Simpson Urges Suspension of Jewish Immigration to Palestine Until Census Taken Next Year; Sharply Cr
Menu JTA Search

Simpson Urges Suspension of Jewish Immigration to Palestine Until Census Taken Next Year; Sharply Cr

Download PDF for this date

Suspension of Jewish immigration to Palestine until a census is taken is recommended by Sir John Hope Simpson in his report on problems of land settlement, immigration and development to the British government in which he severely criticizes the methods hitherto pursued by the Jewish agencies with regard to colonization and immigration.

The long awaited report was made public here today simultaneously with the British government’s statement of its future policy in Palestine, a statement largely based on Sir John’s report.

“It is not right,” the Simpson report says, “that if there are Arab workmen unemployed that Jewish workmen from foreign countries be imported to fill the existing vacant posts.” Sir John thus recommends a complete stoppage of immigration until a census to be taken next year is completed and the various steps for colonizing Arabs, thus creating the possibility for further settlers, have been executed.

Sir John Simpson went to Palestine last May and spent several months investigating land and immigration problems at the behest of the British government. The matters into which he probed were the most important issues raised in the report of the Shaw Commission which investigated the causes of the riots of August 1929.

The appointment of Sir John was the direct outcome of the Shaw Commission’s recommendations that measures be taken to work out means of regulating Jewish immigration in accordance with the country’s capacity to absorb it and the appointment of an expert to look into the agricultural situation in Palestine.


Not only does Sir John recommend complete stoppage of Jewish immigration but even visitors, who in the past were able to settle in Palestine if they found employment, should be dealt with like persons who have entered the country illicitly and should be expelled, according to his recommendations. He calls such visitors “pseudo-travellers.”

The terms on which the Jewish National Fund purchased or leased lands are condemned by Sir John as “objectionable and should be radically altered.” The present methods of Arab cultivation do not leave a land margin because, while a family requires 130 dunams of land for its maintenance only 90 dunams are actually available, Simpson says, thus leaving 29.4 per cent of the Arabs landless.

At the same time he believes that the various Jewish agencies in Palestine hold a sufficient reserve of undeveloped land to enable them to continue operations without interruption. His suggested general scheme of development is almost exclusively for the benefit of the Arabs and bedouins.


Sir John voices regret that part of the water necessary for irrigation is now under concession and he advises that steps be taken to ensure a satisfactory arrangement with the concessionaire. For land development he suggests the appointment of a commission consisting of a Briton, a Jew and an Arab. He also advises that the scientific experimental stations be coordinated by the government supporting the Jewish Agency or Hebrew University stations instead of maintaining its own.

The British investigator repeaedly stresses the importance of cooperation between the Jewish Agency for Palestine and the government, particularly towards the achievement of close settlement, although he makes it clear that he realizes that the Arabs would be the chief beneficiaries.

In conclusion Sir John Simpson points out the extraordinary difficulty of the Mandate, especially of Article 6. He emphasizes that is necessary to develop the entire country and not only parts of it in order to make possible additional

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund