established should be the government’s property. It is regrettable that the government has in one case parted with irrigation rights in an important source to a concessionaire and steps should be taken to ensure satisfactory arrangements for a supply of water for irrigation at an early date.”
Sir John also points out the necessity for protecting the tenant against ejectment or the imposition of an excessive rental. He stresses the acceleration of land settlement as well as the abolition of imprisonment for debt. Agricultural taxation at present, he finds, is excessive in Palestine. The price of produce has fallen about fifty percent since the tithe was commuted, Sir John states, adding that “it is necessary to reduce the fees now charged for the registration or disposition of land.” He also urges coordination of the agricultural scientific service in place of the present overlapping between the scientific establishments of the government and of the Jewish Agency and the Hebrew University. “It is preferable that instead of duplicating this service a grant of a subvention should be made or payments for services rendered.”
Sir John also suggests an increase in the budget of the government department of agriculture and the establishment of a demonstration plot showing practical colonization improvements, and the distribution of trees at cost price or below it. “To encourage cooperation between Arabs and Jews in the orange industry would be of general advantage to the country and it would be of particular advantage if the Jewish grading and packing society, Pardess, could enlist the Arab orange growers into its membership,” Sir John says.
Returning to the question of agricultural development Simpson urges that if the Huleh concession fails, its lands should be retained by the government for development purposes “as this area is one of the most fertile of all Palestine and provision could be made for a large number of families to settle on a comparatively small developed area. The limitation of orange cultivation is necessary in order to await the result of the recent rapid extension before a further increase is made”.
Referring to Palestinian industries he points out that large manufacturing industries are dependent upon the protection afforded by an import tariff but “it is questionable whether in certain cases a protective tariff is justified by results. As far as the cement industry is concerned, the tariff appears to have been raised unnecessarily”. The British investigator also urges a reduction in the excises on wine because of their unfavorable effect on the grape growers.
The report recomends that in the future the labor immigration schedules be prepared by representatives of the Jewish agency and the government immigration department in consultation with non-official persons acquainted with the economic position of Palestine, leading bankers for example. He urges that representatives of the immigration department should be stationed in each of the towns whence immigration to Palestine is common. In the case of illicit entry to Palestine Sir John recommends that the entrant should invariably be returned to the country whence he came and that “in the case of pseudo-travellers, unless there are reasons to the contrary, the same procedure should be followed”.
The question of Arab unemployment should form the subject of study and steps should be taken to create machinery for the registration of Arab unemployment, Sir John urges. “If there are Arab workmen unemployed it is not right that Jewish workmen from foreign countries should be imported to fill the existing vacant posts”, he says. “The immigration office, which now forms a part of the police department, should be constituted into a separate department”.
In concluding, he says, he wants to record the fact that in his opinion the observances of the articles of the Mandate, and especially of Article 6, present an extraordinary difficulty. “The sole way in which the Mandate can be carried out is by an intensive development of rural Palestine”, he says. “It will not be sufficient to develop small portions without the development of the whole country. There is no room for a single additional settler if the standard of life of the fellaheen is to remain at its present level.
DEVELOPMENT WOULD RAISE STANDARD
“With development that standard could be raised so that it would permit a reasonable condition of livelihood to that backward class of the community and the margin of land could at the same time be provided for additional colonization. It is my personal belief”, Sir John continues, “that with the thorough development of the country there will be room not only for all the present agricultural population on a higher standard of life than it at present enjoys but for 20,000 settlers from the outside.
“Any scheme of development presents serious difficulties. Unless such a scheme is accepted by Jews and Arabs it may very well fail of both. It will require support if it is to have the desired result, namely the advancement of a neglected but historic country out of an impasse by modern efficiency and by the joint endeavor of the two great sections of its population with the assistance of the Mandatory Power”.