The judges committee composed of Judge Edward Lazansky, Judge Mitchell May, Judge Grover Moscowitz, Judge Otto A. Rosalsky, appointed by Dr. Chaim Weizmann to probe the opposition charges against the Zionist administration, will make public today their findings.
The committee went into session late yesterday afternoon in Judge Lazansky’s Chambers, Borough Hail, Brooklyn, to draft their report.
The final public session of the judges’ committee was held Tuesday evening at the Unity Club, Brooklyn, following a dramatic move made by the Administrative Committee of the Zionist Organization of America, which asked that the judges complete the hearing and render their report as speedily as possible None of the parties interested in the controversy made any public statement concerning the negotitions which preceded, but according to reports current the situation was as follows:
The Committee of Nine, which was appointed by the judges to seek an amicable solution, after having been apprised of Mr. Lipsky’s statement to the Administrative Committee of the Zionist Organization that he will not be a candidate for any office within the organization, agreed to a slate for a commission of nine to govern the affairs of the Zionist Organization in the United States. The administration’s three representatives on the Committee of Nine had agreed to the slate. It was stated that in case of an agreement, the judges will not find it necessary to render their report.
On Monday afternoon, however, when the judges committee was to hold its final session, the Committee of Nine demanded that the slate as agreed upon should be ratified by the Administrative Committee as a body and that the Administrative Committee undertake to advocate the election of the new commission at the Pittsburgh convention.
At a special session called Tuesday afternoon, the Administrative Committee of the Zionist Organization rejected the proposal advocated by the Committee of Nine, including its own representatives, and delegated a new committee, including Jacob Fishman, Maurice Samuel, Dr. A. J. Rongy and Abraham Goldberg to present its decision to the judges committee.
Morris Rothenberg, who acted as counsel at the previous hearings and who was a member of the Committee of Nine, declined to continue in this capacity at the final hearing.
The administration was represented by Maurice Samuel, Jacob Fishman, David Freiberger, Meyer W. Weisgal, I. D. Morrison. The opposition was represented by its counsel, Abraham Tulin, Robert Szold, S. J. Rosensohn, Jacob de Haas and a special accountant.
At the hearing Edward Jacobs, appointed by the judges committee to make an audit of the books of the Zionist Organization of America, with regard to special items of the transfer department and loans, presented his report. It disclosed the existence in the books of additional notes and loans endorsed by the Zionist Organization of America for Prof. Boris Shatz of the Bezalel Art School of Jerusalem in the amount of $985, and two loans, one for $3,000 and another for $1,000, executed during the treasurership of the late Herman Conheim, and countersigned by Louis Lipsky, to Maurice Samuel, who was at that time employed by the Zionist Organization of America and served as a member of the Administrative Committee.
The auditor also presented details with regard to the use of the “non-organization iterms,” such as sums paid in to the Zionist Organization for transfer to private individuals in Palestine and elsewhere and sums earmarked for the Hebrew University. These funds, the auditor declared, were deposited in the general fund and were used. The loans to Mr. Samuel and to Prof. Shatz were repaid in full. Regular audits had been made of the Zionist Organization books by certified accountants, Mr. Jacobs testified.
Replying to questions of the administration representatives, the auditor testified that items of earmarked funds were, on certain occasions, transferred from the special accounts to other accounts during the administration prior to 1921.
Judge Lazansky at the beginning of the session read portions of a letter addressed by I. D. Morrison to an unnamed person. In this letter, given to the committee by Mr. Morrison, the writer complains that a proposal was made to the Administrative Committee by the auditor to present the income of last year’s Life Membership drive as regular income in order to show that the deficit was decreased. Mr. Morrison, who declared that at the forthcoming convention he will retire from membership in the Administrative Committee, wrote in his letter:
“I have perfect confidence in Mr. Lipsky, but he has not qualifications for leadership in such a cumbersome machine and he is not able to enforce discipline among his own offiers because he is too good-natured.”
During the hearing, the representatives of the administration frequently rose to make general explanations of the nature and character of the Zionist movement, its aims, origins and purposes. The forthcoming realization of the Jewish Agency and the attitude of various groups within the movement was one of the arguments.
At the conclusion, both the representatives of the opposition and the administration expressed their thanks to the judges committee for their painstaking efforts in fulfilling a public spirited duty. Each of the groups contended that the interest of the Zionist movement must be borne in mind in the drafting of the judges’ findings. Mr. Tulin argued that the opposition has undertaken the painful duty because it believes that exposing wrongs will serve the best interest of revitalizing the organization, while Mr. Rothenberg contended that with the exception of a few instances which cannot be condoned, nothing has been shown to warrant a general condemnation of the organization and its leadership during the past seven years.