A program of work to be undertaken in Palestine, was announced yesterday by Bernard Flexner, President of the Palestine Economic Corporation.
The program places in the front rank, the necessity of assisting financially, in the completion of the Hydro-Electric station on the Jordan River, and the necessary transmission lines to connect the existing Diesel-engine power stations at Tel-Aviv, Haifa and Tiberias. The Palestine Economic Corporation has advised Pincas Rutenberg, President of the Palestine Electric Corporation, the Company owning the concession, that it is prepared to participate in the completion of the above undertaking to the extent of Â£ 150,000, approximately $750,000, and is ready to enter into definite arrangements to this end.
The second item in the proposed program is assisting in the building of a certain number of small, standardized homes for workers in and around Tel-Aviv, by the side of the ancient city of Jaffa. There has been a serious shortage of housing facilities for workers, and the Palestine Economic Corporation will undertake certain steps to assist in remedying the situation in part, by advancing credits for the building of simple homes, to be constructed in accordance with standards approved by the Palestine Government, these homes to be sold to workers on easy terms, payable over a period of from twelve to fifteen years.
The Palestine Economic Corporation has set apart $200,000 for this purpose, to be available within the next twelve months.
Another item in the program will be to provide a certain amount of money, $100,000 to begin with, to be loaned to agricultural and other groups in Palestine for a longer period than is now possible, through the Central Bank of Cooperative institutions, Ltd, which has its head office in Jerusalem. The funds of the Bank have been limited in the main to loans not exceeding one year in duration, and it is believed important to furnish a certain amount of money to be loaned for longer periods.
The above amount is provided for the first twelve months’ activities, and in the opinion of the Executive Committee, sufficient to indicate the feasi bility and method of making these loans.
The Committee considered with favor, an item brought to its attention by Mr. S.A. Van Vriesland upon his recent visit to this country, by buying up certain obligations of Jewish farmers to the Keren Hayesod. This will be limited, to begin with, to a small amount to be loaned to those farmers who, after careful investigation, are found to be self-supporting and in a position to begin to pay interest on and amortize their loan. This will make available to the Palestine Foundation Fund (Keren Hayesod) additional operating capital for the establishment of new rural colonies.
The available cash resources of the Palestine Economic Corporation at this time, consist of certain cash acquired by the Corporation as the result of the merger, a limited number of subscriptions to capital stock at the time of the merger, and a part of the tentative allocation made several months ago by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, of $1,500,000 out of the then quota of $15,000,000 of the United Jewish Campaign.
The other officers of the Corporation, which has its office at 40 Exchange Place, New York City, are Louis Marshall, Herbert H. Lehman. and Robert Szold, vice-presidents; Walter E. Meyer, treasurer, and Joseph C. Hyman, secretary. The Board of Directors of the Company are: Oscar Berman, David A. Brown, Jacob Billikopf.David M.Bressler, Jacob Epstein.Bernard Flexner, F. Julius Fohs. Fellx Fuld, Louis J. Horowitz, Louis E. Kirstein. Samuel C. Lamport. Herbert H.Lehman, Louis C. Loewnstein, Louis Marshall, Walter E. Meyer, James N. Rosenberg, Reuben Sadowsky, Ben Selling, Julius Simon, Nathan Straus. Jr., Louis L. Straus. Rohert Szold, Samuel Untermyer.Felix M. Warburg, Samuel Zemurray.
The Palestine Economic Corporation was organized in February. 1925, by a merger of Palestine Cooperative Company. (a subsidiary of the Palestine Development Council),and the Palestine activities of the Reconstruction Committee of the Joint Distribution Committee, the new Corporation having acquired the assets of the other two agencies.