Zionist Executive Issues a Note Explaining Agency Commission Work
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Zionist Executive Issues a Note Explaining Agency Commission Work

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(Jewish Telegraphic Agency)

An official note to acquaint the British public and the Zionist constituencies in Europe with the constitution and the plan of work of the Joint Palestine Survey Commission of the Jewish Agency was issued here by the Executive of the World Zionist Organization.

The explanatory note reiterates the principles underlying the commission as agreed upon between Dr. Chaim Weizmann and Mr. Louis Marshall, but contains additional information with regard to the attitude of the British government toward the commission and further details of the personnel of the experts commission intrusted with the survey work.

The Mandate for Palestine provides in Article 4 that the Zionist Organization, which is recognized as the Jewish Agency for Palestine, “shall take steps, in consultation with His Majesty’s Government, to secure the co-operation of all Jews who are willing to assist in the establishment of the Jewish National Home,” the explanatory note begins.

With a view to facilitating such co-operation, the Zionist Organization has made proposals for the enlargement of the Jewish Agency and its reconstitution on a broader basis. His Majesty’s Government have been consulted with regard to these proposals and have intimated their general approval.

On January 17th, 1927, Dr. Weizmann, on behalf of the Zionist Organization, and Mr. Louis Marshall, on behalf of duly authorized representatives of the New York Non-Partisan Conference to consider Palestinian Problems, issued a joint statement to the following effect: Agreement has been reached in principle as to the desirability and practicability of reconstituting the Jewish Agency on a broader basis in general accordance with the scheme outlined in the Vienna resolutions. It has also been agreed that an authoritative Commission shall be appointed forthwith for the purpose of surveying the whole field of constructive work in Palestine, in so far as it is within the competence of the Agency, it being understood that as soon as the Commission has reported, the formal constitution of the enlarged Agency is immediately to follow.

His Majesty’s Government having been duly consulted with regard to the appointment of the Commission, and having signified that they have no objection, the Commissions has now been constituted as follows:–The Right Hon. Sir Alfred Mond, Bart., M. P., Dr. Lee K. Frankel, Dr. Oscar Wassermann, Mr. Felix Warburg.

The Commission will be assisted by a number of expert advisers, of whom the following have already been appointed:–Agricultural Colonization: Dr. Elwood Mead and Professor Jacob G. Lipman, assisted by Professor Frank Adams. Mr. Cyril O. Henriques, Mr. Victor Mosseri, Mr. Knowles Ryerson, and Mr. A. T. Strahorn. Sir John Russell, Drector of the Agricultural Experiment Station at Rothamsted, has been good enough to inform the Commission that he will place at its disposal some of the material derived from his recent investigations in Palestine on behalf of the Empire Marketing Board.

Public Health: Professor Milton J. Rosenau, assisted by Dr. Ch. Wilinsky.

Banking and Credit: Dr. Ernst Kahn.

Labor: Mr. Leo Wolman.

Dr. Elwood Mead, who has for some time occupied the Chair of Rural Institutions at the University of California, was appointed in 1924 as United States Commssioner of Reclamation. In addition to the work which he has done for the United States Government, Dr. Mead has also been employed in an advisory capacity by the Government of New South Wales, and has been engaged in various reclamation schemes in Canada, Java and Mexico.

Professor Jacob G. Lipman is Dean of the Department of Agriculture of New Brunswick College, and Director of the New Jersey State Agricultural Experiment Station at New Brunswick. Professor Lipman was President of the International Soil Survey Congress which met in Washington at the invitation of the United States Government in June, 1927. Professor Frank Adams is a member of the United States Department of Agriculture, and a specialist in agricultural economics.

Mr. C. Q. Henriques, late of the Public Works Department of the Government of India, is an engineer with long experience in irrigation work. Mr. Victor Mosseri is one of the best known agricultural experts in Egypt, and has been employed in an advisory capacity by the Egyptian Government. Mr. Knowles Ryerson, late of the University of California, is now one of the agricultural advisers to the Government of Haiti and is an expert in horticulture. Mr. A. T. Strahorn is on the staff of the Bureau of Soils, United States Department of Agriculture.

Professor Milton J. Rosenau is Director of the School of Public Health at Harvard University. Dr. Charles Wilinsky is Deputy Commissioner of Health of the City of Boston. Dr. Ernst Kahn is a partner in the firm of Lazar. Speyer, Ellissen of Frankfurt, and was formerly Financial Editor of the “Franfurter Zeitung.” Mr. Leo Wolman has a high reputation in the United States as an industrial economist, and is at present adviser on labor questions to the Amalgamated Clothing Workers’ Union.

The foregoing list is not final, and covers only a part of the subjects falling within the scope of the terms of reference. Certain further appointments are in contemplation, and will be announced in due course.

Two of the four members of the Commission, Dr. Frankel and Mr. Warburg, have recently visited Palestine. Of the experts, the following are already at work in their several fields: Professor Adams, Mr. Henriques, Mr. Ryerson, Mr. Strahorn, Dr. Rosenau, Dr. Wilinsky.

The Secretariat of the Commission has not yet been finally constituted, but Mr. M. Kisselev and Mr. M. Naamani have been appointed as members of the Secretariat on the nomination of the Zionist Organization, while Mr. Marshall has nominated Dr. Maurice B. Hexter, of Harvard University, Director of the Federation of Jewish Charities in Boston.

In view of the magnitude and importance of the work on which the Commission is engaged, some time must necessarily elapse before it is in a position to report. At the present stage it is impossible, in the nature of the case, to fix a definite date for the completion of its investigations, but it is hoped that its report may be ready not later than the spring of 1928.

The Board of Estimate, as the upper house of the Municipal Assembly, passed Mayor Walker’s housing bill in the amended form in which it had been passed earlier in the week by the Board of Aldermen.

To become effective the bill must be submitted to the voters of the city at the general election in November as a proposed amendment to the city charter.

The bill, if not prevented from becoming a local law by a threatened attack in the courts, will enable the city to condemn land and lease it for housing projects, designed to reclaim slum sections of the city. The amendments which made it necessary for the Board of Estimate to pass the bill the second time, are designed to protect the city’s interests and to restrict operation to housing projects clusively.

August Heckscher, who has become interested in modern housing products and Miss Sophie Irene Loeb spoke in favor of the bill.

Acting Mayor McKee speaking at a dinner of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, urged a fight against the new immigration law, which, he said. unfairly cuts down Ireland’s quota.

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