League Body Warned on Palestine’s Economic Position

A warning on the economic position of Palestine, torn by three years of strife, was sounded before the Permanent Mandates Commission today by Sydney Moody, assistant chief secretary of the Palestine Government.

Mr. Moody cautioned the Commission against misinterpreting the comparatively small decline in Palestine trade during 1938. The apparent economic stability of the country during a period of civil disorder, he said, was due partly to the fact that “millions of pounds are being spent on troops and police for restoration of public security.” Mr. Moody asserted that this money was coming “from the pocket of the British taxpayer.” The Mandatory Government, Mr. Moody declared, was taking a grave view of the Holy Land’s economic position.

The Commission examined in detail measures undertaken by the British Government to suppress the disorders, precautions to assure proper discharge of the wide functions of the troops under the defense regulations, international agreements on holy places and the question of freedom of conscience.

Opening its examination of Britain’s annual report yesterday, the Mandates Commission extensively questioned the British representatives on why terrorism had gone unchecked. It also took up the questions of the Jewish national home’s development, immigration and land, closely questioning the British representatives on the role of Jewish economic development in the general economic system of the country.

Mr. Moody declared that the terrorism had gravely affected the economic and social life of the country and had preoccupied the Government to such an extent that it was almost impossible to give proper attention to other problems. He outlined briefly developments since the end of 1938, declaring the terrorist bands had been smashed by April and illegal immigration had become an important factor in May.

Colonial Secretary Malcolm MacDonald arrived here from London last night, but will not report on the White Paper until tomorrow.

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