Palestine Now Important War Supply Center for Near East, Survey Indicates

The development of Jewish Palestine into a highly important center of agricultural and industrial supplies for the Near East in war-time is show in a survey released by the Jewish authorities here today.

The survey, which covers the entire war period since September, 1339, reveals that the Jewish population of Palestine has increased by 48,000 since the outbreak of war. This figure includes 25,000 immigrants, of whom 9,500 were refugees from Nazi-held territories.

According to the survey, the number of unemployed has dropped to a low level of 2,500, representing practically only people unfit for manual work. About 16,000 men and women have enlisted, including 160 officers and 80 medical officers.

Jewish settlers have augmented their agricultural production by twenty-five per cent, and the area under irrigation has increased to the same extent. The area allotted for the cultivation of vegetables was extended to 18,000 dunams by the irrigation of a further 9,500 dunams, which resulted in crops being increased from 16,000 to 27,000 tons annually. There was an increase in livestock by forty per cent, and in milk production from 7,700,000 gallons to 9,130,000 gallons. Sheep-breeding has become a general feature of Jewish farming in Palestine.

NINETEEN NEW SETTLEMENTS ESTABLISHED SINCE WAR

This development was greatly assisted through land purchases by the Jewish National Fund, which have increased by twenty-three per cent. Seventeen of the nineteen new settlements established in war-time are on JNF land. The cultivated area owned by the Fund was enlarged by 100,000 dunams. Sixty per cent of the country’s wheat production is grown on Kayemeth land, and sixty-five per cent of the dairy produce comes from farms established on land acquired by the Fund.

The production of oil-seeds has also been stimulated. Before the war, 20,000 tons of ground nuts had to be imported, while now crops of 900 pounds are obtained per dunam. Vineyards have been expanded to 12,000 dunams, and the wine production has increased by fifteen per cent to a total of 1,000,000 gallons per annum, twenty per cent of which is being exported. Beer production has increased from 440,000 gallons to 1,500,000 gallons.

Twelve fishing villages in Palestine provide the Yishuv with 234 tons of fish annually. About 400 new industrial undertakings, including chemical and metal works, textile factories and plants for woodwork and building materials have been initiated. The manufacture of medicaments is of particular importance for the whole of the Middle East.

Palestine industry now employs 42,000 people, and goods are produced to the value of nearly L20,000,000 per annum, compared with L10,000,000 before the war. Production of electrical power has increased from 79,000,000 to 112,000,000 kilowatts, of which 8,000,000 is consumed by Jewish agriculture.

The Government revenue during the three years of war was L24,000,000, compared with L15,000,000 in the three years preceding the war. Bank deposits have risen from L17,000,000 to L24,000,000. Considerable contributions were made by the Yishuv to various war funds, while its public expenditure on national, communal and civic bodies is estimated at L6,400,000 per annum.

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