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2,500 Dwellings Needed at Once for Settlers Already in Bidjan Says Government Commission

The mass desertion of Jewish settlers in Bira Bidjan may show a further sharp increase this winter unless dwellings for newcomers are provided at once, declares a report submitted yesterday by the Commission despatched to Bira Bidjan for investigation purposes by the Zik of White Russia, the local Soviet authority.

The entire plan calling for the settlement of 14,000 Jews in the Far Eastern region this year now depends on the ability to make adequate accomodations available for the immigrants, according to the Commission. Thus far, however, the Commission comments, adequate quarters have not even been found for the workers who are conducting the building activity. As a result, of 600 builders, only 300 now remain.

The report further discloses the curious fact that a timber shortage is being experienced in Bira Bidjan, although the region is surrounded by dense primeval forests.

A total of 2,500 dwellings are required to accomodate settlers already in Bira Bidjan. Unless this problem is solved without delay further desertions must be awaited, the report emphasizes.