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Acting High Commissioner Discusses Palestine Problems at Press Conference

Arab and Jewish laborers will be employed in equal numbers in excavating the railway approach to the main breakwater of the Haifa Harbor declared Acting High Commissioner H. C. Luke in an interview he granted press representatives. Labor conditions are being carefully studied to ensure compliance with the fair wage provisions imposed by the loan act. A detailed statement is impossible at this stage, but the government is endeavoring to make arrangements which, without increasing costs abnormally, will enable the workers of all communities to compete on equal terms, he stated.

The question of railway facilities for persons coming to Palestine summer resorts from Egypt is being considered, the Acting High Commissioner said.

The Acting High Commissioner declined to comment on the complaint of the Vaad Hair, Jerusalem Jewish organization, concerning the disregard of Jewish rights in municipal questions. This is now under consideration.

Replying to a question regarding the employment of Christian postal officials on Sundays, Mr. Luke said employees of all communities are occasionally required to work on their Sabbaths.

Discussing the Dead Sea he said that he understood the concessionaire intends to employ a proportion of Arab labor from Palestine and Transjordania. The suggestion regarding Palestinian directors is the company’s concern.

The draft education ordinance, he said, provides a levy of a local rate where it is desired to supplement the educational facilities. The building for the Arabic schools, provided by the Kadoorie fund, is nearly complete and the school will probably be opened in a year. The state domain area set aside for a Jewish school at the foot of Mount Tabor, which will cost £39,000 to build, will possibly be opened for the next school year. The government has proposed a grant-in-aid of £2,000 to each school.

Mr. Luke denied reports that negotiations were being reopened with Ibn Saud regarding the Hedjas Railway.

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