JERUSALEM (Jan. 27)
The Palestine Government is preparing a new law restricting sales of land belonging to Arabs, it was learned today.
A vigorous protest against the contemplated decree has been lodged with High Commissioner Sir Arthur Grenfell Wauchope by Dr. Chaim Weizmann, president of the Jewish Agency for Palestine.
He is quoted as having declared in a visit to the High Commissioner:
“You are forcing us to fight you as we fought against Lord Passfield.”
(A storm of opposition was aroused among Jews in 1930 when Lord Passfield, as Colonial Secretary, issued a “white paper” drastically curbing Jewish immigration and sales of Arab lands. The restrictions were subsequently modified.)
Under the contemplated law, Arabs would be limited in their right to sell lands, depending on the extent of their holdings and the region of the country. An exception would be made in the Beersheba district, where sales would be freely permitted because of the scarcity of water and because there has been practically no Jewish colonization there as yet.
In other districts of the country, Arabs, in order to be able to sell land, would have to own a minimum of 120, 85 or 50 dunams, depending on whether the land lay in the hills or plans or whether it was near a city.