Although there will doubtless be long debates in the House of Commons on the Inquiry Commission’s report, the opposition to Great Britain’s maintaining the Mandate, while vociferous, is small, and the political conditions are such as to assure the possibility of continued economic and cultural work in Palestine, if the Jewish people throughout the world support this work, declared Dr. Cyrus Adler, American non-Zionist member of the Administrative Committee of the Jewish Agency, and Joseph Hyman, in a joint statement on their return today on the “Bremen” from London, where they attended the sessions of the Jewish Agency.
The text of the statement made by Dr. Adler and Mr. Hyman follows:
“Mr. Warburg’s recent message has indicated some of the excellent results achieved at the meeting of the Administrative Committee of the Jewish Agency. Closer contact and sympathetic understanding between the European and the American members of the Committee; progressive steps toward more effective Administrative organization; a clear definition of the position of the Agency toward the solution of the relations between Jews and Arabsâ€”through cooperation and good will in the common endeavors of every-day life and living.
“We went to London with certain misgivings. There were rumors of friction and differences of viewpoint. The advance notices of the press concerning the Palestine Inquiry Commission almost uniformly forecast an unfavorable report.
NO FRICTION IN MEETINGS
“So far as the Administrative Committee sessions were concerned, there was not even a breath of friction from the moment we got together. The attendance at the meeting was very good; all parts of Europe were represented directlyâ€”not by proxiesâ€”and also Palestine.
“The predictions of long drawn-out debates were not realized. Committee meetings disposed of all questions at issue. The plenary sittings never exceeded the allotted time. The geniality and skill of Felix M. Warburg as presiding officer contributed in great measure to this happy result. In the subcommittees, James H. Becker of Chicago took a most active part in the consideration of the budget and finance committee, as also in the plans for the business corporation; Julius Simon of New York served on the finance and organization committees; Dr. Coralnick on the political committee; Rabbi Teitelbaum on the budget and finance committee; Gedaliah Bublick on the organization committee; Alexander Kahn on the political committee with Dr. Adler, and J. C. Hyman on the organization committee.
“Another feature which we think had much to do with the harmonious and speedy result of our meeting, was the hospitality of our English friends. Any American who talks about our hospitality as being something unusual, would have been more than pleased at the way in which our English colleagues took us into their homes and hearts.
MAJOR PROBLEMS CONSIDERED
“The following major problems were considered: The completion of the budgetary program outlined last August in Zurich; the land and the immigration questions; the relationship of the Vaad Leumi (the Council of the Jeews of Palestine) to the Agency; and the subject of cooperation and harmonious living with the Arab population in economic and other undertakings. Apart from the discussions at the meeting of the Administrative Committee, but having important bearing on the progress of the work in Palestine, consideration was given to the project of the business corporation for Palestine, and the plans of the Palestine Emergency Fund, in cooperation with other bodies, to participate in the settlement of one thousand families on orange plantations in the Sharon Valley, etc.
ENGLAND WILL KEEP MANDATE
“The political discussions were largely overshadowed during the early days of the meeting by the question of the contents of the report of the Commission of Inquiry. The prognostications were so gloomy that we experienced a feeling almost of relief when the report appeared. This put the origin of the disturbances squarely up to the Arabs, and after all, under its terms of reference, this was the principal question the Commission had to determine. It is very generally agreed that the commission went outside its terms of reference into matters of general policy. Without going into the details of these subjects, we are glad to report that both in the House of Commons and elsewhere, the Prime Minister, Ramsay MacDonald, gave explicit assurance that Great Britain would maintain and carry out its Mandate over Palestine. In these assurances, the Prime Minister is joined by the leaders of both the Conservative and the Liberal partiesâ€”Stanley Baldwin and Lloyd George. There is thus the determination of all the political parties in Britain to carry out the terms of the Mandate, which include the Balfour Declaration….
DISCUSSED OTHER PROBLEMS, TOO
“While our purpose in going to London was primarily to attend the meeting of the Administrative Committee of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, it became apparent that one of the fortunate results of this enlarged Agency is that Jewish problems throughout the world may now be considered as a whole, and not in separate geographical sections. We had ample opportunity in London to discuss with representative Jews from Poland, Roumania, and the border states, the present economic conditions of the Jews in those lands. Dr. Bernhard Kahn, European director of the Joint Distribution Committee, submitted to some of us his tentative proposals for a three-year program of reconstructive aid which he deems imperative, centering largely in the strengthening of the loan kassas, the free loan societies and industrial work, and supplementing the straitened resources of the Eastern European self-help institutions for child care, medical and cultural activities.
FEW SIGNS OF IMPROVEMENT IN POLAND
“From the leading European delegates and from other sources of information, it is evident that there are few signs of immediate improvement in the economic situation in Poland. The oversupply of farm produce this year has seriously affected the purchasing power of the peasants, and the Jews who constitute the merchant and middle-man groups in the cities have suffered sharply in consequence. The textile industry in Lodz and other centers is almost at a standstill, and the Jews of Poland look toward the coming year with much misgiving. The Jewish people of Lithuania and Roumania likewise plead for renewed aid in their difficult position.
“In Russia the Jewish farm settlement work is continuing out of funds already specially provided for that purpose, but there is still urgent need for assistance for Jewish child-care, medical, trade school, relief, and industrial undertakings. While Jewish conditions in Russia are very grave, the recession from the drastic process of collectivization of farms and religious persecution has somewhat improved the situation there within the last three or four weeks.
EAST EUROPEAN JEWS STRUGGLING
“Altogether, the Jews of Eastern Europe are struggling for existence against great obstacles at this time. Whether they can find a footing of self-support depends upon the willingness of the American public to continue the magnificent support heretofore granted to the Joint Distribution Committee program of reconstructive aid in Eastern Europe. The people in all these lands are prepared to carry on if we will stand by.”
Asked about the prospects of success in the coming United Jewish Campaign, Dr. Adler declared that he and his associates will do the utmost to bring the Campaign to a succesful ending.
Commenting on a report which appeared in the New York press regarding his prolonged stay in Europe in order to participate in the coming session of the Wailing Wall Commission which is to be appointed by the League of Nations, and to which he is already assigned as a member, Dr. Adler declared that so far no definite commission has been appointed and no date for a session had been set. He declared that he will return to Europe as soon as a meeting of the Wailing Wall Commission is called.