War Postpones Palestine Municipal Votes; Rutenberg Asks Start of Emergency Tax
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War Postpones Palestine Municipal Votes; Rutenberg Asks Start of Emergency Tax

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High Commissioner Sir Harold A. MacMichael today postponed indefinitely the municipal elections scheduled to have been held in Jerusalem and other municipalities at the end of January. He cited events abroad as reason for the postponement.

“Peace and order can hardly be said to have been restored in Palestine,” Sir Harold said yesterday to Jewish leaders at Government House. “You will agree that there is a superfluity of politics in the air and too much internal bickering. None of these things is healthy. They grievously impede the progress of the country and add to the preoccupations of His Majesty’s Government at a time when it is championing the cause of freedom with all its vast might. It is fighting the battle of all of us and deserves every scrap of aid we can give.”

Discussing the L750,000 allocation for relief of distress, the High Commissioner said that the prime essential was to provide more opportunity for the poor man to earn money by work. He said that with Britain agreeing to bear the abnormal expenditure for garrison and security, coupled with better revenue returns, it had become possible to devote the L750,000 of Palestine Government in come for relief.

The allocations under the grant include, in addition to direct Jewish relief through Jewish bodies, a similar allotment for the Arabs, as well as grants for Jewish and Arab municipalities, councils and charitable institutions.

Loans totaling L180,000, repayable in five years, will be made to Tel Aviv Jerusalem, Jaffa and other municipalities for essential municipal works which will provide relief. An additional loan of L50,000 to Tel Aviv for liquidation of existing indebtedness will be made, subject to certain conditions. A further grant of L75,000 to finance necessary works will be given to municipalities in the coming year, L30,000 for seed loans and L150,000 for new Government offices in Jerusalem.

Expressing regret at the impossibility of providing funds for the Huleh project and the Tel Aviv and Haifa drainage schemes, Sir Harold explained it was necessary to spread the available money over the widest possible area where relief was urgent.


At a plenary meeting of the Jewish National Council, Dr. Abraham Katznelson reported that relief had been given to 65,000 persons since the outbreak of the war totaling L45,650, of which L10,000 was from the Government, L15,000 from the Jewish Agency and L2,050 from the Council.

Pinchas Rutenberg, president of the Council, urged the starting of collection of the emergency tax on Palestine Jews. He revealed that British officials of the Palestine Government had donated substantially, that a $10,000 contribution to the emergency fund had been received from an anonymous donor in the United States and another anonymous contribution of £1,500 from Buenos Aires.

An acute housing shortage has arisen in Nathania as a result of the vacating of two streets by civilian residents for the needs of the military authorities. Oved Ben-Ami, president of the Nathania Council, conferred with Jewish National Council officials on the granting of a £5,000 subsidy to alleviate the situation.

Twenty pioneer families have established a new cooperative farm at Mishek Shitufi, south of Metzudoth Ussishkin.


Four hundred and forty Jewish illegal immigrants who landed at Tel Aviv on Nov. 14 and were interned in Sarafend concentration camp were released yesterday. Most of them are from Germany, Czechoslovakia and Nazi-occupied Poland. They had been transferred from a ship to small boats near Palestine waters and then landed on the beach.

Meanwhile, moving scenes occurred at the Nathan and Lena Straus Health Center in Tel Aviv when refugee children from Reich territories were welcomed by relatives with whom they will live. The children were brought here through funds raised by a campaign here.

A total of 128 children arrived at Haifa, of whom 52 were immediately taken by their relatives and the rest brought to Tel Aviv to he met by family members. The 128 are part of a group of children between the ages of 11 and 14 for whom the Government has granted special immigration certificates.

It was reported from Cairo that the High Commissioner MacMichael was preparing a decree annulling all Ottoman laws still in force in Palestine. Such a decree would be welcomed by the Palestine population, which suffers from the complicated system of laws based on old Turkish legislation with numerous additions and modifications introduced by the british authorities after the war.

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