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Promoting Middle-class Immigration to Palestine

A little while ago Mr. H. Farbstein, member of the Executive of the Jewish Agency, opened negotiations with Mr. Hyamson, the Chief Immigration Officer of the Government of Palestine, on the subject of the minimum of £1,000 required by the Government from middle-class immigrants who intend to settle in Palestine. Mr. Farbstein argued that expert knowledge is at least as important a factor as cash, and he produced evidence that many immigrants who possessed even more than £1,000 have lost a considerable part of their money, and in some instances even their whole capital, only because they were not experts in their respective trades, and could not adjust themselves to local conditions.

Mr. Farbstein suggested that Mr. Hyamson should visit with him a number of industrial establishments in Tel Aviv, and the Chief Immigration Officer agreed to do this. The object of the visit was to produce proof that certain people had established themselves in industry, though they had possessed only very small means, or in some cases, had even started their enterprises without any funds at all.

Mr. Hyamson, Mr. Farbstein and Mr. Tischby visited eleven factories in Tel Aviv. IT transpired as a result of these visits that though four owners had started without any means, they now employ 10, 30, 15, and 4 workmen respectively. Furthermore, these four establishments had an excellent turn-over during the last two years and they are well provided with orders. It further appeared that one factory, whose owner had started with only £72, now provides employment for over 30 hands. Another factory, whose owner started with £100, now employs 55 workmen. The rest, whose owners had originally invested from £2 to £500, produce a wide range of articles and now employ from 8 to 30 people. All these manufacturers are highly skilled in their respective trades. The lack of capital is not the only difficulty which the eleven manufacturers in question experienced; they also had to train their workers, which required much effort and meant a considerable amount of waste in the early stages.

Mr. Hyamson put a number of questions to each of the eleven owners, and stated that he was much impressed by what he had seen and heard.

Mr. Farbstein has promised to submit to Mr. Hyamson a detailed memorandum in connection with this visit and the general problem of the minimum amount required from would-be manufacturers to enable them to obtain admission into Palestine.

It is hoped that this step taken by a member of the Executive of the Jewish Agency will produce good results for Jewish industry in Palestine. Satisfaction is expressed in responsible industrial quarters with the way in which this problem is being dealt with by the Jewish Agency.

Several of the manufacturers visited in Tel Aviv claimed that there is still room in Palestine for other producers in the same branches of production in which they are engaged.

Practically all these eleven manufacturers drew Mr. Hyamson’s attention to the need of providing certificates for enabling skilled labour to be brought into Palestine.

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