Communication Received from the United Kingdom
Delegation Concerning Prisoners and Detainees
UNITED KINGDOM DELEGATION TO THE UNITED NATIONS
Empire State Building, New York 1, N.Y.
May I refer you to Section 3 – Prisoners and Detainees, of paragraph 2 of the note submitted to the Commission on the 21st January relating to certain matters to be discussed with the Commission at some stage.
2. The Government of Palestine have been giving further consideration to the problem of the disposal of prisoners and criminal lunatics, and it is proposed to reduce the number of convicted prisoners to approximately 1,200 by an order substituting “one half” for “one third” in paragraphs (a) and (b) of Section 69(i) and for “two thirds” in Section 71 of the Prisoner’s Ordinance 1946, which would have a general effect of releasing prisoners who had served half their sentences.
3. Since in present circumstances there appears to be no assurance that such of these prisoners and criminal lunatics as are confined in Arab areas will be properly guarded after the 15th May, I have been asked to ascertain in confidence whether the Commission see any objection to the Government of Palestine approaching the Arab Higher Committee with the suggestion that the Committee might want to make some preliminary arrangements to avoid these many hundreds of Arab criminals being let loose on the community at the termination of the Mandate.
4. I should be grateful to know as soon as possible whether the Commission agree to this proposal.