WASHINGTON (Sep. 20)
More than a thousand delegates attending the first national economic conference on Israel here tonight heard former Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, Jr., relate the $500,000,000 Israel Independence bond issue to the defense of democracy and the Point Four program.
The four-day conference will chart a program for mobilization of wide American support for the industrial and agricultural development of Israel through an intensive campaign on behalf of the Israel bond issue.
“The language of the bond issue is the language of President Truman’s program for the rehabilitation of under-developed areas,” Mr. Morgenthau, who is chairman of the board of Governors of the American Financial and Development Corporation for Israel, told the conference. He stressed importance of the bond issue to the cause of democracy, characterizing Israel as “a democracy whose people are zealously determined to safeguard the principles of freedom.” He declared that “the new economic strength we pump into Israel will enhance its position as guardian of democracy on the strategic highway between East and West.”
ISRAEL INCREASING AUSTERITY TO BREAKING POINT
Referring to reports of food shortages in Israel, Mr. Morgenthau said that “the Israelis are giving up their food to build factories. They are going without the basic necessities of life to build irrigation projects, to establish new farms and to develop newly-discovered mining areas. They are intensifying their austerity to the breaking point because they want to invest every available dollar to secure their future and to absorb additional tens of thousands of newcomers.”
U.S. Secretary of Labor Maurice J. Tobin, who recently visited Israel, told the conference that, mindful of the basic pattern of production as the secret of the success of the United States, Israel is placing greatest emphasis on expansion of its industrial and agricultural development. Mr. Tobin stressed the decisive importance of the bond issue and said that Israel must obtain tools and raw materials to increase its exports. He paid tribute to the spirit of sacrifice of the Israelis who in spite of “a rigid regime of austerity have firmly resolved to restrict the use of the funds realized from the Israel bond issue to industrial and agricultural projects designed to enlarge production and to improve the country’s balance of payments.”
$700,000,000 INVESTED IN ISRAEL IN THREE YEARS
Israel Finance Minister Eliezer Kaplan, in a cable read to the conference tonight, said that $700,000,000 had been invested in Israel in the past three years and it is hoped to double that amount in the next three years. He said that “the intermediate period between the investments themselves and the time they begin to bear fruit imposes a heavy burden of shortages and sacrifices but we hope the time is not far off when those investments, among which the bond issue has a decisive place, will bring us economic independence.”
David Horowitz, director general of the Finance Ministry, assured the conference that despite pressing supply problems the government and people of Israel were determined to use proceeds from the bond issue completely for productive and constructive purposes. He presented a detailed report on expenditures and allocations from the first $50,000,000 received from the sale of bonds.