Moscow (Oct. 7)
Professor Harris, who headed the American commission which investigated the possibilities of Jewish colonization in Bira-Bidjan, authorized the correspondent of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency here to deny a report published by the “Tass,” Soviet news agency, asserting that the American commision had declared that the far eastern region was better fitted for Jewish colonization than Palestine.
“Never has anyone of this commission made such comparisions,” Prof. Harris declared. “Each country has its advantages and disadvantages,” he said.
The Commission, which left Russia today on its way back to the United States, was received yesterday by Rykov, chairman of the Sovnarkom, Council of People’s Commissars, to whom they reported the result of their findings. Addressing an open meeting of the Ozet, society which is sponsoring the Bidjan project, the Commission emphasized that Bidjan suffers from a heavy rainfall during the entire summer, thus making it impossible to raise wheat there. However, other cultures grow splendidly. The Commission was extremely optimistic regarding rice plantations in the region. Secretary of Agriculture Kubiak also received the Commission.
A recommendation presented by the Commission was that each settler in Bidjan go for a trial period of one year, being employed in other work before starting to work on the land. If he is not fitted for the climate, he may return home. If, however, he is fitted, he then makes the best colonist, the Commission declared. The majority of the Commission’s recommendations were accepted.
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency representative learns that a special organization will soon be formed in Soviet Russia to conduct the Bidjan colonization work, while the Ozet will again turn itself to the colonization activities in the Crimea and Ukraine.
A five-year campaign to raise $1,000,000 for the Bidjan project will be conducted in the United States by the Icor, the society in America sponsoring the project.