London (Jul. 27)
The two-million-pound Palestine loan announced by the Colonial Secretary, Sir Philip Cunliffe-Lister, in the House of Commons, is not the loan mentioned by Dr. Drummond Shiels in the House of Commons debate on the White Paper, Professor Selig Brodetsky, member of the Jewish Agency Executive, explained in an interview with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in which he dealt with the questions raised by the publication of the French Report and the announcement of the loan.
“The loan indicated by Dr. Shiels was based upon the Hope-Simpson Report, and it was intended to apply it entirely to agricultural development,” he declared. “The intention of the Government then was to raise a loan of two-and-a-half million pounds for the purpose of agricultural development. But, as stated by the Colonial Secretary, this program has been reduced and the present loan seems to be a composite loan, It is to be a loan of two million pounds, of which one-eighth, Â£250,000, is to be devoted to the resettlement of ‘displaced Arabs,’ and the extent to which this is the case, this part of the loan replaces the original development scheme of two-and-one-half millions.
“No Jewish benefit corresponding to this seems to be contemplated, and this is contrary to the spirit of the original plan and to the definite statement in the Prime Minister’s letter that development would be for the benefit of Jews and Arabs alike.
NEGOTIATIONS WITH GOVERNMENT
“No definite allocation has yet been announced by the Government. The executive is negotiating with the Government on this matter, and is requesting that a considerable portion shall be devoted to Jewish agricultural and urban purposes.
“It must be remembered,” Dr. Brodetsky added, “that the loan will have only a formal guarantee from the British Treasury. It will of course not involve any expenditure on the part of the British taxpayer. The service of the loan will be met by the Palestinian taxpayer, and the Jewish taxpayers of Palestine are already paying over forty per cent of the public revenues of the country and judging by the present development, by the time the loan is issued, and the taxpayer is repaying it and the interest on it, the Jewish share will be at least one half and probably a good deal more.
“So we think that it is only reasonable that Jewish agriculture should benefit to the same extent as Arab agriculture, and Jewish urban needs should be met in an adequate manner.
“I would like to be able to assume that the Colonial Secretary’s statement in the House of Commons does represent the end of the investigation by Mr. French,” Dr. Brodetsky said.
“The Colonial Secretary’s words seem to me to mean that the original idea of a Development Scheme is now abandoned, except for the ‘resettlement’ of ‘displaced Arabs’ and that Mr. French’s recommendations are represented in the Government’s decision to strengthen the law relating to the protection of tenants.
“I sincerely hope that we shall hear nothing more about the projected Ordinance for the control of land transfers which was put forward by Sir John Chancellor in 1930 and Lord Passfield in 1931.
“As it is, the statement made by the Colonial Secretary does imply the acceptance of Mr. French’s view that the problem of displacement is to be considered as an important feature of land policy for the future. The Colonial Secretary announced that the Government would take steps to strengthen the law with regard to the protection of tenants. We, of course, approve of everything