London (Jul. 15)
Profound disappointment with the statement of Sir Philip Cunliffe-Lister, Colonial Secretary, in the House of Commons yesterday on the Palestine loan was expressed to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency today by Rabbi Stephen S. Wise of New York because the loan, as outlined, is chiefly for the Arab population.
“What a lamentable ending to a great hope!” Dr. Wise declared. “The French Report has evidently become a law with the Colonial Office, a fallacious, misleading report which builds up a fictions case for the so-called Arab landless who, by Cunliffe-Lister’s admission, are less than a thousand.
“Our hopes rest in a united effort of the Jewish people to move the British Government to accept full responsibility for the implications of the Palestine Mandate.”
Dr. Wise expressed his belief that the British Government has not yet had its last word in yesterday’s statement. He voiced the hope that the recent utterances of the British Government regarding the position of the Jews in Germany, expressing the will of the British people, will make possible the entry of a maximum number of German Jews into Palestine.
An extensive public works program in Palestine, to be financed by a two million-pound loan, was outlined in the House of Commons yesterday by Sir Philip Cunliffe-Lister, Colonial Secretary. Declaring that the British Government is satisfied Palestine’s resources offer full security for the loan, Sir Philip asked the House to agree to guarantee the loan.
Details as to how the loan would be allocated were not disclosed by the Colonial Secretary, whose announcement came in the course of debate on the Colonial Office budget, but will probably be revealed when a bill asking formal authorization by the Commons of the loan will be introduced by the Government. This bill, in accordance with Parliamentary procedure, will require three readings, during which, it is expected, members of the House will have suitable opportunity to discuss the merits and purposes of the loan in detail.
Sir Philip recalled the 4,500,000 pound loan which the British Government guaranteed in 1926 and assured the deputies that the proposed loan would be invested in such a way as to be revenue-producing. He made this statement in reply to Josiah Wedgewood, the only participant in the debate, who criticized the loan because, he said, it would cause a tax burden on the Palestine population which would fall chiefly on Jewish shoulders. Sir Philip’s assurance, however, did not entirely satisfy Mr. Wedgewood, who declared the loan was intended merely to enable the Colonial Office to exercise greater control over Palestine and impose a constitution opposes by the Jews. He urged the House of Commons to hold the Colonial Office policy in check.
Allocation of this loan, the Colonial Secretary told the Commons, has already been discussed with the Palestine High Commissioner and with the Treasury with the purpose of meeting “Palestine’s essential economic interests and benefit all sections of the population.”
The program of public woks to be financed by the loan, he said, would include water supply and drainage projects for the cities of Jerusalem and Haifa, water supply projects for the villages of the country, a hydrographic survey, construction of a dock in the harbor of Haifa and improvement of the harbor at Jaffa.
These works, as well as resettlement of “displaced” Arabs, are to be financed to a large extent by the loan as well as by ordinary revenue, he said.