In the Debate on Tuesday the Prime Minister accused me of deliberate falsehood in this House. He said he was not a party to any communication from Downing Street to the Press of this country. I told him, and I repeat it now, that he was not telling the facts with regard to this matter, and it is a prevarication which can be proved. I challenge the Prime Minister, and I hope the Leader of the House of Commons will convey the challenge to him, to set up a small Committee of three Members of this House of Commons, and let those of us who know the journalists who have been to Downing Street, and have got the information, give evidence before the Committee, which shall report to the House of Commons whether or not it is true that these bits of information and this Press campaign did emanate from Downing Street. I am perfectly prepared to stake what public reputation I have— I think very little about that at all; it does not worry me at all— on an inquiry of this sort, and that is the point I wish to raise. I do not mind arguments being against me, but I do mind Ministers in the House of Commons riding off on these side issues...
And while we're in the House of Commons, one other bit of historical trivia:
HIGH COMMISSIONER.HC Deb 21 June 1920
§ 33. Mr. HOGGE asked the Prime Minister the terms of Sir Herbert Samuels appointment to Palestine and the salary allocated to the office?
§ 43. Lieut.-Colonel CROFT asked the Prime Minister whether the appointment of Sir H. Samuel as administrator of Palestine will involve any expense to the British taxpayers; and whether he will give an undertaking that no expenditure whatever in this connection shall be incurred without the sanction of Parliament?
§ Mr. BONAR LAW Sir Herbert Samuel has been appointed High Commissioner in Palestine for the purpose of instituting a civil administration to replace the existing military administration. His salary has been been fixed at £E4,000 a year; the question of granting him in 1735 addition an allowance as frais de representation is still under consideration. These emoluments will be paid from the Palestinian revenues.
§ Mr. HOGGE On what Vote will it be taken?
§ Mr. BONAR LAW It will not appear on any Vote; it will be paid out of the Palestine revenues.
§ Mr. LAMBERT Supposing that the Palestine revenues be not sufficient to pay it, will it fall upon the British taxpayer?
§ Mr. BONAR LAW That is a supposition which I do not like to anticipate.
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS Is the right hon. Gentleman content to go out and rely upon his salary being paid out of the Palestine revenues?
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD Cannot we have an opportunity of discussing Palestine affairs on the Foreign Office Vote, as in the case of Egypt?
§ Mr. BONAR LAW Undoubtedly, if the House desire it.
§ Captain W. BENN Are we to understand that the Mandate has already been settled for Palestine?
§ Mr. BONAR LAW No.
§ Captain BENN Then how can you appoint a Governor?
§ Mr. BONAR LAW You must take preliminary steps to set up a civil administration. I should have thought that that was desirable from every point of view.
Mr. MALONE Will a special Bill be laid before the House, as in the case of Naura?
61. Mr. PALMER asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he can state the estimated annual cost of the High Commissioner for Palestine and staff, and what sum or sums are to be spent in setting up the new regime in Palestine; will that cost fall upon the British taxpayer; and, if so, under what Vote will discussion be possible in this House?
§ Mr. BONAR LAW It is not possible to give actual figures, as no decision has been arrived at as to the composition of 1736 the staff of the High Commissioner, but I hope that no part of the cost will fall upon the British taxpayer.