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Concern over Economic Situation Voiced by Palestine Economic Corporation

The Palestine Economic Corporation, reporting that the corporation and its subsidiaries loaned or invested a total of $2,385,000 during 1937, expresses “grave concern” over the economic situation in Palestine, in its eleventh annual report, which was made public today by Bernard Flexner, chairman of the board.

“The economic life of the country was naturally deeply affected by the disturbed conditions,” the report states. “The uncertainty that prevailed as to the future of the country was probably the most potent factor in slowing down the tempo of business activity. Other contributing factors were the sharply restricted immigration and the cumulative effect of the two unprofitable citrus seasons of 1935-36 and 1936-37.

“The economic situation at the end of 1937 gave cause for grave concern. Unemployment and part-time employment rose steadily during the year although with the beginning of the 1937-38 citrus season many idle workers were absorbed in the picking, packing and transportation of the crop. The drop in purchasing power affected severely the small shopkeeper as well as the manufacturer. Unfortunately the feeling of uncertainty which affected many investors and manufacturers showed no sign of being removed at the time this report was written (March, 1938).”

The corporation’s outlay of funds in 1937 included $347,699 paid out against commitments, $1,850,000 paid out by subsidiaries from their own funds in loans and investments, and $535,000 disbursed for the account of third parties.

The object of the corporation is “to afford an instrument through which American Jews and others who may be interested may give material aid on a strictly business basis to productive Palestinian enterprises and thereby further the economic development of the Holy Land and the resettlement there of an increasing number of Jews.”

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