LONDON (Jul. 9)
Promulgation of the details of the $12,500,000 Palestine development scheme, scheduled to be made effective today in Palestine, was postponed at the last moment by the British Colonial Office for one week. The scheme will become operative with its announcement in the Official Gazette in Palestine on July 16, according to the latest announcement here today.
The eleventh hour delay is understood to be due to an urgent communication received by the Colonial Office from Dr. Chaim Weizmann in Basle, privately intimating that the sudden decision of the Colonial Office to publish the details of the scheme in the midst of the Zionist Congress, where the fate of Dr. Weizmann’s policies is being considered, would merely aggravate the situation.
The development scheme has been the subject of negotiations between the Jewish Agency and the British government for some time. At the last session of the Mandates Commission of the League of Nations. Dr. Drummond Shiels, under-secretary for the Colonies, announced that the general outlines of the scheme would be made public shortly and that it would be placed in the hands of an officer appointed as director of development. He also pointed out that the basis of the recommendations for carrying the scheme into effect will be an entirely new set of figures to be determined by a new inquiry.
NO CHANGE IN SUBSTANCE
It is believed that in response to the message Dr. Weizmann is understood to have sent, the Colonial Office agreed to withhold publication for one week. During this week of grace, however, it is unlikely that there will be any question of adjustments or changes in the substance of the scheme because the Colonial Office considers the matter settled so far as it is concerned.
It is known that some weeks ago the Zionist Executive decided to request the Colonial Office, at the suggestion of the Zionist political commission, to wait with the announcement until a new Executive was elected, feeling that the retiring Executive could not at the last moment be expected to take the responsibility for such an important matter nor should the incoming Executive be placed before a fait accompli.
The Colonial Office at first hand had apparently agreed to hold off publication of the scheme’s details until after the Zionist Congress and this change of mind is inexplicable to Zionist circles.
Simultaneously with the publication of the details of the development scheme in Palestine, an official announcement will be made in Parliament giving the details of the proposed plan, it was learned today. It is not expected, however, that the government will for the present ask Parliament’s sanction for the $12,500,000 loan that is to finance the scheme.
This question, it is expected, will be deferred until the director of development has investigated the situation and submitted his report to the Colonial Office in London.