NEW YORK (Jun. 14)
“There is every reason for being confident that the adjustment from war to post-war economy can be carried out in Palestine smoothly and also that the country will be in a position to absorb large numbers of refugee immigrants on a self-maintaining basis,” Julius Simon, president of the Palestine Economic Corporation, declared here today following his arrival by plane, via Lisbon, after a four-year’ absence from the United States.
Mr. Simon, who is one of Palestine’s outstanding economists, emphasized that if not for its modern economic development through Jewish endeavor during the two decades prior to outbreak of war, Palestine would not have been in a position to contribute so materially to the Allied war effort from the early days of the war. “That contribution,” he said, “resulted from the introduction and wide-scale use of modern agricultural methods as well as the erection and expansion of a modern industrial structure in the country. Through expanded food production it was possible to reduce to a minimum the volume of food which had to be imported and it also became possible to provide certain fresh foods to the military forces. During the entire war period the irrigation systems were continuously extended, partly with government aid, in order to increase food crops.
“The beginnings of Palestine industry were considerably enlarged during the war period. Through government initiative and through the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the Jewish refugee manufacturers who had re-established themselves in Palestine in the past decade, Palestine industry was quick to adapt its production to the requirements of the military forces and to numerous civilian needs previously satisfied through imports. In addition to items of apparel for soldiers and hundreds of items required by encampments, manufacturers produced technical and other equipment which were to a considerable extent directly used by the armies.
PALESTINE BECAME ONLY PRODUCER OF POTASH AFTER FALL OF FRANCE
“It was fortuitous to the Allied Nations that a quarter of a century ago a Burnsian-Jewish mining engineer had devoted himself to the possibilities of extracting minerals from the Dead Sea and had persevered to develop extraction methods which by the time war broke out resulted in a large-scale production of potash,” Mr. Simon continued. “With the fall of France, Palestine became the only producer of potash for agricultural, industrial and munitions purposes within the British territory. During the war period production more than doubled.
“In its various branches of service – that is, through its several subsidiary and affiliated companies, each devoted to a special field of economic development activity – Palestine Economic Corporation was able directly and indirectly to make a substantial contribution to the Allied war effort,” he declared.
Mr. Simon was on a visit to the United States in June, 1940. When Holland was invaded he immediately departed for Palestine in order to be able to direct the Corporation’s activities in an emergency. He remained in Palestine throughout the four years and played an active role in expanding Palestine’s war effort and in laying the foundations for post-war activities.