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High Commissioner Authorized to Bring to Palestine People Detained in British Colonies

Defense regulations which are certain to have far-reaching consequences were published in the Official Gazette today. These regulations vest the High Commissioner of Palestine with power to arrange the transfer to Palestine of persons legally detained in the United Kingdom and in British colonies and possessions.

Speculation was rife in Jewish circles as to whether the new decree covers also the possible return to Palestine of the several hundred Jews interned on the island of Mauritius after having been deported as immigrants who entered the country illegally.

Another regulation announced in the official Gazette provides that no worker can relinquish his job in any of the war service occupations without the consent of his employer. Exceptions are made where the worker has written permission from the controller of manpower.

The list of war service occupations as published in the Official Gazette includes employees of the Palestine railway system, Haifa harbor, the post and telegraph system, the Department of Public Works, and all skilled and semi-skilled workers in plants operated by the Army, Navy and the Royal Air Force.

An official statement published by the Palestine Government today explains that it was essential to bring the country’s manpower under a central direction “owing to increased recruitment, the extension of industry and the need for increased food production.” The statement goes on to say that there is the danger of “facing a shortage in certain types of skilled labor which would place serious obstacles in the way of attaining that degree of industrial production which is essential for the prosecution of the war in this part of the Middle East.”

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