The Palin Commission or Palin Commission of Inquiry or Palin Court of Inquiry was the first British Commission of Inquiry on the question of Palestine.[
It was sent to the region in May 1920 by the British authorities, to examine the reasons for the Jerusalem riots, which took place between 4 and 7 April 1920. It foresaw increasing problems between the various parties and the administration.
The Commission completed its report on 1 July 1920 at Port Said, and submitted it in August 1920. Allenby advised that it should be published; but in anticipation of Zionist objections, it was decided only to convey the gist of the report verbally to a ‘responsible’ Zionist leader.It was never published.
The Commission had three members, Major General Sir Philip Palin, who presided, Brigadier General E. H. Wildblood, and Lieutenant Colonel C. Vaughan Edwards and sat for 50 days. It examined 152 witnesses in eight languages (English, French, Arabic, Hebrew, Yiddish, Jargon, Russian and Hindustani), making the process more lengthy than usual.
The Zionist Commission was legally represented and used the inquiry to make a ‘vigorous attack’ upon the departing Occupied Enemy Territory Administration (OETA). The Palin Report noted that Jewish representatives persisted in describing the events as a “pogrom”, implying that the British administration had connived in the violence. Arab Palestinians lacked interest, rarely attended the court and were ‘by no means so well prepared’.
The OETA had been wound up by the time the report was presented in August 1920. Sir Herbert Samuel had become the first High Commissioner in 1920, before the Council of the League of Nations approved a British Mandate for Palestine, and OETA withdrew to Cairo in preparation for the expected British Mandate. Allenby advised that the Palin Report should be published; but in anticipation of Zionist objections, it was decided only to convey the gist of the report verbally to a ‘responsible’ Zionist leader.