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New American Economic Committee for Palestine Formed: Immediate Task of Stimulating Palestine Invest

The formation of an American Economic Committee for Palestine which will sponsor Palestine economic undertakings and accelerate the economic development of the country, with the immediate task of stimulating Palestine investments, has been announced at a dinner held last night at the Park Royal Hotel here.

The speakers were Mr. Robert Szold, Chairman of the Zionist Organisation of America, and Mr. Israel B. Brodie, member of the American Zionist Administration.

Judge Julian W. Mack, Honorary Chairman of the American Zionist Organisation, is Honorary Chairman of the new Economic Committee, Mr. Israel B. Brodie is Chairman, and Mr. H. Baroway is Secretary.

It was Mr. Brodie who presented to the last Zionist Congress held in July 1931, the American plan adopted by the Congress for promoting private initiative in Palestine, by the creation of corporations, with the task of stimulating safe and profitable private investments in Palestine, assisting small investments, attracting large capital for industrial enterprises, and concessions, and long-term credits, organising the marketing of Palestine products and manufactures, and the examination of opportunities for opening new fields of industry.

The programme of the Zionist Organisation of America drawn up for the guidance of its representatives at the 1931 Congress laid it down under the heading of Economic Programme that “in order to achieve the realisation of the Jewish National Home, there must be settled in Palestine in the briefest possible time a preponderating body of Jews under conditions which will enable them to become economically self-sustaining. To this end, the Jewish Agency should concentrate all of its man-power and its moral, political and material resources on the stabilisation and rapid expansion of the Jewish economic position in Palestine. This implies a soundly conceived programme of economic development planned to attain definite objectives within a limited number of years. In carrying out such a programme, first consideration should be given to the promotion of such projects and activities as will (a) develop the essential foundations for a solid economic structure (e.g. in respect to land, natural resources, industries, agriculture and horticulture, credit institutions, etc.); (b) offer maximum opportunities for labour and immigration; and (c) offer reasonable prospects for returns on private investments.

“This programme can best be carried out by institutions similar in character to the Palestine Electric Corporation, the Palestine Potash Company, Ltd., and the Palestine Economic Corporation, as well as by individual investors. The Executive should co-ordinate the work of the several institutions and corporations rather than engage in the management of their affairs.”

MR. EMANUEL NEUMAN ON THE BRODIE PLAN

Mr. Emanuel Neuman, the American member of the Jewish Agency Executive, who has taken over responsibility for a new Department in the Palestine Jewish Agency Executive, dealing with financial and economic matters, in the course of a statement to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency immediately after his election by Congress, said:

My principal interest in the work of the Executive will be the furtherance of the economic development of Palestine along the lines proposed by the American delegation at the Congress. I refer to the programme ably outlined and forcefully presented by Mr. Brodie, which is the result of long and careful study on the part of our American group. We are deeply convinced that the realisation of our aims in Palestine requires the mobilisation of Jewish resources in a manner and on a scale not hitherto attempted. We propose to establish in Palestine an organisation composed of experts, which will advise and assist Palestinians engaged in industry and commerce, supply reliable information to Jews in the Diaspora regarding conditions and opportunities in Palestine, and, through the medium of Palestine Economic Committees to be established in the various countries in the Diaspora, stimulate the immigration of middle-class settlers and the assembling of the capital necessary to carry out a well-conceived economic programme.

Judge Julian W. Mack, Mr. Robert Szold, Mr. Israel B. Brodie, and Mr. Emanuel Neuman, were all connected with the Brandeis administration in the American Zionist Organisation. which returned to control in the Organisation at the 1930 Convention, almost exactly nine years after the split which led to their defection, and Judge Mack was Chairman of the Palestine Development Council that was set up by the Brandeisists after the split.

Mr. Robert Szold is also a Vice-President and Mr. Brodie is a member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Economic Corporation, which was organised in 1926 for the economic development of the Jewish National Home in Palestine on a non-philanthropic basis. Mr. Felix M. Warburg is Honorary President of the Corporation, Mr. Bernard Flexnen is Chairman of the Board of Directors, and Mr. Julius Simon, another prominent Brandeisist is President.

In the last report of the Corporation issued by Mr. Julius Simon in May of this year, it was stated that long-term credits approximating £80,000 have been made immediately available by the Palestine Economic Corporation to enable 500 families of Jewish agricultural labourers in Palestine to become independent home and orchard owners during the current year.

The Corporation holds a large tract of land in the Haifa Bay area. It also holds 75 per cent. of the share capital of £100,000 in the Central Bank of Co-operative Institutions in Palestine, Ltd., and in addition, has advanced to it $670,000, of which $425,000 remain outstanding.

In connection with the orange-growing industry, Mr. Simon said that the Corporation jointly with the Palestine Economic Board in London will finance modern packing houses in a number of orange-growing districts.

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