Ben Gurion Launches 20,000,000 Pound Voluntary Loan in Israel

Prime Minister. David Ben Gurion today launched the Jewish Agency’s 20,000,000 pound voluntary loan designed to finance immigration and absorption of new immigrants from East European countries, with a personal subscription of 1,000 pounds.

The Prime Minister said that Israel cannot give up hope of Jewish immigration from the Soviet Union. He estimated that if Soviet Russia permitted Jews to leave for Israel, probably 1,500,000 Jews would apply for such exit documents.

Speaking as chairman of a public advisory committee for the loan, Mr. Ben Gurion told committee members that manpower was Israel’s most urgent need and cited the fact that the population of the Arab countries outnumbered that of Israel 22 to one. “Despite a crack army which is considered one of the best, it is a bitter truth that we are not yet certain of our security,” he said.

Other committee members urged all-out efforts to inspire world Jewry to maintain and increase support for the vital immigration program. Several million pounds have already been pledged through banks and individuals for the loan, it was announced at the meeting, at which a message from President Yitzhak Ben Zvi that he was buying the first bond in the loan was hailed.

At a meeting of the Jewish Agency executive, Dov Joseph, treasurer, reported today that it is hoped to raise the 20,000,000 pounds with in the next two months. The executive also heard a report from Dr. Judd Teller, political secretary of the executive’s New York headquarters, on the Zionist movement in the United States. His report covered, among other matters, trends in the immediate future of the American movement.

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