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Jewish Palestine Needs $1,800,000,000 for Post-war Development; International Loan Required

The sum of $1,800,000,000 will be needed to cope with the economic difficulties which Jews in Palestine will encounter during the transition period from war to peace as well as to speed the agricultural and industrial development of the country in order that new immigrants may be absorbed, Eliezer Kaplan, treasurer of the Jewish Agency, estimated today addressing the conference of the Jewish Labor Party here.

To secure this sum, a large international loan will be required, in addition to the approximately $320,000,000 of Palestine money now in Palestine and English banks, Mr. Kaplan said. Whether this loan will be obtained in the form of repayment for confiscated Jewish property in Europe or otherwise remains to be seen, he added. “A proper government, international capital and Jewish organization can enable the achievement of the final solution of the Jewish problem in Palestine,” he asserted.

Mr. Kaplan predicted that pre-fabricated houses will have to be imported from the United States after the war in order to cope with the acute shortage of housing in the country. “The present high cost of living is menacing our future plane,” he stated. “Whereas the index of living costs in America was 125 in the middle of the year just past, the index in Palestine was 350. Such an astronomical increase prevents our development. We must have 100,000 new rooms and it has been suggested that it would be cheaper if we import ready-made houses from America.”

Touching upon other problems which Jewish Palestine will have to face during the transition period, Mr. Kaplan emphasized that this period has already begun as far as employment is concerned. He said that of Palestine’s 140,000 Jewish workers more than one-half are engaged in military work, including 30,000 who enlisted in the armed forces. “The cessation of military orders,” he pointed out, “is depriving tens of thousands of Jewish workers of employment. Combined with the arrival of new immigrants, they may create not only an economic problem, but also a political.”

While making progress in industry and in agriculture, Palestine is already facing export problems, Mr. Kaplan continued. Competition with foreign producers will be possible only if Jewish industrial and agricultural enterprises in Palestine are reorganized according to the most modern methods which make possible a lower cost of production and a higher productivity, he said.

“ARMISTICE” IS SOUGHT IN JEWISH LABOR PARTY STRIFE

Ten members, representing both factions within the Jewish Labor Party, were elected last night by the conference to seek an “armistice” for one year which would prevent a split in the party ranks.

It is taken for granted that these ten leaders of the divergent groups will reach an understanding which will be satisfactory to all sides. This would save the Jewish Labor Party from a major crisis. The ten negotiators include David Ben-Gurion, Berl Katznelson, David Remez, Isaac Tobenkin, Eliezer Kaplan, Isaac Sprinzak, S. Kaplanski, Harzfeld, Idelson and Ben-Ari.

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