JERUSALEM (Jan. 23)
The Government today issued gas masks to harbor officials at Haifa and Jaffa.
Distribution of the masks climaxed widespread reports and rumors that war preparations were going on in the Holy Land. Arab newspapers, in particular, had been persistently reporting secret stationing of troops, importation of munitions, arrival of a submarine and passing out of gas masks to soldiers and sailors.
Falastin, Arabic daily, stated that large quantities of masks were brought into the country by the military authorities given to troops and naval forces stationed at the Mediterranean port.
Three ships with dynamite cargoes have anchored in the Haifa Bay, the paper reported, adding that British soldiers were arriving nightly at Haifa and being taken to barracks at Bath Galim.
The necessity of ensuring oil shipments from Iraq during a possible war, Arab newspapers said, had caused British authorities to begin planning a new pipeline from Mesopotamia to Haifa paralleling the present route.
Reports from Maskat in Oman, on the South Arabian coast, state that American engineers and geological experts are now engaged in experiments for the discovery of new sources of petroleum. Oil was discovered in the district last year.
The necessity of guarding oil supplies, the Arab papers state, has prompted British authorities to station a submarine and two cruisers in Haifa. Haifa is the terminus of the oil lines from the Mosul fields and shipments are made from the port to British possessions throughout the world.