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Palestine High Commissioner Hampers American Commission Seeking to Make Economic Study

Acting on the insistence of the Palestine High Commissioner, the British Government has refused to issue visas for the American Palestine Institute mission of three, comprising Robert Nathan, Louis Bean and Oscar Gass, who for the past four months have been seeking permission to make an economic study in Palestine, it was learned here today.

The study would explore the financial and population possibilities of the country, including in the investigation Palestine’s ability to absorb new immigration, and the demand for investment in new enterprises. The mission, non-Zionist and independent, is said on excellent authority to have met with cooperation from the British Embassy in Washington. It is felt that the British Foreign Office would set up no insuperable obstacles to the mission.

Opposition is said to come mainly from High Commissioner MacMichael, who is reported to have alleged fear of Arab disturbances as ground for the refusal. A high British official who recently visited Washington is quoted by an informed source as having belittled the likelihood of such disturbances, and to have added that the worst that might be expected would be an outburst of propaganda. The mission still hopes eventually to receive visas.