London (Apr. 17)
The question of granting the Dead Sea concession was again raised in the House of Lords yesterday. Viscount Templetown asked whether the government had received a recent communication from the Moslem Supreme Council protesting against the choice of Engineer Moses Novomejsky as the Dead Sea concessionaire.
The Earl of Plymouth on behalf of the government stated that in November, 1927, the Colonial Office had received an Arab memorandum asking that the concession not be granted to a company controlled and financed by the Zionist Organization or foreign capitalists, also that the Palestine and Transjordanian governments control the undertaking, nationalizing it for the benefit of all inhabitants.
The government replied on that occasion that in principle the granting of the concession to Major Tulloch and Novomejsky was already decided upon. It also replied that the extraction of the salts is of a highly technical and commercial character involving a large expenditure and the risk of loss. Therefore, the government itself cannot undertake this.
Subsequently the Arabs addressed telegrams to the Lord Chancellor, urging the local governments to develop the Dead Sea resources. These telegrams have been acknowledged but not officially replied to. If a reply had been sent, it would have been along the lines of the earlier letter, the Earl of Plymouth declared.