Moscow (Jan. 16)
Jewish Telegraphic Agency
The desire to settle on the land has not slackened among the Jewish masses in Soviet Russia, declared Dr. Joseph A. Rosen, head of the Agro-Joint, following his return to Moscow from the United States, in an interview with the representative of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency here.
“Knowing that the situation of the Jewish artisans in the Soviet Republics has recently improved, I expected to find, on my return, a slackening in the urge for the land. Instead, I find that the number of applicants for settling is greater than before and is increasing daily,” he declared. “I am not surprised at this, because I knew before that the argument of Mr. Duranty, the New York “Times” correspondent in Moscow, and of others, that the Jews will return to the towns at their first opportunity, was unfounded. Such assertions can be made only by people who get their information at second hand. The fact is that the artisans have the largest proportion among the applicants. Of the 740 applicants recently registered in the city of Homel. 400 were artisans. When asked why they made their applications for settling on the land since the condition of the artisans has improved, they declared that they are convinced that there are no prospects for them in their crafts, that the rapid development of the cooperatives will finally destroy the individual artisans. They therefore prefer to settle on the land,” Dr. Rosen stated.
A conference of the workers throughout Russia of the Agro-Joint will be held shortly in Moscow for the purpose of determining the scope and character of the work in the near future. Dr. Rosen added. The first tasks will be to consolidate those who have already settled and to settle those who have registered.
The Joint Distribution Committee also conducts relief work such as granting credit to artisans, extending medical and orphan aid. Twenty-five percent of the annual sum allocated to Russia will be spent for such relief. Dr. Rosen declared.
“The greater the funds available and the sooner they arrive, the more rapidly will the work be accomplished,” he stated.