Jerusalem (Jan. 31)
The abolition of customs duties for Palestine products in Great Britain was demanded in a resolution adopted today by the convention of the Jewish Farmers’ Association, at which M. Smilansky was re-elected president.
The convention concluded at Tel Aviv today with a warning that the association no longer will negotiate with the Executive of the Jewish Agency for immigration certificates, but will ask such certificates directly of the Palestine government in order to secure more Jewish farm hands for the colonies.
This warning is a result of the shortage of Jewish labor on the land. Most of the laborers have turned to the cities, where the wages are five times as high as in the colonies.
The convention, discussing the acute shortage of Jewish farm hands, reached the conclusion that the only solution of the problem would be to have a portion of the immigration certificates allotted by the government to the Jewish Agency under the labor schedule given directly to the Association of Jewish Farmers. The association could then import from Europe qualified farm hands who are eager to emigrate to Palestine. Brought over by the Jewish farmers in Palestine, the laborers would definitely remain on the land and would not go into city work. This would eliminate the necessity of employing Arab labor on Jewish farms to the extent prevailing at present.
Isaak Rokach, vice-mayor of Tel Aviv, addressing the closing session of the convention, appealed to the delegates for cooperation with all exporters of oranges from Palestine, pointing out that such cooperation is essential to the citrus industry.
Samuel Mohl, one of the leading figures of the Palestine Economic Corporation, reported at today’s session on the activities of the new farmers’ bank. Dr. Abraham Katzenelson, executive member of the Vaad Leumi, reported on rural health conditions.