Warburg, on Behalf of American Members of Jewish Agency Urges Britain to Revoke Order Suspending Imm
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Warburg, on Behalf of American Members of Jewish Agency Urges Britain to Revoke Order Suspending Imm

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Revocation of the order of suspension of immigration to Palestine is urged upon the British government in a statement addressed by Felix M. Warburg, chairman of the Administrative Committee of the Jewish Agency. The statement was handed to the British Ambassador, Sir Ronald Lindsay, today in Washington with a request to transmit it to his government.

The statement made public through the Jewish Telegraphic Agency was authorized at a special meeting of the American members of the Administrative Committee of the Jewish Agency held at the offices of Mr. Warburg. Among those present there were Bernard Flexner, Judge Julian Mack, Louis Lipsky, Baruch Zuckerman, Morris Rothenberg, Judge William Lewis, David M. Bressler, Solomon Loewenstein, Alexander Kahn, James N. Rosenberg, Mrs. Robert Szold, Gedaliah Bublick, and Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum.

The Jewish Agency, according to the Mandate of Palestine, has to advise and cooperate with the Administration of Palestine in such economic, social and other matters as may effect the establishment of the Jewish National Home and the interests of the Jewish population in Palestine, according to article 4 of the Mandate.

Last August in Zurich, the Jewish Agency was enlarged. The non-Zionists, under the leadership of the late Louis Marshall and Felix M. Warburg, joined the Agency, the membership being equally divided between Zionists and non-Zionists. It is on behalf of the Administrative Committee of this enlarged Jewish Agency that Mr. Warburg handed the statement to the British Ambassador, the text of which reads as follows:


“We are informed by the office of the Jewish Agency for Palestine that, in conformity with its customary practice, the Executive of the Jewish Agency submitted in regular form applications for immigration certificates for the half year schedule, April through September 1930, amounting to 3,143; that on April 5, the Chief Immigration Officer of the Palestine government officially informed the Executive that following consideration of their schedule by the High Commissioner and Executive Council, he had authorized the issuance of these certificates. On May 14 the Executive of the Jewish Agency was informed by the Chief Secretary of the Palestine government that the High Commissioner had directed that the certificates of immigration which he had approved on May 12 be suspended, pending the results of Sir John Hope Simpson’s inquiry.


“This surprising decision, we are reliably informed, followed instructions issued by the Secretary of State for the Colonies to the High Commissioner, who had heretofore sanctioned the certificates on the basis of the economic situation of the country and the need for additional labor immigrants. We are advised likewise, that communique of the Palestine government states that this order is invoked in the interest of the non-Jewish communities of Palestine.


“This action has aroused the indignation and evoked the most profound concern of the Jewish people throughout the world. It has created, not alone among the Jews of Palestine and of Europe, but among the Jews of the United States of America, a most unfortunate impression that the decision to revoke the authorization sanctioned by the High Commissioner as recently as May 12, has been made on political grounds. To millions of Jews this decision seems contrary to the spirit and terms of the Mandate and inconsistent with the assurances granted by His Majesty’s government with respect to Jewish immigration. Furthermore, we respectfully submit that since May 12 when the High Commissioner approved these immigration certificates, the conditions of Palestine have not so altered as to justify such a suspension of the permits.


“Nor does the report of the Shaw Commission of Inquiry itself, with many of the conclusions of which the Jewish Agency finds itself in complete disagreement, and with respect to which the Jewish Agency has been and is prepared to offer authoritative information, contemplate provisional measures of the character now taken. It is feared in many responsible quarters that the suspension of the immigration certificates now directed, will fail to relieve the spirit of unrest in Palestine. Rather it embitters the Jewish population in Palestine and throughout the world, which deems the Jewish people deprived thereby of the very essence and substance of the Mandate—reasonably to increase its members by immigration, and to be ‘in Palestine of right and not on sufferance.’


“Finally, in view of the serious shortage of labor, the demands for construction on public and on Jewish works, as well as by reason of the requirements of the Jewish Agency program and that of other bodies engaged in economic, agricultural and other undertakings in Palestine, immigration in excess of the permits authorized is urgently required at this very time.

“In these circumstances we are constrained to present to you the sense of indignant protest of the Jews of the United States, who, whether as Zionists or non-Zionists are associated with the enlarged Jewish Agency, against the measures now put into effect. This message is addressed to you, in be half of the American members of the Administrative Committee of the Jewish Agency by whom I am directed to urge upon His Majesty’s government a reconsideration of the action taken and a revocation of the order of suspension. We believe that this appeal to the traditional justice and fairmindedness of the British people and government, will meet with an equitable response.”

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