Sunday 1 December 2013

17th & 18th December, 1947 - Contraband and rumours...

Wednesday, 17th December, 1947
When I went to the office this morning I found that the Urban Police had caught a lorry load of contraband rice and sugar outside Balata and on searching the lorry at the Rural P.S. (Police Station) a rifle and 19 rounds were found.  Apparently this belonged to one of the “Gibney Kabears” in Nablus and I received orders to leave everything until I received instructions form the S.P.  On my way to the Billet where the lorry loaded was parked I saw the Mayor leaving the Billet.  He had been to see the S.P. to get the whole case cancelled.  The S.P. must have been very embarrassed over the whole affair.  The case is however being continued but instead of prosecuting under contraband it is amended to conveying foodstuffs (controlled) without a licence.  The rifle case has been transferred to the Urban as it was found in their area.  I did not know what to do with the 32 sacks of sugar & 10 of wheat (sic)*  No-one wants anything to do with it, neither the Food Controller nor the Customs People.

* Ron described the haul as rice above and again below.

Thursday, 18th December, 1947
I had to rush around this morning trying to find somewhere in which to store the sugar and rice.  The Armoury in the Station has been transferred to the billet so we moved all the rice and sugar in there.  If I had put it in the court exhibit it would have been filled to the roof.

A hot rumour came in today that we are leaving Nablus in the second week in January and are going by the illegal immigrants boats to Cyprus where we will live in the Detention Camps[1] there until suitable transport is found to take us home,  I rather hope this rumour is fulfilled as it would mean another country to see. 
Cyprus, August 1946-February 1949.source United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
All manner of rumours are in the air but nobody has heard anything official yet.

[1] There were 11 Cyprus Internment Camps which were maintained by the British to house Jews who had tried to immigrate into Palestine in contravention of the British policy at the time...  

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