We are inviting the representatives of the Jews and Arabs to meet us for
discussion of these problems, and we hope that we shall be able to bring
before them as a basis for negotiation the plan recommended by the ex-
pert delegations. If it is found acceptable, our intention would be that it
should be embodied in a trusteeship agreement for Palestine. But I should
make it clear that we mean to go ahead with discussion with Arabs and
Jews of a constitutional scheme on these lines. We believe that it offers
many advantages to both communities in Palestine.
The Jews will be free to exercise a large measure of control over im-
migration into their own Province, and to forward there the development
of the Jewish National Home. The Land Transfer Regulations will be
repealed. It will be open to the Government of the Arab Province to
permit or to refuse permission to Jews to purchase land there, but the
area of the Jewish Province will be larger than that in which Jews are
free to buy land at present. The Arabs will gain, in that the great ma-

British Speeches of the Day [MB. H. MOnISON)
jority of them will be freed once and for all from any fear of Jewish
domination. The citizens of the Arab Province will achieve at once a large
measure of autonomy, and powerful safeguards will be provided to protect
the rights of the Arab minority left in the Jewish Province. To both com-
munities the plan offers a prospect of development, of which there would
be little hope in a unitary Palestine.
In the long term, the plan leaves the way open for peaceful progress
and constitutional development either towards partition, or towards fed-
eral unity. The association of representatives of the two Provinces in the
administration of central subjects, may lead ultimately to a fully devel-
oped federal constitution. On the other hand, if the centrifugal forces
prove too strong, the way is open towards partition. Our proposals do
not prejudge this issue either way. We believe that this plan provides as
fair and reasonable a compromise between the claims of Arab and Jew
as it is possible to devise, and that it offers the best prospect of reconciling
the conflicting interests of the two communities. This, however, must be
made cear. The full implementation of the experts' plan as a whole de-
pends on United States co-operation. I hope that that will be forthcoming.
If not, we shall have to reconsider the position, particularly as regards the
economic and financial implications, and this is bound to affect the tempo
and extent of immigration and development . .
I commend these proposals to the House, and I would urge upon both
communities in the Holy Land to give them their most earnest consider-
ation. While our consultations are proceeding, I would appeal to all men
of good will on either side, to co-operate with the Government in sup-
pressing terrorism and in bringing to justice those responsible for crimes
of violence. Let nothing be said or done that will render it more difficult
to reach a final settlement. The world is weary of this senseless strife of
Jew and Arab, and sickened by its barbarous incidents. It calls upon
them to end a sordid chapter of history, and join with the civilized nations
in building the foundations of a nobler and happier world. Their friends
everywhere will anxiously await their verdict. Mere negation, however,
does no good and would be particularly dangerous and regrettable in a
combustible situation of the kind with which we are dealing. There is a
responsibility on both Jews and Arabs to be willing to sit down as prac-
tical people to discuss, to negotiate and to talk with a view to reaching
a practicable solution, with the expedition and with the sense of urgency
which this grave problem demands.

August 1
The Leader of the Opposition (Rt. Hon. Winston Churchill): In the
short time which I will venture to occupy the House, I am going to touch
a little on some of the grave realities . because the situation in which
we are placed is a very grievous one, and one which is not improving at
all. I must also go back a little into the past, because on this question we
have got to look to the past.

The position which I personally have adopted and maintained dates
from 1919 and 1921, when, as Dominions and Colonial Secretary, it fell to
me to define, with the approval of the then Cabinet and Parliament, the
interpretation that was placed upon our obligations to the Zionists under
the Mandate for Palestine entrusted to us by the League of Nations. This
was the declaration of 1922, which I personally drafted for the approval
of the authorities of the day. Palestine was not to be a Jewish National
Home, but there was to be set up a Jewish National Home in Palestine.
Jewish immigration would be allowed up to the limit of the economic
absorptive capacity-that was the phrase which I coined in those days and
which seems to remain convenient-the' Mandatory Power being, it was
presumed, the final judge of what that capacity was. During the greater
part of a quarter of a century which has passed, this policy was carefully
carried out by us. The Jewish population multiplied, from about 80,000 to
nearly 600,000. Tel Aviv expanded into the great city it is, a city which,
I may say, during this war and before it, welcomed and nourished waifs
and orphans flying from Nazi persecution. Many refugees found shelter
and a sanctuary there, so that this land, not largely productive of the
means of life, became a fountain of charity and hospitality to people in
great distress. Land reclamation and cultivation and great electrical enter-
prises progressed. Trade made notable progress, and not only did the
Jewish population increase but the Arab population, dwelling in the areas
colonized and enriched by the Jews, also increased in almost equal num-
bers. The Jews multiplied six-fold and the Arabs developed 500,000, thus
showing that both races gained a marked advantage from the Zionist policy
which we pursued and which we were developing over this period.

The right hon. and learned Gentleman the President of the Board of
Trade spoke of the past 25 years as being the most unkind or unhappy
Palestine has known. I imagine that it would hardly be possible to state
the opposite of the truth more compendiously. The years during which
we have accepted the Mandate have been the brightest that Palestine has
known and were full of hope. Of course, there was always friction, because
the Jew was, in many cases, allowed to go far beyond the strict limits of
the interpretation which was placed upon the Mandate. Disturbances oc-
curred in 1937 and in 1938; in 1939 Mr. Chamberlain's Government pro-
duced the White Paper, which limited immigration other than on the
grounds of the economic absorptive capacity of the country. That, after a
five-year interval, would have brought immigration to an end except by
agreement with the Arab majority, which certainly would not have been
obtained. This was in my view a failure to fulfil the obligations we had
accepted, and I immediately protested against this departure. I found
myself in full agreement with the Labor and Liberal Parties of those
days. ..
I have never altered my opinion that the White Paper constituted a
negation of Zionist policy which, the House must remember, was an in-

British Speeches of the Day [MR. CHURCHaiL]
tegral and indispensable condition of the Mandate. That is the view
which I hold today. It was violently resented by the Jews in Palestine,
and by world Jewry, a large majority of whom-although there are notable
exceptions-regard Zionism as a great ideal, and as the cherished hope of
their race, scattered throughout the world.

Then came the war. After the fall of France and the attack upon us
by Italy, when we stood utterly alone, we had great need to concentrate
our troops against the enemy and economize in our outlying garrisons and
commitments. At my desire, the Jewish community in Palestine was
armed, encouraged to organize and, in fact, to play a part in the defense
of the Holy Land, to liberate British units there. The horrible persecu-
tions by the Nazis left no doubt as to which side they were on, or could
be on. The possibility of a German invasion, striking through Turkey,
Syria and Palestine to the Suez Canal, as well as through Persia towards
the Persian Gulf, and at what were then deemed to be our vital com-
munications, at what was then considered to be an important element in
our affairs-our Eastern Empire and possessions, as well as Australia and
New Zealand-was a very real anxiety in 1941-42. At a most critical time
in 1941, it was aggravated by the revolt of the pro-German Arab elements
in Iraq. No doubt our Zionist policy may have led, in part, to that diver-
gence of Arab sentiment. But the revolt was quelled, Syria was liberated,
and Persia was occupied. Immense preparations and fortifications were
made against German penetration of the Caucasus, and this danger com-
plicated the whole defense of Europe from the West. But this menace was
removed, at once and for ever, by the victories of Stalingrad and El Ala-

Meanwhile, the Jewish community had developed strong, well-armed
forces, and the highest military authorities reported to the Cabinet during
1941-42 that if the continued bickerings between Jews and Arabs grew into
serious conflict, the Jews could not only defend themselves, but would beat
the Arabs in Palestine, though that was, of course, the very opposite posi-
tion from that which existed at the time of the Mandate, in 1919. At
that time, the Jews were a defenseless minority, and it was a great part of
our duty to protect them from the hostility of the very much stronger Arab
forces who emerged with so much distinction and credit from the struggle
against the Turks. Thus, there are two facts to be borne in mind. First,
that Zionists and the Palestine Jews were vehemently and undividedly on
our side in the struggle and, secondly, that they no longer need our assist-
ance to maintain themselves in their national home against local Arab
hostility. A general attack upon them by all surrounding Arab States
would be a different matter, and that would clearly be one which would
have to be settled by the United Nations' organization. But the position is
different from what it was when the Mandate was granted.

Meanwhile how did we treat the Arabs? We have treated them very
well. The House of Hussein reigns in Iraq. Feisal was placed on the
throne, his grandson is there today. The Emir Abdullah, whom I remem-
ber appointing at Jerusalem, in 1921, to be in charge of Transjordania, is
there today. He has survived the shocks, strains and stresses which have
altered almost every institution in the world. He has never broken his
faith and loyalty to this country. Syria and the Lebanon owe their inde-
pendence to the great exertions made by the British Government to make
sure that the pledges made by them, at the time when we were weak, but,
nevertheless, were forced to take action by entering the country to drive
out the Vichy French, were honored. We have insisted on those pledges
being made good. I cannot touch on the Arabs without paying my tribute
to this splendid king, Ibn Saud, of Saudi Arabia, who in the darkest hours
never failed to send messages and encouragement of his unshakable faith
that we should win and gain through. I cannot admit that we have not
done our utmost to treat the Arabs in a way which so great a race deserves
and requires. There was no greater champion of Arab rights than the late
Colonel Lawrence. He was a valued friend of mine, and of my right hon.
Friend the Member for Horsham (Earl Winterton) who served with him
in the Desert. With him I always kept in very close touch. There was
great anxiety and dispute about this matter of the last war, when I was in
the responsible position, at the Colonial Office, of dealing with it. When
Colonel Lawrence gave me his book "The Seven Pillars of Wisdom," he
wrote in it that I had made a happy end to this show. I will not have it
that the way we treated this matter was inconsiderate to the Arabs. On
the contrary, I think that they have had a very fair deal from Great Britain.
With all those countries, which are given to their power and control, in
every way they have had a very fair deal. It was little enough, indeed, that
we had asked for the Jews-a natural home in their historic Holy Land,
on which they have the power and virtue to confer many blessings for
enjoyment, both of Jew and Arab.

It is quite true that the claims and desires of the Zionists latterly went
beyond anything which were agreed to by the Mandatory Power. This
caused alarm and unrest among the Arabs, but the limits of the policy
which I explained to the House have never been exceeded by any British
Government, and if they are discharged they constitute the faithful fulfil-
ment of our pledges, on which the Mandate hangs. At the General Election
which followed the victorious ending of the German war, the Labor Party,
which was believed to champion the Zionist cause in the terms I have
defined, and not only in those terms, but going, in many cases, far beyond
-to set up a Jewish State in Palestine, and so forth; quotations have been
used, and one reads them, but there is no dispute on the matter-this Labor
Party, some of whom we see here today, gained a large majority in the
House of Commons. During the Election, they made most strenuous pro-
Zionist speeches and declarations. Many of their most important leaders

British Speeches of the Day [MR. CHURCHILL]
were known to be ardent supporters of the Zionist cause, and their success
was, naturally, regarded by the Jewish community in Palestine as a prelude
to the fulfilment of the pledges which had been made to them, and indeed
opening the way to further ambitions. This was certainly the least which
everybody expected.
In fact, all sorts of hopes were raised among the Jews of Palestine, just
as other hopes were raised elsewhere. However, when the months slipped
by and no decided policy or declaration was made by the present Govern-
ment, a deep and bitter resentment spread throughout the Palestine Jewish
community, and violent protests were made by the Zionist supporters in the
United States. The disappointment and disillusionment of the Jews at
the procrastination and indecision of the British Labor Government are no
excuse, as we have repeatedly affirmed here, for the dark and deadly crimes
which have been committed by the fanatical extremists, and these mis-
creants and murderers should be rooted out and punished with the full
severity of the law. We are all agreed about that, and I was glad to hear
the right hon. and learned Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade
affirm the intention of the Government not to be coerced by terrorism. But
the expectations which had been aroused by the Party opposite, and the
resultant revulsion of feeling, are facts, none the less, to be held constantly
before our minds. They cannot say all these things, and then let a whole
year pass away and do nothing about it, and then be surprised if these
pledges come home to roost in a most unpleasant manner.
Had I had the opportunity of guiding the course of events after the war
was won a year ago, I should have faithfully pursued the Zionist cause as I
have defined it; and I have not abandoned it today, although this is not a
very popular moment to espouse it; but there are two things to say about
it. First, I agree entirely with what the President of the Board of Trade
said on this point-no one can imagine that there is room in Palestine for
the great masses of Jews who wish to leave Europe, or that they could be
absorbed in any period which it is now useful to contemplate. The idea
that the Jewish problem could be solved or even helped by a vast dumping
of the Jews of Europe into Palestine is really too silly to consume our time
in the House this afternoon. I am not absolutely sure that we should be
in too great a hurry to give up the idea that European Jews may live in
the countries where they belong. I must say that I had no idea, when the
war came to an end, of the horrible massacres which had occurred; the
millions and millions that have been slaughtered. That dawned on us
gradually after the struggle was over. But if all these immense millions
have been killed and slaughtered, there must be a certain amount of living
room for the survivors, and there must be inheritances and properties to
which they can lay claim. Are we not to hope that some tolerance will be
established in racial matters in Europe, and that there will be some law
reigning by which at any rate a portion of the property of these great
numbers will not be taken away from them? It is quite clear, however,

that this crude idea of letting all the Jews of Europe go into Palestine has
no relation either to the problem of Europe or to the problem which
arises in Palestine.

Mr. S. Silverman (Labor): The right hon. Gentleman is not suggesting,
is he, that any Jew who regarded a country in Europe as nothing but the
graveyard and cemetery of all his relatives, friends and hopes should be
compelled to stay there if he did not want to do so?
Mr. Churchill: I am against preventing Jews from doing anything which
other people are allowed to do. I am against that, and I have the strongest
abhorrence of the idea of anti-Semitic lines of prejudice. Secondly, I have
for some years past-this is really the crux of the argument I am venturing
to submit to the House-felt that an unfair burden was being thrown upon
Great Britain by our having to bear the whole weight of the Zionist policy,
while Arabs and Moslems-or Muslims, as they are called by a certain school
of political thought-then so important to our Empire, were alarmed and
estranged, and while the United States, for the Government and people of
which I have the greatest regard and friendship, and other countries, sat
on the sidelines and criticized our shortcomings with all the freedom of
perfect detachment and irresponsibility. Therefore, I had always intended
to put it to our friends in America, from the very beginning of the postwar
discussions, that either they should come in and help us in this Zionist
problem, about which they feel so strongly, and as I think rightly, on even
terms, share and share alike, or that we resign our Mandate, as we have, of
course, a perfect right to do.
Indeed, I am convinced that from the moment when we feel ourselves
unable to carry out properly and honestly the Zionist policy as we have all
these years defined it and accepted it, and which is the condition on which
we received the Mandate for Palestine, it is our duty at any rate to offer to
lay down the Mandate. We should, therefore, as soon as the war stopped,
have made it clear to the United States that, unless they came in and bore
their share, we would lay the whole care and burden at the feet of the
United Nations organization; and we should have fixed a date by which
all our troops and forces would be withdrawn from the country. At that
time we had no interest in Palestine. We have never sought or got any-
thing out of Palestine. We have discharged a thankless, painful, costly,
laborious, inconvenient task for more than a quarter of a century with a
very great measure of success. Many people have made fine speeches about
the Zionist question. Many have subscribed generously in money, but it
is Great Britain, and Great Britain alone, which has steadfastly carried that
cause forward across a whole generation to its present actual position, and
the Jews all over the world ought not to be in a hurry to forget that. If in
the Jewish movement or in the Jewish Agency there are elements of murder
and outrage which they cannot control, and if these strike not only at their
best but at their only effective friends, they and the Zionist cause must
inevitably suffer from the grave and lasting reproach of the atrocious crimes
which have been committed. It is perfectly clear that Jewish warfare

British Speeches of the Day [MR. CHURCHIUL]
directed against the British in Palestine will, if protracted, automatically
release us from all obligations to persevere, as well as destroy the inclina-
tion to make further efforts in British hearts. Indeed, there are many
people who are very near that now. We must not be in a hurry to turn
aside from large causes we have carried far.

There is the figure of Dr. Weizmann, that dynamic Jew whom I have
known so long, the ablest and wisest leader of the cause of Zionism, his
whole life devoted to the cause, his son killed in the battle for our common
freedom. I ardently hope his authority will be respected by Zionists in this
dark hour, and that the Government will keep in touch with him and make
every one of his compatriots feel how much he is respected here. It is
perfectly clear that in that case we shall have the best opportunities of carry-
ing this matter further forward.

I am sorry to weary the House with these reminiscences and "might
have beens" but it was my intention when the war was over to place this
position before our American friends in the plainest words-the plainest
words, which, spoken in good will and good faith are the words to which
Americans are most likely to respond. I am in full accord with every effort
the Government have made to obtain American support in sharing the
burden of the Zionist policy. The Anglo-American Commission was a step
in the right direction, the negotiations which have taken place- since are
another favorable step, as was this scheme which has been read out as
agreed to by the expert bodies joined on this Commission. It is far more
important that there should be agreement tjan that there should be this
or that variant of the scheme. I fully agree that the Government were
right to labor with the United States; I will not try to examine the various
schemes of partition or cantonization which have been put forward, nor
would I dwell on that idea, which I always championed, of a wider union
-an Arab-Jew federal system of four or five States in the Middle East,
which would have been one of the great Powers, with Jew and Arab com-
bined together to share the glory and mutually protect and help each other.
As I say, almost any solution in which the United States will join us could
be made to work.
All these processes of inquiry, negotiation and discussion have been the
occasion, so frequently referred to in this Debate, of prolonged and very
dangerous delays, and if at the end of all these delays success is not attained,
namely Anglo-American co-operation on equal terms to carry out a Zionist
policy within the limits defined or as we may agree-if that is not attained
then we are confronted with a deplorable failure in the conduct of our
affairs in Palestine since the end of the second great war. It was with very
great regret that I read this morning of the non-agreement of the United
States, and the right hon. and learned Gentleman who has just sat down
quite bluntly and bleakly told us that there was no agreement at the pres-
ent time. I hope it is not the final word. This agreement was the one

great goal to which we were invited to aspire; here was the one excuse the
Government could put forward for the long delays and indecisions which
have involved us in so much cost and serious bloodshed. If this Anglo-
American co-operation fails, as it seems so far to have failed, then I
must say that the record of the Administration during this year-and a
Government must be judged by results-in the handling of Palestinian
affairs will stand forth as a monument of incapacity.

It may be that they have had difficulties, but Governments are judged
by results. I turned up with a number of defeats during the war and I
was very much criticized about it. I had several times to come down with
reports of defeats, but when afterwards there were succcesses we were enti-
tled to be praised. Up to this particular minute, this has been a complete
failure; it has gone from bad to worse and one does not feel that there is
any grip of the matter which is going to succeed. The one rightful, reason-
able, simple, and compulsive lever which we held and, if you will, still
hold, was and is a sincere readiness to resign the mission, to lay our Man-
date at the feet of the United Nations organization and thereafter to evacu-
ate the country with which we have no connection or tradition and where
we have no sovereignty as in India and no treaty as in Egypt. Such was
the position we could have adopted until a few months ago, and I am sure
it would have procured a good result. The cogency of such a statement
once it was believed would, I am sure, make the solution much more possi-
ble, and if no solution was obtained, then our responsibilities would have
been honorably discharged. Once make it clear that the British have no
interests in remaining in Palestine and no wish to do so, and that they
decline to carry forward single-handed this harsh, invidious burden, then
you will get attention paid to what you say and what you ask and all kinds
of good solutions for the Jew and Arab alike, based on the co-operation
and resources of the English-speaking world, will immediately come into
the field of possibility.
However, His Majesty's Government by their precipitate abandonment
of their treaty rights in Egypt, and, in particular, the Suez Canal zone, are
now forced to look for a strong place of arms, for a jumping-off ground in
Palestine in order to protect the Canal from outside Egypt. By this unwis-
dom they have vitiated disinterestedness and we can now be accused of
having a national strategic motive for retaining our hold on Palestine. I
must regard this as a very grave disaster and an immense weakening of
our position. What the Government have done in Egypt-though no doubt
from very good motives-has greatly weakened our moral position in Pales-
tine by stripping us of our disinterestedness in that country. I pointed out
in the Debate on Egyptian policy, a few weeks ago, that the moment we
were dependent upon Palestine for a base from which to defend the Suez
Canal, we should greatly hamper all possibility of obtaining American co-
operation. Well, look at the position to which we have now been brought.
Take stock round the world at the present moment; after all we are
entitled to survey the whole field. We declare ourselves ready to abandon

British Speeches of the Day [Mn. CHURCHILL
the mighty Empire and Continent of India with all the work we have done
in the last 200 years, territory over which we possess unimpeachable sov-
ereignty. The Government are, apparently, ready to leave the 400 million
Indians to fall into all the horrors of sanguinary civil war-civil war com-
pared to which anything that could happen in Palestine would be micro-
scopic; wars of elephants compared with wars of mice. Indeed we place
the independence of India in hostile and feeble hands, heedless of the dark
carnage and confusion which will follow. We scuttle from Egypt which we
twice successfully defended from foreign massacre and pillage. We scuttle
from it, we abandon the Canal zone about which our treaty rights were
and still are indefeasible, but now, apparently, the one place where we are
at all costs and at all inconveniences to hold on and fight it out to the death
is Palestine, and we are to be at war with the Jews of Palestine, and, if
necessary, with the Arabs of Palestine. For what reason? Not, all the
world will say, for the faithful discharge of our long mission but because
we have need, having been driven out of Egypt, to secure a satisfactory
strategic base from which to pursue our imperial aims.

I thank the House for listening. I have trespassed on their time at
some length, but I wish to look forward before I conclude and not to look
back. I will not go so far in criticizing and in censuring without proposing
positive action, with all the responsibility and the exposure to counter-
attack which one incurs when one proposes definite and serious action.
Here is the action-action this day. I think the Government should say
that if the United States will not come and share the burden of the Zionist
cause, as defined'or as agreed, we should now give notice that we will return
our Mandate to U. N. O. and that we will evacuate Palestine within a
specified period. At the same time, we should inform Egypt that we stand
by our Treaty rights and will, by all means, maintain our position in the
Canal zone. Those are the two positive proposals which I submit, most
respectfully, to the House. In so far as the Government may have ham-
pered themselves in any way from adopting these simple policies, they are
culpable in the last degree, and the whole Empire and the Commonwealth
will be the sufferers from their mismanagement.

Mr.. Sydney Silverman: It was inevitable that the Debate should have
been overshadowed at its commencement by the outrage in Jerusalem last
week. Everyone can appreciate the feelings that such an outrage engen-
dered. I do not want to say another word about it. I do not even want to
say a word about General Barker, in connection with whom so much mis-
understanding was expressed in various parts of the House yesterday. I
can understand it too. I wonder how many Members who were Members-
of the last Parliament remember the occasion in 1942, early in December,
when, at long last, the great Powers, the Allies, became reluctantly con-
vinced that Hitler really did mean to annihilate the whole of the Jewish
population of Europe. What will be recalled is the moment that will com-

pare with any other moment in the history of this House, when the whole
crowded House-an unprecedented thing to do and not provided for by
any Standing Order-rose to its feet and stood in silent homage to those
who were about to die.
We could not do much to help them. No one desired that our war
activity should be moderated in any sort of way or that our war effort
should be in any way weakened in order to bring succor to those threatened
people. Surely, at that moment we undertook some obligation to any who,
in spite of all, might survive. Not many did. I know that the House gets
tired, as I get "tired myself, of recounting the numbers of people who went
through the gas chambers, but I beg hon. Members whose sympathy was
so deeply roused about General Barker and who understand so well how
the deaths of people known to us and dear to us can make us say unbal-
anced things, and do things that otherwise we should not have done, to
show some kind of understanding for the people in Palestine and elsewhere,
who have not lost 100 people but who have lost 6,000,000 people. If they,
too, get overstrained and do things that they ought not to do, say things
that they ought not to say, and get, as a result, more disaster and more
bitterness, however much we may condemn it and however much we may
condemn General Barker's words, let us show some understanding. That
is all I want to say about that, except that it leads me to this: on both sides
of the House people still talk about not allowing Jews to be expelled from
Europe. I agree. It would be a poor result of the past six years of war,
unless we could create conditions everywhere in the world in which men
could live in free and equal citizenship without regard to race, creed or
color. If there are Jews who are prepared to remain and contribute again
of their best to the reconstruction of European civilization, at least condi-
tions ought to be created that will enable them to do so; but I repeat that
no one ought to be compelled to remain who wishes to go.

Let me tell the House a story. I do not suppose anyone would mind
the name being mentioned, but I will not give it unless I am pressed for it.
I knew a German Jew who was born in Berlin, aged now perhaps a year
or two under 40; his father was born in Germany and his grandfather and
great-grandfathers go back for 1,000 years. He married a German Jewish
girl in Berlin. They had a little house and a little business and a little
boy, and lived there until Christmas of 1941, when a large black Nazi car
arrived at their little house and took away his wife and his little boy. The
next morning another car arrived and took him away, and he spent the
next four or five years in various concentration camps, miraculously sur-
viving, until I found him in Belsen last August as vice-chairman of the
Central Committee of Displaced Persons. He has never heard of his wife
or his boy since. He will never hear of his wife or his boy again.
What do hon. Members think ought to be done with Mr. Wollheim?
Send him back to Berlin? No, I do not believe there is anybody who would
do it. Send him as a refugee or exile or alien to some other country that
might be induced to receive him as an act of charity? No, if there is any

British Speeches of the Day [MR. S.IVERMAN]
other fate open to him. If he wants to go to a land in respect of which we
are pledged to create a national home, where he will be no stranger and
no exile but a returning son back to his own land and people to live his
own life in his own surroundings, is he not entitled to go-
Mr. Blackburn (Labor): Will the hon. Member give some estimate of
the total numbers of Jews who would fall into this category, and what he
thinks could be done with that estimated number?
Mr. Silverman: If my hon. Friend wants to study this question; he will
find an opportunity for studying it of greater profit than by making inter-
ventions in speeches in a Debate. This question has been examined time
after time. My hon. Friend the Member for East Coventry (Mr. Cross-
man)-I think I may say he will not mind-had his doubts about this, very
serious doubts, before he became a member of the Anglo-American Com-
mittee. He has no doubts now. He signed the unanimous Report. That
Report says that there are some 500,000 or 600,000 people in Europe who
must get out, and if we multiply Mr. Wollheim by only 100,000 we get
recommendation No. 2 of the Report of the Anglo-American Committee.

It is said-and my hon. Friend implied it by his question-why only
Palestine? I have given some reasons why Palestine is the only possible
place for some of these people, but suppose one agrees that the whole prob-
lem cannot be so solved and that other nations must take their share of
responsibility and discharge their obligations, which is, after all, an obliga-
tion upon the conscience of all the world. Statements are made in Debate
about international refugee associations and agreements. The Colonial
Secretary probably knows-if he does not know, I recommend him to con-
sult the Foreign Secretary-that the International Refugee Organization
under U.N.O. is not concerned with the Palestine problem at all, but is
concerned with displaced persons as a whole. They made careful inquiry
among all the nations of the world to see what proportion, if any, would
be taken by each. I have not the time to give to the House now-I have the
documents-the detailed answers. I beg the House to accept it from me
that it amounted to just nothing whatever....
I heard an hon. Member asking about South America. I heard
it being said, "Some South American States have promised to take some
refugees. Have any others undertaken to take some refugees?" But they
have selected the refugees, imposed conditions as to time and place of resi-
dence, as to not living together, as to language, as to race and as to religion;
and the result is that those States are not available to any of the persons
for whom this question is the real question-none at all. I should not like
to accuse the Lord President of the Council of being deliberately cynical.
I am sure he had no intention of being deliberately cynical, but to say that
we have done our share and that we have given a lead in discharging our
obligation to the Jewish survivors of this holocaust because we have taken
in 170,000 Poles-was he really intending to laugh at us? Is it some sort
of bad joke? That is how it would be regarded everywhere in the world
in a situation which has been exacerbated time after time by slipshod


statements of that kind bearing no relation whatever to the facts and
inflaming passions everywhere where the matter is of vital importance.
For weeks and months we have pressed the Home Secretary not to take
in vast numbers, but only this-that if we find in a displaced persons camp
in Germany some surviving man or women or child whose only relatives
left in the world are living in comfort in this country and are willing to
take them here, let just those come in. That has nothing to do with Pales-
tine, that has nothing to do with the National Home, and it has nothing
to do with any wide political problem of any kind. Just that handful of
people who have anybody else left in the world and have been luckier than
their comrades and associates in that they have some relatives, surviving
here-let them come in. After weeks and months we got an announcement
of a narrowly limited series of categories designed to let these people in.
That was in January. What the position is now I do not know, but up to
three weeks ago not one person had come into the country under that
scheme. And we talk about discharging our obligation and taking our
share of the responsibility. America is going to take 53,000.
Mr. Kenneth Lindsay (Independent): Is-that each year?
Mr. Silverman: That is their normal quota. That is nothing to do with
Jews or displaced persons. That is the exact quota that they would have
taken if no war had occurred, if no Jew had been killed and if there had
been no displaced persons in the world. It is the quota resumed after six
or seven years. It is laughable to talk as though this was a practical sug-
gestion for dealing with an immediate difficulty. We know, they know,
everybody knows that it is only words to say that the responsibility must
be shared by all other nations. It will remain mere words until the nations
show some signs not merely that they verbally accept a share of the respon-
sibility, but that they are actively prepared to discharge it. There is a
community ready to receive these people. The 600,000 Jews who live in
Palestine, who won Palestine back from the desert, form the one solid
haven of refuge that is open, the only place in the world where they want to
go, and the only place in the world ready to receive them. Yet, for 12 solid
months, a Socialist Government in this country has kept them out, preach-
ing patience and restraint, preaching non-violence. It is so easy, is it not?
There they sit in your concentration camp yet, still waiting for any word
of hope from this country.
Your enemies can take your life; your enemies can take your property;
they can take your house; they can take your livelihood; they can take
everything from you-breath itself-but only your friends can inflict upon
you the last refinement of cruelty, of raising hopes every morning which
they disappoint every night. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] Only your
friends can do that for you, and if there is greater bitterness now, is it not
perhaps that they feel they are entitled to say, "We expected nothing from
the Tory party in this country. They gave us the White Paper in 1988
and 1939. But for their restrictions on immigration at that time, hundreds
of thousands of people might have escaped from Europe in time before
ever the war occurred." They did not look to them for help, they looked
to us for help, they looked to you for help, and you promised them help.

British Speeches of the Day [MR. SILH.EMAN
You make people desperate in that way. If you drive them to despair, it
is not really enough, after that, merely to rub your hands in sanctimonious
horror and indignation at the insane, desperate things that they then do.
I apologize to the House for speaking with some warmth. I think per-
haps I ought not to have done it; I had no intention of doing it. I agree
with the right hon. and learned Gentleman the President of the Board of
Trade in his own.approach to it today. Certainly, let us try to be construc-
tive now; let us deal with the difficulties as they are, and see what is our
way out. But I think I was entitled to show that this overshadowing horror
and condemnation and sense of guilt, with which the Debate started, ought
to that extent, at any rate, to be mitigated.

Well, now, this proposal. What was it that they did? We hear now
that this scheme, or something very like it, was prepared long ago, before
the Government came into office at all ....
I say there are three fatal defects in it. The first fatal defect is that it
does not deal with the 100,000 who, everybody knows, must go into Pales-
tine. It is quite true that the scheme says that they shall go in within 12
months; but within 12 months from what? Does it mean 12 months from
the day on which this scheme comes into operation, and what day is that?
Nobody knows. So it is 12 months from an unspecified date-indeed,
within 12 months that may never occur at all, because what does the Gov-
ernment say about it? The Government says that this scheme can work
with the acquiescence of both parties, and we are to have a conference to
see if we can get the acquiescence of both parties. Yet the Government
have already been told that one party will not come. I hope I am wrong
about that, but I thought the Arab Higher Committee in Palestine had
said that they would not come and would not discuss with the Jews the
future of Palestine. If they have not said that, so much the better and they
will come, but I thought they said they would not come.
However, suppose they do come. Their view has always been that
Palestine cannot take more Jewish immigrants. That was their case in
1938; that was the case to which Mr. Neville Chamberlain's Government
yielded. I say yielded not because of its merit, not because of its right, but
yielded to force, yielded to violence. Suppose they still say so. What will
the Government do then about this 100,000-not about the scheme, but
about the 100,000? Are you not still saying-and if you are not, please
make it clear, because it is most important-at the moment it looks as if
you are still saying that the 100,000 will come in within 12 months of the
day when the Arabs agree to let them in. The Lord President said within
12 months from the day on which the scheme comes into operation. It is
only the White Paper with one remove. I doubt very much whether that
was the Government's intention, but certainly that is what the scheme says,
and I appeal to the Government to remove that one, at any rate, of the
three fatal defects-that it does not deal with the fate of the 100,000 whose
ultimate fate can only be the one agreed unanimously by everybody. If
they are to go in, if you know they are to go in, say that they are to go in

and give a time limit when the thing is to begin. Do not make it part of
the lesser of your transitional measures. It cannot be part, because it does
not depend on them.

What is the second fatal decision? I heard the Lord President say-I
was glad to hear him say it, and I hope he is right-that virtually this leaves
the control of immigration in the hands of the separate provinces; that
although it is actually exercised by the central government in the sense that
it is the central government which issues the certificates, the central govern-
ment will act only on the advice of the provinces. The province is to
determine the economic absorptive capacity, and the central government
have only to see that the economic absorptive capacity is not exceeded.
That sounds very plausible, and if there were no history in this matter
it might be accepted. But, as the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the
Opposition said, until 1938 the economic absorptive capacity was the test,
and the Agency determined how many they could economically absorb.
Having decided how many they could economically absorb, they went to
the High Commissioner, precisely as they will have to do under this scheme,
and he said, "No." I think there was one occasion on which he said that
60 per cent of certificates could be absorbed. That was in the days when,
as I say, the economic absorptive capacity was the test, and that was excep-
tional-in most years they got 10, 15 or 20 per cent. When the High Com-
missioner, to whom this power is reserved under this scheme, considers
whether he will agree with the Jewish province when it says, "We can
take so many, give us so many certificates," will he be advised by his Coun-
cil, on which the Arabs will have equal representation with the Jews, or
will be act in this matter without anybody's advice? If he is going to act
on the advice of the Council on which the Arabs are present, look what
opportunities for friction and delay are introduced. It may very well be
that as a result of a long inquiry and, perhaps, an appeal to the Trusteeship
Council of the United Nations, the province may ultimately get its way.
But by that time two or three years will have been wasted, and they will
always be behind the economic absorptive capacity. Why in the world, if
the President of the Board of Trade was right, if the issue of certificates by
the central government is a mere formality, if they will be issued when-
ever the province says it can do with them-if that is the position, what is
the point of reserving it to the Central Government at all? Why not say,
plainly, and put the matter beyond doubt, that the provinces will be able
to control their own immigration, without anybody's fear or check?

I hope I am not speaking for too long-[HoN. MEMBERS: "Go on."] The
third thing which I think is a fatal defect in this transitional measure is
this. Economic absorptive capacity, yes, but for what? For the creation of
a National Home, and the admission of some hundreds of thousands of
people for whom there is no other place? That cannot be done in a too
limited area, and we cannot take anybody else's land with which to do

British Speeches of the Day [MR. S.IVExnMAN
that. It is always asked, "Why do the Jews want to take something where
somebody else lives? Why cannot they go where there is nobody, and build
it up themselves?" That is precisely what they have been doing since 1917.
Nearly all the land on which they live is land which they reclaimed from
malarial swamp and desert. When it is said that they have great capital
behind them with which to do that, it should be remembered that it is the
pennies and shillings of the poor from all over the world, and most of the
money went into the pockets of Arab landlords, from whom the malarial
swamps were obtained in the first place. They did nothing with their
money, but spend it in Cairo and Haifa.
To reclaim waste land is precisely what we are prepared to do now.
There is no need to take any Arab land at all. There is the Negeb, in the
south, which is only a desert, but what does the scheme say about that?
Nobody knows whether it will ever be cultivable or not. That is what they
said of Palestine in 1917. The Jews might be wrong, the Zionists might be
wrong, the Agency might be wrong. They say they can cultivate it. My
hon. Friend the Member for Ipswich (Mr. Stokes) asked a Question the
other day. He wanted to know whether any British technical experts had
examined the scheme. He was told, "No." I do not know what deduction
he draws from that, but the deduction I draw is that the Administration
have not been interested in it for 25 years. Otherwise, they would have
had technical experts examining it long ago. I suppose British experts
will always be right, and the others will always be wrong. But, suppose
the technical experts are all wrong, then nothing would be given away.
All we say is, "Give us this desert, and we shall try to make it blossom, as
we made the Vale of Jezreel blossom. We will take our despised and re-
jected, we will take our survivors, we will take the victims that no one else
wants, and put them in the desert and make it their flower of civilization,
as we have made Palestine in the last 25 years." Why keep cavilling?
What is the object of keeping that in abeyance? What is it hoped to gain?
Is it to be another apple of discord to throw between Arab and Jew? Give
it to us now, and let us make it flourish.
Dr. Morgan (Labor): May I ask my hon. Friend a question? He is very
fervent, and impresses the House a great deal. But he is talking of the
ultimate success of the scheme. Suppose the 100,000 are taken to the desert
and they fail. On whom then would the responsibility fall for the care
and comfort of these people dying in the desert?
An Hon. Member: Not on the Arabs.
Mr. Silverman: It will fall on those who bear it now.
Dr. Morgan: On the 100,000?
Mr. Silverman: The 100,000 are dying all over Europe in concentration
camps. I do not want to quarrel with the hon. Member. I am not suggest-
ing that they should go to the desert anyhow. There are places for the
100,000, but we have the opportunity of developing the desert, and no one
else wants to develop it. I say that it is a fatal defect in the scheme to keep
that out, as though we wanted something to play with later on, as a source

of further trouble. We are asked to take the Jews to sonie other place
which is not cultivated, and which is not someone else's land and there are
2,000 miles of desert which we think we could make live and flourish. Why
keep it out of the scheme? If these three things were put right we would
have a final solution-but who can deal with final solutions in this matter,
or indeed, in any other matter? We would be able to deal with the imme-
diate exigencies of the situation, and I doubt whether anybody would take
the responsibility then of saying, "We will have nothing whatever to do
with it, and will not talk of it." Are these the matters that are standing
between this country and America? I do not know. If there are others,
and more serious matters, let us know what they are. But if these, or any
of them, are things which stand in the way, they are things which could be
put right. I hope the Government will put them right. If they put them
forward as a basis of discussion, let us discuss them now, and see if we
cannot improve the situation.

I am not one of those who take a negative or pessimistic view about the
relation of Jews or Arabs, either in Palestine or the Middle East. They
are kindred peoples. It is not possible for an Arab to be an anti-Semite.
He is a Semite. His fears are understandable enough, but his main fear is
that the Jews are nothing but the spearhead of European economic impe-
rialist domination. He thinks that behind the Jews comes a wave of
exploiting financial interests. It is not so. I would like to read a few
words of a description given in 1936 by the Lord President of the Council
of what he saw in Palestine. There have been a lot of quotations and
reminders. I beg my right hon. Friend to believe me when I say that I do
not read this by way of reproach. On the contrary, one is grateful for it.
But if it was true in 1936, it is still true. Let me read it. Speaking in the
House of Commons he said:
"I have seen these Jewish agricultural settlements." . .
The great need of the Jews as a people was to be reunited to land. We
had had no Jewish peasantry for 2,000 years, and the effect of that on the
Jewish ethos has been plain for anyone to see. The main task of the Zion-
ists in the early days was to create a Jewish peasantry. It is the one thing
they most successfully did in Palestine. Of all the things they did in Pal-
estine, it is not the new industries, it is not the light industries of all kinds
-there is a good deal of it now, and very creditable it is-that has been
the main achievement; it has been the agricultural achievement. Here is
the Lord President's description of it:
"I have seen these Jewish settlements ...
"They are one of the most wonderful demonstrations of the moral capacity of the
human race in the whole of the civilized world. I have been to Russia also but, as
a moral proposition, it is a finer thing than is happening in any part of Russia,
though there is a good case to be made of many happenings in that country. Here
are colonies in which people are working on a voluntary co-operative basis with no
element of dictatorship or compulsion behind them, actually reclaiming soil hitherto
unfertilized and untillable and making it productive and doing it for their keep or
for remittances to dependent relatives in Europe, or one or two allowances in kind.
They are doing it for no money wage at all. It is being done not as a mere capitalist

British Speeches of the Day [Ma. SILVERMAN
exploiting business, but directly in association with and under the control of the
great Jewish trade union organization, the Jewish Federation of Labor"-
most of whose leaders are now in concentration camps in Palestine.
"I have seen these fine young people, coming from various countries where they
have been persecuted and some from the British Dominions, some from Russia-Russia
is about the most difficult, perhaps, of any country for letting them go-I have eaten
their humble food with them at their table and have witnessed their fine morale. I
came back with a humble feeling that I should like to give up this business of
House of Commons and politics and join them in the clean, healthy life that they
are leading."
He goes on:
"I came back-but I felt like it, and so would any decent Member of this House
feel like it. It is one of the most wonderful manifestations in the world. When I
think of the splendid young people, happily working in a co-operative and communal
spirit for the building up of a national home, subjected to brutal murders and
shootings, I feel indignant about this crude and bloody butting into one of the finest
moral efforts in the history of mankind."
All that we are asking, in more tragic days than the days of 1936, is to
continue that moral effort.
Mr. Keeling (Conservative): I wonder if the hon. Member would clear
up one point? I did not wish to interrupt the flow of his eloquent speech,
but I would be glad if he would answer this: he said that those who sur-
vived the German massacres did so in spite of us. What had it to do with
us? I cannot think that he wants to cast a slur either on this House or on
the British nation. Even if the doors of Palestine had been wide open
before the war, it would not have been possible for more than a very small
proportion of the millions of Jews on the Continent to go to Palestine.
How can we be held responsible for the massacres?
Mr. Silverman: I thought I had made my meaning dear, but if I did
not, I am grateful to the hon. Member for giving me this opportunity.
I meant, in spite of our helplessness, in spite of our inability to help in the
exigencies of the war as it then was.

The Secretary of State for the Colonies (Rt. Hon. George Hall): . .
The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Woodford (Mr. Churchill)
dealt in his speech with the Mandate and the growth of the Jewish Na-
tional Home, not only in respect of population, but also in respect of the
development of that part of Palestine which has been occupied by the Jews.
I do not think that it is yet fully realized by a number of people what has
been done during the last 24 or 25 years, notwithstanding the great diffi-
culty with which Palestine and the Palestinian Administration have been
confronted. The right hon. Gentleman rightly said that the Jewish popu-
lation in Palestine had increased six-fold or seven-fold whereas, as he also
rightly says, the Arab population has increased by some 100 per cent. It is
not only a question of population, it is a question of what has been
done .... I would remind many people who criticize His Majesty's Gov-
ernment . what the National Home owes to the British people. Others
refused the Mandate when it was offered and it was the British who ac-
cepted-it. Who is there in this House who will say that as far as it has

been possible, taking into consideration the conflicting interests of both
races, that Mandate has not been faithfully carried out? I think it has.

The right hon. Gentleman stressed the point of Anglo-American co-
operation in this matter. It has been surprising to hear some of the
speeches which have been made during the past two days blaming the
Government for delay and vacillation. The whole of the time that was
taken up from August of last year until last Friday was spent in seeking
Anglo-American unity or co-operation in dealing with this very grave prob-
lem. I am hopeful, as I have already said, that we shall obtain that co-
operation until the scheme has been put through. The right hon. Gentle-
man also talked of giving up the Mandate. He said that unless we ob-
tained that co-operation we should name a date and put the Palestinian
problem at the feet of the United Nations. The Lord President said yester-
day that it is our intention, if the scheme is found acceptable, that it should
be embodied in a trusteeship agreement for Palestine. In that event we
shall prepare the draft of a trusteeship agreement for submission to the
United Nations as soon as it is practicable, but His Majesty's Government
have already made it clear that while they are anxious to place mandated
territories under trusteeship agreement, their agreement to do so must
naturally depend upon their being able to negotiate terms which, in their
view, are generally satisfactory, and achieve the objectives of the Charter
and are in the best interests of the inhabitants of the territories concerned.
We hope that the forthcoming Conference with the Arabs and the Jews
will assist us in achieving the fulfillment of those conditions. It is not easy
to obtain a trusteeship agreement under the trusteeship organization which
exists at the present time. There is a lot of preparatory work to be done.
There has to be a designation of the States strictly concerned, and one can
imagine that in negotiating a trusteeship agreement for Palestine, sur-
rounded as Palestine is by Arab States, it will not be very easy for the
trustee, whether it is a single trustee or an Anglo-American trustee or,
indeed, a United Nations trusteeship, unless we can get the Arabs and the
Jews to come into conference, as we propose getting them to come, with a
prospect of obtaining an agreement. If that agreement is obtained, there
is no reason why we could not go on, as has been suggested by so many
hon. and right hon. Members in the course of this discussion, and obtain
a trusteeship agreement.

It is not easy to lay the Mandate at the feet of the U.N.O. unless there is
an organization to take its place, and that is what we are hoping to do.
I thought the right hon. Gentleman towards the end of his speech brought
in a good deal of politically controversial matter, not helpful at all in
obtaining American co-operation with the scheme. I thought it was . .
very mischievous, and sitting here and hearing what he said, I thought that
notwithstanding his desire to obtain Anglo-American co-operation, he did
his best to destroy it. Why did he bring Egypt into this discussion? He

British Speeches of the Day [MR. GEORGE HALL]
knows that at the present time negotiations are proceeding for a new agree-
ment with Egypt. In this connection we have undertaken to withdraw
British troops from Egyptian territory. We still maintain our belief that
the policy we have adopted is the right policy, and the policy best calcu-
lated to secure British interests. The right hon. Gentleman has spoken of
strategic interests. Why, our greatest strategic safeguard in the Middle
East is the friendship of its Governments and its peoples. We do not in-
tend to lose sight of this principle in Palestine, any more than in Egypt.
If a solution is found that is just and right and acceptable to both peoples,
we shall not allow military considerations to prevent us from adopting
that principle.
We listened, as we always listen, to a very moving speech from my hon.
Friend the Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman). Naturally,
as we expected of him, he devoted a good deal of his speech to pressing
for the immediate admission of the 100,000 Jews into Palestine. His Maj-
esty's Government have made the position quite clear. They wanted the
recommendations of the Anglo-American Committee accepted as a whole.
It was felt, and indeed rightly so, that, with all that is involved in the ad-
mission of 100,000 Jews into Palestine, it was a burden greater than His
Majesty's Government could carry. The cost involved is a very heavy
cost and, indeed, as is laid down in the plan and was mentioned by my
right hon. Friend the Lord President, as soon as this plan comes into
operation, a plan already exists for the intake of the 100,000 Jews into
Palestine. If not, then it will be for His Majesty's Government to con-
sider the whole position. . That is the agreement we hope for between
ourselves and the United States of America. . .
My hon. Friend also dealt with the question of the scheme. I would
put it to him, as to everyone who has talked of the plan, that this is a
provisional plan, both in regard to the suggested central legislature, and
in regard to the Negeb. It is quite open for discussion between the two
parties when they meet, although it is not easy to deal with the Negeb
scheme in view of the conditions which exist in the Negeb at the present
time. The recommendation is that there should be a survey taken as
soon as possible, because, from information we have received from the
Negeb, it appears that there is very little prospect of more than a very
few people obtaining a livelihood unless there is a considerable amount
of preparatory work done in the first instance. His Majesty's Government
,are prepared, we hope in conjunction with America, to undertake that pre-
paratory work.
Sir William Darling (Conservative): If America does not agree, I take
it that His Majesty's Government will still proceed with the plan.
Mr. Hall: I have already pointed out that His Majesty's Government will
have to consider the position. They just cannot tie themselves to the very
huge cost which is incurred in putting a plan such as this into operation.
I think that ought to be made dear.
Mr. Scollan (Labor): Do not tell us that if they cannot afford it, they
cannot carry out the plan. ....

Mr. Hall: It is a matter, of course, which His Majesty's Government will
have to take into full consideration. The hon. Member for Cambridge
University put a number of questions. I regret I was not here to hear his
speech. He asked whether the Jewish Agency can go on, in view of its
relation to the illegal army. It was made quite clear by the High Com-
mission when the action was taken originally, that it was not taken against
the Jewish Agency as such. It was taken against members of the Jewish
Agency, those members who in accordance with the telegrams which are
published in the White Paper, were involved in acts for which the High
Commissioner thought he was justified in detaining them. There were
others not in any way involved, and others whom he did not deem it
necessary to detain. The hon. Member for Cambridge University put a
straight question to me as to who is "Hayyim." We are of the opinion
that "Hayyim" is Dr. Weizmann. But, at the same time, I would like to
say that Dr. Weizmann, in accordance with the information given in the
telegrams, was not in any way and has not in any way been involved in
anything which is illegal or, indeed, in adopting anything which would
lead us to think that he was anything other than a great Zionist, and a
very great friend of this country. ...
My hon. Friend the Member for East Coventry (Mr. Crossman) raised
the question of co-operation between the Government and the Jewish
Agency. For a time, the Jewish Agency co-operated with the Government,
as the Mandate required, and in certain spheres it has continued to do so,
but in other directions it has abused its privileged position, and become
the instrument of an extreme nationalism. I well remember receiving a
Zionist deputation, led by the Chairman of the Agency, a week or two
after I had entered upon my present office. With no recognition of the
rights of the existing non-Jews in Palestine or the mandatory obligations
of His Majesty's Government towards them, he not only demanded the
immediate admission of 100,000 Jews into Palestine, but demanded funda-
mental changes in the constitution, and also asked that there should be
an immediate declaration by His Majesty's Government in favor of a
Jewish State. Even in all the important spheres of public order, the Agency
has in recent months failed in its duty of co-operation with His Majesty's
Government. The outrages in Palestine on the night of 31st October last,
which are described in the recently published White Paper, evoked an
equivocal condemnation from the Agency, who published a statement con-
taining the following words:
"The Agency repudiate recourse to violence but find its capacity to impose restraint
severely tried by a policy which Jews regard as fatal to their future."...

We have come to the conclusion that it will be best, at the outset of
the scheme which is before the House, to make no arrangements for the
immediate constitutional development at the center. There is, at present,
no common ground between the two communities, and any representative
Central Government would consequently be a house divided against itself.

British Speeches of the Day
The strife, which we trust will soon disappear, would almost inevitably
endanger the scheme right from the start, and we are of the opinion that
it is very much better that the plan should continue as it exists as a basis
for discussion. The plan recognizes this obligation both to the Arabs and
to the Jews in Palestine, and, while admitting the difficulties of reconciling
that obligation, it is hoped that, with the growth of common interests and
good understanding, and a determination to face these complex issues from
the standpoint of the wider interests of the United Nations, it will make
a consequent contribution to the foundations of international security,
both from the point of view of the Jews and that of the Arabs alike. It
holds out the promise of a new and better era, and it is hoped that the
influence of world opinion will strengthen those elements, hitherto too
little regarded amidst the partisan clamors, which are working in co-oper-
ation between all who dwell in Palestine. If that co-operation can be
achieved, Palestine will stand as an example of a country which has
overcome those divisions of creed and race which have so often constituted
fatal obstacles to successful endeavor. . .
[House of Commons Debates]

The first hour of every sitting day in the House of Commons is
devoted to answering questions which Members of Parliament put
to Ministers. A selection of some of the questions asked during
July, 1946, is included below, together with the Ministers' answers.
Mr. Gammans (Conservative) asked the Under-Secretary of State for
India if he is in a position to make a general statement on the food situ-
ation in India.
The Under-Secretary of State for India (Mr. Arthur Henderson):
As the reply is somewhat long, I will, with the hon. Member's permission,
circulate it with the OFFICIAL REPORT.
Following is the statement:
Food distribution in India is still being maintained. In recent months
there has been some improvement in procurement particularly in United
Provinces. But stocks held by Provincial and State Governments in South-
ern India are low. The Government of India report that their ability to
hold the situation depends on avoidance of large scale strikes or civil dis-
order, the continuance of internal procurement on anticipated scale with
no serious additional demand on Government controlled stocks and in
addition upon an increased flow of imports during the period August to
October. In some deficit districts in Bengal there was a sharp rise in the
price of rice. This has been due to local apprehension based on knowledge
of the seriousness of the food situation in India and the world generally
and to reports that the aus [Autumn] rice crop in Bengal will be below

Question Time in the House of Commons
normal. This crop is harvested in September and represents about one-
fifth of Bengal's annual rice production. The latest information is that
taken as a whole the crop should be about normal. The situation is being
closely watched by the Governments of India and Bengal and in some
affected areas a fall in prices has already been reported. It is too early
yet to assess the effect of the current monsoon. There have been floods
this month in Assam and East Bengal and some damage to crops there.
But the all-India food position should not be materially affected by these
local disasters. Energetic relief measures have been taken by the Govern-
ment of Bengal. Inadequacy of rains in July in the Deccan areas of Bom-
bay and Madras is causing some anxiety, but there have been some showers
during the week ending 24th July. A statement of shipments of food-
grains to India has been placed in the library of the House and it is pro-
posed to bring this statement up-to-date at the beginning of each month.
Shipments have been running at a higher level since April but are less
than the Government of India's estimate of their requirements.
[July 29, 1946]
The following Question stood upon the Order Paper in the name of
Mr. SCOLLAN (Labor):
To ask the Prime Minister if he has considered raising a national
memorial to the late President Roosevelt for his friendship towards this
country in the late war.
Mr. Scollan: On a point of Order. I should like to point out, Mr.
Speaker, that when I originally handed in this Question what it had in
it was not what appears here at all. The Question contained these words:
"For his friendship to this country during the dark days when we had no
other friend in the world."
The Lord President of the Council (Rt. Hon. Herbert Morrison):
The answer is: "Yes, Sir," but my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister is
not yet in a position to make an announcement.
Captain Bullock (Conservative): Is it not a fact that the Pilgrim So-
ciety have already started a national appeal, with the full approval of
Mrs. Roosevelt, with the exact object mentioned in the Question?
Mr. Morrison: That is one of the ideas which are under consideration.
Mr. Scollan: Is my right hon. Friend aware that I do not think there is
a man in the whole population of this country who does not realize that
President Roosevelt was the one man who, against great opposition in his
own country, came to our aid when we had no other friend?
Mr. Morrison: I am sure we all respond most strongly to the sentiment
which is behind the point raised by my hon. Friend.
Mr. Walkden (Labor): May I ask my right hon. Friend to bear in mind,
when considering this point, that we wish the recognition to be a nation's
thanks on behalf of the whole of the people, and not merely recognition
by one or two organizations, however good and kindly they may be?
Mr. Morrison: That point will be kept in mind.
[July 8, 1946]

British Speeches of the Day
Brigadier Mackeson (Conservative) asked the Secretary of State for the
Colonies, (1) how many Arabs and Jews have been convicted of offenses in
connection with arms and explosives during the last six years; the number
of each community sentenced to imprisonment on such charges; and the
numbers of each community sentenced to imprisonment with special treat-
(2) when it was made a capital offense to carry arms in Palestine; the
number of Jews and of Arabs arrested since that date on charges concern-
ing the carrying or illegal possession of arms; the numbers of Jews and
Arabs convicted and sentenced to death; and the numbers of Jews and
Arabs executed in accordance with such sentences.
The Secretary of State for the Colonies (Rt. Hon. George Hall): It was
made a capital offense to carry arms on llth November, 1937. The death
penalty for this offense was revoked on 15th June, 1940, and reinstated on
24th March, 1944, and is still in force. Since 11th November, 1937, 188
Arabs and six Jews have been sentenced to death for this offense. Of these,
142 Arabs and one Jew have been executed. In addition two Jews have
been sentenced to death, but the sentences have not yet been confirmed.
The High Commissioner has been asked to furnish the further information
desired by the hon. and gallant Member, but its collection will involve
some delay.
[July 3, 1946]
Mr. Janner (Labor) asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether
he is aware that complaints have been made regarding the treatment of
detainees in Athlit detention camp; that in consequence of a protest and
hunger strike organized by them, the G.O.C., Palestine, has promised to
introduce a new order into the camp; and if, as independent persons were
allowed to visit the Latrum detention camps, he will cause an immediate
investigation to be made by similar persons in respect of the Athlit camp.
The Secretary of State for the Colonies (Rt. Hon. George Hall):
I am aware of the complaints to which my hon. Friend refers. As regards
the second part of the Question, there has been no organized hunger strike,
but on 30th June, the day following the operations, some detainees re-
fused their lunch, though they took it later, as a protest against their
fingerprints being taken. No promise has been given that new arrange-
ments will be introduced in the camp, nor is this necessary.
As regards the last part of the Question, facilities were given to Press
correspondents to visit Athlit on 5th July and some 10 journalists availed
themselves of the opportunity. Facilities have also been given to two
Rabbis to visit all detention camps. They have done so and have reported
that the administration of all camps on the whole is excellent and that the
detainees have asked them to express their thanks for the sympathetic
attitude of the camp authorities. Specific complaints made by individuals
concerning alleged ill-treatment are being investigated.
[July 9, 1946]

Question Time in the House of Commons
Dr. Segal (Labor) asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what
mechanical aids were used in the searches for illegal arms carried out at
Yagur, near Haifa; how many trees were uprooted; what other damage to
property was caused; and what estimate can be given of the total damage
inflicted on this settlement by the searchers for illegal arms.
The Secretary of State for the Colonies (Rt. Hon. George Hall):
Various mechanical implements were used to uncover caches of arms, the
presence of which had been indicated by mine detectors. Some 20 vines
were damaged by tracked vehicles passing through a section of the vineyard
near the settlement buildings, where it was necessary to uncover concealed
arms caches. This settlement was literally honeycombed with them. In all
33 such caches were found, some in bogus culverts and dummy sewers,
others beneath floors and above ceilings or in secret cupboards behind
false panels. Some were in the children's dormitory and school.
The arms discovered included 92 two-inch mortars, 5,267 mortar bombs,
5,017 grenades, 10 machine guns, 321 rifles, 78 pistols, 1,404 magazines,
425,000 rounds of ammunition, in addition to quantities of demolition ex-
plosives and other military stores and equipment.
The damage necessitated by the operation of unearthing these muni-
tions of war was in the circumstances not only insignificant but entirely
justified. I am convinced that no other Army in the world would have
been capable of carrying out such a difficult task with so much consider-
ation and forbearance.
[July 10, 1946]

Mr. Sparkes (Labor) asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer why the
farthing is retained in our coinage and currency system; and if he will now
abolish this unit.
Mr. Gallacher (Communist): On a point of Order, Mr. Speaker, may
I ask you to prohibit any reference to Scotland in the answer?
The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Rt. Hon. Hugh Dalton): Milk,
bread and many other commodities are often bought in amounts which
require the use of a farthing-in Scotland, as elsewhere. Its abolition, which
I do not recommend, would probably mean an increase by a farthing in
many prices-and this applies to Scotland also.
[July 9, 1946

British Speeches of the Day

IN JULY, 1946

Texts can be consulted in the Library of British Information
Services: those speeches delivered in the House of Lords or the
House of Commons are published in full in "Hansard," copies of
which may be bought through B.I.S. For prices see inside back cover.

House of Commons, July 1. Mr. Silverman, Mr. Stanley, Mr. Attlee,

House of Commons, July 2. Mr. Hynd.


House of Commons, July 2.
the War Office).

House of Commons, July 3.

House of Commons, July 10.
ister of State).

House of Commons, July 18.
A. V. Alexander, etc.

House of Commons, July 18.
of Food), etc.

House of Commons, July 22.

Mr. Bellenger (Financial Secretary to

Mr. Strachey (Minister of Food), etc.

Mr. Edelman, Mr. P. Noel-Baker (Min-

Sir Stafford Cripps, Mr. Churchill, Mr.

Mr. Churchill, Mr. Strachey (Minister

Mr. P. Noel-Baker (Minister of State),

House of Commons, July 25. Mr. George Hall (Secretary of State for
the Colonies), Mr. Gammans, Mr. Stanley, etc.

House of Commons, July 25. Mr. Bevin, etc.

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