LONDON (Oct. 6)
The sensational assertion that Syria, which is now under the control of the United Nations, is supplying Nazi Germany with substantial wheat supplies, affecting the food situation in Palestine and in the entire Middle East, is made today in an article written by the Jerusalem correspondent of the London Economist, Britain’s loading paper on economic questions.
The writer believes that largo quantities of wheat and other grains are delivered from Syria to Germany through Turkey which is serving as a transit market for the Nazis. German troops and officials in Greece are similarly being fed on wheat coming from Syria, he declares. He substantiates this charge with figures indicating that for the last few months there has been an abnormally heavy demand for wheat and other grains in Syria, with prices much higher than the price fixed by the government.
This development, the article points out, is harmful to the Allied cause not only because it helps feed the Nazis and their armies with food secured in countries under Allied control, but also because it upsets the price stabilization policy of the Palestine Government and of the British military authorities in the Near East. It also makes it increasingly difficult for the British authorities in Palestine to suppress black marketing of grain by Arabs who are in constant touch with Arab grain merchants in Syria.
It has been established that though the Palestine Government is now paying as high as $140 for a ton of wheat, which is three times higher than the pre-war price, government purchasing agents are encountering great difficulties in obtaining the necessary quantities of grain in the Near Eastern, the article reveals. Somehow, despite the strict services against smuggling, the grain in the Near Eastern countries gravitates towards the highest market, thus upsetting the grain monopoly in Palestine and other British-controlled countries which can only function when standard prices and a uniform market is maintained throughout the Middle East.