London (May. 3)
(Jewish Telegraphic Agency Mail Service)
The letter sent by the British Government to the October meeting of the Mandates Commission of the League of Nations answering the complaints regarding the insufficient participation of the Palestine Government in the Jewish education budget and the non-allocation of State lands for Jewish close settlement raised in Dr. Weizmann’s covering letter accompanying the Zionist memorandum to the Commission will be replied to in the new memorandum which the Zionist Organization is to send to the June meeting of the Mandates Commission.
The memorandum will repeat last year’s complaints that the Jewish schools in Palestine received from the Government nothing beyond a trifling grantin-aid, submitting that “it is unjust that revenue derived from general taxation should be devoted almost exclusively to the establishment and maintenance of schools in which the language of instruction is Arabic, the Jews being left to provide Hebrew schools at their own expense,” and pointing out also “that although the Mandate has now been in force for some considerable time, Article 6. which provides for the close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes still remains substantially inoperative.”
This time, too, the Zionist Organization will put a demand for the participation of the Government in the Jewish health budget in Palestine.
The letter from the British Government to which the memorandum will reply, said that it was impossible to accept the contention that the Palestine Government were under any obligation to ensure that in any head of expenditure the amount of money devoted to the needs of service of a particular part of the people of Palestine should be proportionate to the size of that part. and that there was little prospect in the present state of Palestine finance of the Government being able in the near future to provide a larger amount for educational purposes, so that if any change were to be made it could only be effected by closing existing schools in order to provide more funds for the Jewish schools.
As regards the question of implementing the provisions of Article 6 of the Mandate regarding close settlement by Jews on the land, the Government regretted that most of the State lands in Palestine were already occupied by tenants under various conditions which, while not amounting to full ownership or even, in most cases, a right to perpetual tenancy, have nevertheless a certain moral and in many cases actual legal validity, and in these circumstances they could not be dispossessed for the purpose of making the land available for Jewish settlement without infringing that part of Article 6 of the Mandate which lays down that the rights and position of other section of the population shall not be prejudiced.