8 March 2013
Communication Received from the United Kingdom
Delegation Concerning Political Prisoners and Detainees.
My dear Bunche,
May refer you to the last sentence of Section 3 (Prisoners and Detainees) of paragraph 2 of the note which was submitted to the Commission by Sir Alexander Cadogan on 21st January. Reference was there made to the existence in Kenya of a number of Jewish detainees.
The present position is that there are 291 suspected Jewish terrorists held in detention at Gilgil in Kenya where they have been since March 1947. Previously they had been held in a camp near Asmara after their removal from Palestine for security reasons in 1944.
In the light of recent incidents in Palestine, His Majesty’s Government do not propose to return these detainees before the termination of the Mandate, since to do so would add an unjustifiable burden to the High Commissioner’s security preoccupations. It may not, moreover, be possible for practical reasons to return them to Palestine until some time after the termination of the Mandate, and the present intention is that they should be shipped so as to arrive not later than the middle of July.
It is presumed that the Commission will not raise any objection to the acceptance of any or all of these persons in Palestine after the date of the termination of the Mandate and I should be grateful if you would confirm this as soon as possible.