Land Purchase, Agricultural and Industrial Credits, Housing and Furthering Orange Industry, Included in Budget
A budget for further work in Palestine totalling $1,010,000 was authorized by the Executive Committee of the Palestine Economic Corporation, organized in February 1925 by the Non-Partisan Conference on Palestine called by Louis Marshall.
An announcement to this effect was made public yesterday by Bernard Flexner, president, in reference to action taken by the Executive Committee of the Corporation on December 4. The budget, which was adopted following a review of the Corporation’s activities in Palestine, includes items for land purchase in the Haifa Bay region, agricultural and industrial credits, encouragement of the orange-growing industry, housing and the participation in the construction of a first class hotel in Jerusalem.
When the program outlined will be completed, the total of the Palestine Economic Corporation’s investments and commitments in Palestine will reach the amount of $2,300,000.
Bernard Flexner is president of the Corporation, Louis Marshall, Vice-President, Col. Herbert H. Lehman, Vice-President, Robert Szold, Vice-President, Walter E. Meyer, treasurer, and Joshua Bernhardt, Secretary.
Explaining the Haifa Bay land purchase, Mr. Flexner stated:
“More than a year ago the Corporation entered into negotiations with the Haifa Bay Development Company for the acquisition of its unsold land in order to reserve this important area for the Jewish public interest and to assist in the development of a sound land policy in a territory which may become of prime importance for the economic future of Palestine. The Government of Palestine has initiated the work of building a harbor, at Haifa. The Acting High Commissioner recently announced that the preliminary specifications for the harbor have been prepared by the consulting engineers and that the work of opening up a quarry and the construction of the harbor would be commenced at the end of this year or early in 1929. The railroad administration of Palestine has decided to locate its machine shops on this area of land and has acquired the necessary site. A tentative decision has also been reached to locate an aerodrome in this vicinity.
“After investigations and negotiations extending over a year, during which period it was possible, with the assistance of other Jewish institutions working in Palestine, to ascertain the facts regarding the condition of the soil, underground water and other physical factors and to determine the necessary improvements for drainage and amelioration, the Corporation took an option for the acquisition of this land. It entered into negotiations with the Jewish National Fund for the purpose of acquiring the land jointly. Under the agreement approved by the Executive Committee, this Corporation will acquire an area of about 5,000 dunams (about 1,250 acres) in the section likely to be affected by the industrial development of Haifa, while the remaining area covered by the option agreement, 22,000 dunams or about 5,500 acres, will be taken over by the Jewish National Fund. Since this body now owns 11,000 dunams in this area, a total of 38,000 dunams or about 9,500 acres, constituting four-fifths of the entire original area of the Haifa Bay Development Company will be in the possession of institutions whose primary aim is the social economic development of Palestine.”