Jerusalem (Nov. 15)
David Ben Gurion and Moshe Shertok, of the political department of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, today interviewed High Commissioner Sir Arthur Grenfell Wauchope on the subject of the latest developments in Palestine.
They pointed out to the High Commissioner that the government’s immigration policy was a clear departure from the letter of Prime Minister J. Ramsay MacDonald, which stated that “His Majesty’s government does not contemplate any stoppage or prohibition of Jewish immigration in any of its categories” and that “immigrants with prospects of employment other than employment of a purely ephemeral character will not be excluded on the sole ground that the employment cannot be guaranteed to be of unlimited duration.”
The Jewish Agency representatives also pointed out to the High Commissioner that the result of the government’s recent policy will either prevent the Jews from continuing the development of Palestine, or they will be forced to employ Arab labor, both of which flout the concept of Palestine as a Jewish national home as pledged in the Balfour Declaration.
A semi-official statement of the Jewish Agency declares that the recent rapid and sound expansion in Palestine demands more extensive immigration and the present contraction determined upon by the Palestine government creates a labor shortage, which in the past was filled by illegal immigration, in the absence of duly authorized immigrants.
In his reply to the delegation of Arab notables, headed by the Mayor of Jerusalem, Raghem Bey Nashashibi, who called upon the High Commissioner yesterday to protest against Jewish immigration, Sir Arthur stated that he based the immigration schedules on the immediate future, and is therefore cautious when fixing numbers, apparently arguing the inevitability of a slump that will cause unemployment to thousands in Palestine. The experience of three years, however, shows that the Agency’s calculations are conservative, since actually the people absorbed in Palestine, far outnumber the certificates received by the Jewish Agency.