London (Jan. 22)
Lord Reading’s son, Viscount Erleigh, has received a cable message in London from Lady Reading that his father, the Marquess of Reading, who is visiting Egypt with Lady Reading after their recent stay in Palestine, is lying ill at Luxor.
A later message received by Lord Erleigh, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency is informed, states that Lord Reading has an attack of bronchial trouble, but his pulse and temperature have improved, and he is as well as can be expected.
Lady Erleigh, Lord Reading’s daughter-in-law and a daughter of the late Lord Melchett, had arranged to go to Palestine next month, so she has cabled to Lady Reading asking whether she should put forward her journey, and leave immediately for Egypt.
Lord Reading, who is 71, was in Palestine in December, mainly in connection with the affairs of the Palestine (Rutenberg) Electric Corporation, of which he is Chairman of the Board of Directors. Lord and Lady Reading arrived at Haifa from Egypt on December 24th., travelling up in a special saloon with Mr. Rutenberg, the Managing Director of the Palestine Electric Corporation, who met them at Kantara. In Haifa they stayed at Mr. Rutenberg’s house on Mount Carmel. Lord Reading visited the Haifa Power Station and the head offices, of the Palestine Electric Corporation, and the Jordan Works of the Corporation, and he paid a high tribute afterwards to Mr. Rutenberg, declaring that he had never known anyone like him, and that what the Palestine Electric Corporation had done was due entirely to his genius and energy.
While in Palestine, Lord and Lady Reading met the representatives of the Jewish institutions in Palestine, including the Jewish Agency, the Jewish National Fund, the Vaad Leumi, and the Agudath Israel. They visited the Jewish Labour settlement of Dagania and the Jewish City of Tel Aviv, where Lord Reading was made a freeman of the city. Lord Reading’s name was also entered in the Golden Book of the Jewish National Fund, under his Hebrew name, Daniel ben Joseph. Lord and Lady Reading planted trees in the Balfour Forest, which had been inaugurated by the late Lord Melchett, and Lord Reading delivered the memorial address at the traditional Jewish memorial service held in the Imperial Chemical Company’s building on the first anniversary of the death of Lord Melchett. Before leaving Palestine, Lord and Lady Roading spent some time at the Melchett estate at Migdal, on Lake Tiberias, which be late Lord Melchett left to Lady Erleigh.
WOULD NEVER HAVE BELIEVED HIMSELF AT HIS AGE CAPABLE OF SUCH ENTHUSIASM AS IN PALESTINE
At his age, Lord Reading said when he received the freedom of Tel Aviv, he would never have believed himself capable of such enthusiasm as he had experienced that day. He had been impressed with the Jews’ love of independence of thought and self-respect. He and Lady Reading had been struck by the younger generation and the kind of education that the children were receiving. They were not being taught only reading and writing but love of liberty, pride in their own people and country, and like their elders, they were cultivating an independence of thought and self-respect. In having these qualities instilled the children were also being taught to respect the liberties and the thoughts of others.
He had become convinced, he further said, that there was no intention on the part of any Jew in Palestine to oust any Arab or to infringe upon the rights of other people. But although he avoided political subjects, it did not mean, he said, that he had no eyes to see or ears to hear. He had been impressed with the Jews’ determination to secure their rights under the Balfour Declaration. It was a British promise to which England wished to stick and must stick. Though the arm of Britain extended far, this undertaking was not insignificant. The Jews were entitled above all, he declared, to an absolute guarantee of safety for their lives and property. On his part, he would do everything in his power to help in that direction.
At the memorial service to Lord Nelchett Lord Reading recalled that Lord Melchett’s faith in a Jewish Palestine had been unbounded, and he (Lord Reading) would not have done one-tenth of what he had done for Palestine, but for Lord Melchett’s inspiration.