Jerusalem (May. 26)
The average Arab family of five requires 200 hundred dunams of land under the present system of extensive cultivation, Arab representatives told Sir John Simpson, here on a temporary mission to investigate problems of land and immigration the Jewish Telegraphic Agency learns. The Arab deputation included Selim Farah, chief Arab agricultural expert before the Shaw Commission; Ameen Tamini of Haifa, a member of the first Arab delegation to London and Issa Elissa.
The delegation tried to impress Sir John with the imminence of a land scarcity unless intensive development was initiated. Even two hundred dunams does not yield the cultivator more than $200 annually above taxes, cost and labor without providing for educational and medical services the Arabs told Sir John. They will submit a memorandum on the subject next week.
Today Sir John will visit Beersheba where he will meet Sheikh Meidan, who, testifying before the Shaw Commission, likened Palestine to a train, explaining “when the carriages are full the train is unable to take on additional passengers.”
While the Arab effendis are putting the fellaheen’s case before Sir John Simpson, the two differ over the proposed law abolishing imprisonment for debt. A writer in the Arab paper, “Al Carmel,” urges the High Commissioner to enact immediately a law to abolish imprisonment for debt pleading for the rights of “the poor villagers who have been robbed by the effendis and the fellah-overburdened with debt in creased by exorbitant interest.”
The effendis, however, have made representations to the High Commissioner saying that the fellah will suffer if imprisonment for debt is done away with since no one will then lend him money, arguing that the rigor of the Turkish laws was hitherto the moneylender’s best security.