The time will come when Palestine will reach such a stage in self-government that it will apply to the League of Nations to be released from the mandate and take control of its own destiny, Captain W. F. Strickland, who was a member of the Parliamentary Delegation to the Levant Trade Fair in Tel Aviv, predicted in an address before the Explorers’ Club of Barkers’ Butts Boys’ School in Coventry.
“People in Great Britain do not seem to be alive to what is happening in Palestine,” he declared. “They still seem to regard it as a sacred country and kind of show place, whereas if they woke up they would find it a striving commercial country, anxious to trade with us.”
Influx of Jews, he said, has resulted in a pro-British feeling arising from the freedom given the new settlers to develop their own industries and open up the country.
Many of these colonists, he pointed out, immigrated from countries where they had been persecuted, and the complete liberty which has been accorded them in their new home has resulted in their deep gratitude to Great Britain, he found.
Captain Strickland drew a comparison between the energetic work of the Jews in converting barren desert into fertile country and the unprogressive existence of the Bedouins, who have made no effort to develop the territory reserved for them.
TELLS OF TEL AVIV
He told about Tel Aviv, scene of the Levant Fair, a new city of 100,000 Jewish inhabitants built by Jewish enterprise, commenting favorably on the fact that he saw many British-manufactured products in use there.
He contrasted the condition of parts of Palestine with their status as he observed them during the War, immediately after the Turks had been driven out by the British.
As an example of Britain’s failure to appreciate the opportunities offered for commerce with Palestine, Captain Strickland remarked that he was forced to travel to the Holy Land on a French steamer, because no British company considers it worth while to make direct calls either at Haifa or Jaffa.