LONDON (Apr. 26)
Sighns of improvement in the general economic situation of Palestine were reported to a conference yesterday of West European Zionist leaders who were asked to consider a Jewish Agency budget of $7,000,000 and were informed of plans to float a 20-year four per cent $5,000,000 loan for development of the Holy Land. The budget requirements and the loan plans were outlined by Leo Hermann, co-director of the Palestine Foundation Fund, Zionist colonization agency, before West European members of the Zionist General Council and the Zionist Administrative Committee.
Stressing the constructive nature of the budget items, Mr. Hermann pointed out the need for a proportional increase in efforts which are to be covered by additional income from the United Jewish Appeal in the United States, with the deficit to be covered possibly by issuance of long-term debentures by the Foundation Fund.
Mr. Hermann reported that certain signs of improvement were visible in the general economic situation of the Holy Land. He revealed that further negotiations with the British Government were required to complete a $2,500,000 transfer scheme arranged with Czechoslovakia before the German occupation and indicated that there was a possibility that the refugees might obtain capital from the $20,000,000 British gift to enable them to go to Palestine.
The conference, over which Prof. Selig Brodetsky presided, discussed the plight of the Jews immigrating illegally to Palestine. Moshe Shertok, head of the Jewish Agency’s political department, declared that while the Agency could not in any way associate itself with unauthorized immigration there was “deep significance in the unique phenomenon of shiploads of desperate refugees coming to Palestine as their only hope.” Declaring the development was indicative of the conditions under which Jews were living in central Europe he said that it “shows that in the end nothing can prevent the Jews from returning to Palestine.”
The conference adopted a resolution endorsing the stand of the Jewish delegation to the recent London conference on Palestine, which rejected a proposal to set up an independent Arab-dominated Palestine state.
As outlined by Mr. Hermann, the Jewish Agency budget includes the following provisions: $1,000,000 for new settlements: $1,000,000 for consolidation of 36 settlements started since the outbreak of the disorders three years ago; $1,000,000 for consolidation of industry and trade: $1,000,000 for public works and housing; $625,000 for maritime work including enlargement of the Tel Aviv port; $500,000 for loans to the Jewish National Council and municipalities to be used in erecting new school buildings; $625,000 for consolidation of the citrus industry and mixed farming; $500,000 for security; $250,000 for social services and $1,000,000 to cover the Jewish Agency’s $350,000 deficit and repayment of loans.