NEW YORK (Apr. 18)
The completed Lowdermilk plan for the creation of a Jordan Valley Authority for the development of irrigation and electric power in Israel and neighboring countries was today accepted “by Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe harett for submission to his government. The presentation of the plan, which calls for the expenditure of $250,000,000, was made by Dr. Emanuel Neumann on behalf of the Jewish Agency’s Commission on Palestine Surveys. The ceremony took place at the weldorf Astoria Hotel, with 300 Zionist and civic leaders attending.
Declaring that the report “is a most significant contribution towards solution of one of our major problems–reclamation and development of our country’s water and power resources,” Sharett asserted that “the creative idea of the Jordan Valley Authority by its very nature symbolizes peaceful cooperation benefiting alike all its partners. These great plans for irrigation are of special and immediate interest to us in connection with the Negev. We are detsrmined to do everything we can to develop as large a part as possible of this derelict area to convert it into a thriving province,” he added.
Dr. Emanuel Neurmann, president of the Zionist Organization of America and chairman of the Surveys Commission, said that “if the planning and execution of Large-scale development schemes is desirable throughout the Near East, it is an urgent necessity in the case of Israel, which has thrown open its gates to great masses of refugees now streaming to its shores.”
Dr. walter Clay Lowdermilk, originator of the Jordan development scheme, predicted that the Authority “would give an example to the backward Middle East and might well restore the Middle East to a condition worthy of its glorious past, to the benefit of Arab, Christian and Jew.” All speakers paid tribute to Dr. Lowdermilk for his efforts in behalf of the J.V.A. concept. Herbert Bayard Swope, who was one of the speakers, emphasized that implementation of this project will contribute to peace in the Near East. He lauded the efforts of the Israeli Government in behalf of peace and reconstruction. Other speakers included Mrs. Rose Halprin, on behalf of the Jewish Agency, and Bartley C. Crum, former member of the Anglo-American Palestine Inquiry Commission.