Jerusalem (Oct. 23)
The Palestine government has approved only 5,500 immigration certificates on the October to March schedule including 2,000 already advanced and 500 certificates reserved for tourists who decide to remain permanently, it was authoritatively learned yesterday.
The high commissioner, Sir Arthur Grenfell Wauchope, estimated the absorptive capacity of Palestine at 6,500 immigrants but assumed that 1,000 tourists overstay their visas and remain illegally in the country, taking up vacancies in the labor market.
David Ben-Gurion and Moses Shertok, Jerusalem members of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, immediately visited the High Commissioner, and pointed out that the official government estimates were not proportionate to the actual economic needs of the country and are bound to gravely prejudice vital economic activities in Palestine. They emphasized that the “Aliyah” (Jewish immigration into Palestine) was the principal issue in the Jewish world today, particularly in view of the German situation. The Agency had requested 24,000 certificates.
The Agency members also pointed out that it was an illogical act to reserve certificates for tourists who in many cases are not permitted to stay unless they can prove that they have an occupation or business, and that apart from everything, the reservation of certificates for tourists was an unprecedented innovation.
The Jewish Agency further pointed out that determining immigration policy, is a fundamental question affecting the future Jewish national home. Although attempts at mutual understanding were made in the course of the conversation, the situation is unchanged.
At a meeting of the Executive of the Jewish Agency yesterday morning, the serious situation resulting from the government’s action was discussed. It is expected that a series of actions will be decided upon, on what the Executive considers a situation of serious importance for the future of the Palestinian Yishub.