London (Oct. 14)
(Jewish Telegraphic Agency)
The Palestine government may be asked by the World Zionist Organization to provide from its budget a long term loan of $1,000,000 annually for a certain period of years for the purpose of facilitating the agricultural settlement of Jews on the land.
This is one of the proposals formulated by the conference of prominent European bankers and economists and representatives of the Zionist Executive, held under the chairmanship of Sir Herbert Samuel, who were called in to inquire into the problems of how it is possible to hasten the development of Palestine and the close settlement of the Palestine and the close settlement of the Jews on the land there.
The plan as formulated by the conference is to create a Palestine Agricultural Bank which is to give secure credits to the settlers who are already established in the country. The Keren Hayesod and the Jewish National Fund, which have considerable possessions in the country, are to be invited to invest an amount of not less than $1,000,000 in the bank. Private bankers in various European countries and in the United States will be asked to undertake the sale of the bonds of the Palestine Agricultural Bank. The Palestine government will be invited to exercise appropriate control over the administration of the bank.
The conference went on record as considering the request to the Palestine government justifiable in view of the fact that the increase in revenues of the Palestine government in recent years is due mainly to the Jewish immigration and colonization in the country which has considerably augmented the government’s receipts from the customs and land and house taxes as well as its revenues from the railways and mails, which are derived to a large extent from the Jewish inhabitants.
The idea of floating a large Jewish national loan for Palestine, recently discussed in Zionist councils, was considered by the conference as impracticable under the present circumstances in view of the fact that the possessions of the Zionist Organization in Palestine do not at present represent sufficient assets on the basis of which such a large loan could be raised.
The conference which concluded its sessions Wednesday adopted a number of resolutions concerning the various economic phases of the upbuilding of Palestine.
Regarding the collections of the Keren Hayesod and of the Jewish National Fund, the resolution of the conference declares: “In view of the necessity for the Zionist Organization to engage a greater part of the Jewish immigrants in agriculture and industry and in view of the fact that a large percentage of the immigrants are in need of financial assistance for establishing them in agriculture and industry, the Keren Hayesod must, besides its important present functions, continue for a considerable time to provide the indispensible foundation for economic undertakings; particularly to supply the first prerequisites for the institutions which furnish credit on an economic basis.
“The conference also places utmost emphasis on the value of the work of the Jewish National Fund. The conference accordingly considers the constant increase of the resources of the Keren Hayesod and of the Jewish National Fund as an essential prerequisite for the economic upbuilding of Palestine.”
Another resolution adopted by the conference recommends to the Zionist Organization that it make representations to the Palestine government with a view to obtaining taxation facilities for its new agricultural settlers. The conference recommended that during the initial period of fifteen years the new settlers on Palestine soil should not be required to pay a higher amount of taxes that the tithe paid by the previous settlers. Regarding the orange plantations, the conference went on record that it considers that the success of the orange plantations in Palestine has been proved sufficiently and that the extension of the orange plantations be furthered by all means.
Concerning the question of state lands for Jewish colonization, the conference recommended to the Zionist Organization that it make representations to the Palestine government with a view to the government appointing a mixed Commission on State Lands in which the Zionist Organization is to be represented. This Commission should be charged with the task of examining all state lands with reference to their suitability for close settlement of Jews and viewing all suitable land which may be available for Jewish colonization in Palestine.
The conference also placed high hope in the development of industries in Palestine. On this subject, the conference adopted a resolution in which it is declared that it attaches the greatest importance to the development of industries by the independent efforts of industrialists who should receive credit facilities which are now insufficient. The resolution draws the attention of the Keren Hayesod, the Palestine Corporation of London and the Palestine Economic Corporation of New York to the desirability of establishing a strong institution for this purpose.
The conference agreed that the agricultural credits should be provided by the proposed Palestine Agricultural Bank while credits for other purposes are to be provided through the issuance of bonds or otherwise by various institutions appointed for specific economic purposes.
Sir Herbert Samuel, in view of his position as former High Commissioner of Palestine, reserved his opinion on all the proposals involving action by the Palestine administration.