Cape Town (May. 13)
The troubles which began in Palestine in 1929 and were followed by a series of enquiries, commissions and White Papers have not yet been fully liquidated, Dr. Weizmann said, speaking at a farewell reception given him here on the eve of his departure to-day from South Africa on his return to London.
Although a year has passed since the publication of the Prime Minister’s letter on the Passfield Paper, I am afraid that little progress has been made in implementing the promises made therein, he continued. It seems even that we shall have to bear with fortitude new difficulties in the near future, but we shall be strengthened by the knowledge that the economic situation in Palestine and the morale of the Yishub is sound and healthy.
Our structure is built on a firm foundation, Dr. Weizmann said. It is my firm belief that a strong and healthy Yishub cannot fail to impress itself on the political situation.
I view with great misgiving the rumours of a new report on Palestine, which it is predicted will be painfully reminiscent of the Simpson Report, he went on. We have lived down the Simpson Report, which was full of pseudo-scientific statements, and had hoped that chapter was closed, but it seems as if someone is bent on keeping Palestine in a state of ferment and unrest by the constant publication of such reports.
A common feature of all these reports, Dr. Weizmann said, is the constant emphasis on the fact which we know too well-that Palestine is a small country. We are not going to build our home on the back of anybody. The Arabs require no protection against us. They have their own national homes, stretching from the Euphrates to the Indian Ocean. All that we ask is that we shall be permitted to work and build our own home.
Palestine is small, he proceeded, but when the policy of the Jewish National Home was framed and adopted Palestine and Transjordan were one indivisible unit. If they were so still, there would be no difficulty to-day.
Transjordan is almost empty, Dr. Weizmann said, but this hinterland to Palestine is barred to Jews by artificial means Transjordan is out off from Palestine for reasons extraneous to Zionist policy.
We claim the right, Dr. Weizmann declared, to go into Transjordan, and develop it in co-operation with its population.
He believe that we have many friends in England, he concluded, and the justice of our claims will prevail in the end. The new High Commissioner is a man of justice and fairness and understanding, and with faith, courage and steadfastness on the part of the Jews, we shall succeed.
In bidding farewell to South African Jewry, Dr. Weizmann said that he was full of admiration of their sacrifices and devotion to the cause of Palestine, and he was glad that two of their leaders, Mr. Gitlin and Mr. Braudo, were now in Palestine, and would soon be able to bring them a first-hand message on the Palestine achievements. Dr. Weizmann paid a tribute to Dr. Alexander Goldstein, who is remaining in South Africa to continue the Keren Hayesod campaign, for his efforts in making the campaign a success.
Mr. Isaac Ochberg, the Chairman of the Cape Town Keren Hayesod, who was in the chair, said that South African Jewry was grateful to Dr. and Mrs. Weizmann for what they had done among them.
General Smuts, leader of the South-African Party and former Prime Minister, addressed the gathering, paying a glowing tribute to Dr. Weizmann, of whom he spoke as the uncrowned king of Jewry, congratulating him on the magnificent results of his campaign in South Africa. Dr. Alexander Goldstein said that the campaign had been a splendid success, both morally and materially, in spite of the fact that it had been the most difficult campaign ever launched in South Africa.
Deputy Morris Alexander, Deputy Kentridge and Mr. Kark also spoke.
Before leaving, Dr. and Mrs. Weizmann and Dr. Goldstein lunched with General and Mrs. Smuts.