High Commissioners for Palestine and Transjordan

Mandatory Palestine Alan Cunningham Jerusalem
High Commissioner of Palestine and Trans-Jordan
Public Seal of High Commissioner of Palestine.svg
Public Seal of the High Commissioner of Palestine
Flag of the of the High Commissioner of Palestine 1948.svg
Flag of the High Commissioner of Palestine
British Generals 1939-1945 E6661.jpg
Alan Cunningham, the
last High Commissioner for Palestine and Transjordan
StyleHis Excellency The Right Honourable
AppointerKing/Queen of the United Kingdom
Formation1 July 1920
First holderSir Herbert Louis Samuel
Final holderSir Alan Cunningham
Abolished14 May 1948

The High Commissioner for Palestine was the highest ranking authority representing the United Kingdom in the mandated territories of Palestine and Transjordan under the British Mandate for Palestine.[citation needed]; however, this post was always held simultaneously by the High Commissioner for Palestine.

The British representative to Amman was "responsible to the high commissioner in his role as representative of the mandatory power, but not in his capacity as head of the Palestine administration."[1]

They were based in Jerusalem. The office commenced on 1 July 1920, before the commencement of the Mandate on 29 September 1923, and replaced the British military occupation under the Occupied Enemy Territory Administration, which had operated in Palestine in 1917–1918. The office ceased with the expiration of the Mandate on 15 May 1948.

When the office of High Commissioner was vacant, or the High Commissioner was unable to perform his duties for some reason, a person who was usually the Chief Secretary of the Government of Palestine was appointed to perform the same duties with the same powers.[2]

Government House, Armon Hanatziv neighborhood, Jerusalem
Appointment of Lord Plumer as High Commissioner for Palestine, 1925

List of High Commissioners for Palestine and High Commissioners for Trans-Jordan

Name Term start Term end
Sir Herbert Louis Samuel 1 July 1920 30 June 1925
Sir George Stewart Symes
2 July 1925 25 August 1925
Field Marshal Lord Plumer 25 August 1925 31 July 1928
Sir Harry Charles Luke
31 July 1928 6 December 1928
Sir John Chancellor 6 December 1928 2 September 1931[3]
Sir Mark Aitchison Young
3 September 1931[3] 20 November 1931
Sir Arthur Grenfell Wauchope 20 November 1931 1 March 1938
William Denis Battershill [de]
(acting for multiple periods)
21 June 1937 3 March 1938
Sir Harold MacMichael 3 March 1938 30 August 1944
John Valentine Wista Shaw
30 August 1944 31 October 1944
Field Marshal The Viscount Gort 31 October 1944 5 November 1945
John Valentine Wista Shaw
5 November 1945 21 November 1945
Sir Alan Cunningham 21 November 1945 14 May 1948

See also


  1. ^ Mary Christina Wilson (28 June 1990). King Abdullah, Britain and the Making of Jordan. Cambridge University Press. pp. 73–. ISBN 978-0-521-39987-6. For example, his desire that Transjordan be totally dissociated from Palestine was accomplished by the fine distinction of making Philby responsible to the high commissioner in his role as representative of the mandatory power, but not in his capacity as head of the Palestine administration. (Privately, London held the reservation that 'the door would not be closed to a possible rapprochement between the two administrations in the future.)
  2. ^ The Palestine Order in Council, 1922, Clause 7.
  3. ^ a b Gazette, 3 September 1931