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The Urban Development in Palestine Described in Zionist Memorandum

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(Jewish Telegraphic Agency)

The urban development in the Jewish national home in Palestine was reported as progressing, in the memorandum of the Zionist Executive to the Secretary General of the League of Nations.

“The Jewish urban population at the end of 1925 is estimated by the Zionist Organization at 114,000, as compared with an official estimate of 85,000 in the spring of 1925. and a census figure of 68,622 in October, 1922,” the memorandum read.

“So far as can be judged from the available data, including in particular the membership returns of the Jewish Labor Organization, the number of Jewish manual workers in the towns at the end of 1925 was about 20,000, representing, with their families. a total population of about 50,000. Of these it is estimated that about 7,000 were employed in the building and constructional trades. about 5,000 in factories and workshops. and about 1,500 (including railwaymen) in the transport trades, while about 6,000 were working-mainly in Jerusalem. Safed and Tiberias-as independent artisans and craftsmen.

“The foregoing figures reflect the rapid development of industry, more especially in Tel-Aviv and Haifa. There is, however, reason to believe that they also include a considerable number of recent arrivals, both manual workers and immigrants of the independent means category, who have made temporary homes in the towns while awaiting facilities for carrying out their original purpose of settling on the land.

“The main centre of urban settlement during the past three years has been the Jewish township of Tel-Aviv, followed at a considerable distance by Jerusalem and Haifa. The growth of Tel-Aviv is illustrated in greater detail by the following figures, which are taken from the Municipal records: December, 1922, 12,862; December, 1923, 16,624; December, 1924, 27,000; August, 1925, 34,200.

“By the end of 1925 the population of Tel-Aviv, as distinct from Jaffa, had further increased to an estimated total of 40,000. The Municipal Census of August, 1925, showed that the population of 34,200 included 13.652 persons gainfully employed, of whom 2,499 were women and 1,584 were young persons under the age of eighteen. The number of workers in receipt of wages or salaries was 8,800. Of these, a considerable proportion, which may be estimated at about 45 percent, were engaged in or dependent upon the building and allied trades. In interpreting these figures, it should be borne in mind that in view of its rapid growth, which is largely based on the development of industry, Tel-Aviv is now at a stage at which a considerable part of its resources are bound to be devoted to the execution of what are, in effect, capital works. Of the remaining wage-earners and salary-earners, about one-half are employed in factories or workshops other than establishments connected with the building industry, and most of the remainder in clerical occupations or in retail trade.

“As a rapidly developing industrial and commercial centre. Tel-Aviv was more immediately affected than other towns by the contraction of credit resulting from the financial stringency which began to be felt towards the end of 1925. The prosperity of Tel-Aviv suffered a temporary check, but no widespread or permanent damage was done, and the economic structure proved strong enough to withstand the severest test to which it has yet been subjected.

“In the neighborhood of Haifa about 65,000 dunams of land in the valleys of the Kishon and the Naaman have been acquired by the Haifa Bay Development Company, which is operating with capital subscribed by a group of Jewish bodies, including the American Zion Commonwealth and the Jewish National Fund. The company proposes to drain the swampy soil, which has hitherto been a dangerous source of malaria, and to develop the whole area as an industrial and commercial centre in the form of a garden city. The total cost of the entire project is estimated at about £1,000,000. A town-planning scheme has been worked out, and preliminary work is now being undertaken. An important feature of the scheme is the allotment of 5,000 dunams of land for development by the Jewish National Fund as a satellite-town with accommodations for 1,200 working-class families. The project is based on the anticipation of Palestine, and an important entrepot for the trade of the Eastern Mediter-ranean and the Middle East.

“The Jewish Cooperative Textile Company “Manor” has recently been registered in Palestine with a capital of £E.75,000, of which a large proportion has been subscribed by Jews engaged in the textile trade in Poland.”

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