GENEVA (Sep. 24)
Israel bond sales so far this year are more than 45 per cent ahead of those in the same period of 1963, Dr. Joseph H. Schwartz, Israel Bond Organization executive vice president, told the first session of a two day meeting here of the European Committee for the Development of Israel, today.
He reported also that sales in Europe so far this year were 129 percent ahead of the corresponding period in 1963. He said this result is particularly encouraging, because 1963 was the most successful year generally in the history of Israel bond sales, with a record total of $75, 000, 000. He said the 1964 goal of $85, 000, 000 in sales would certainly be reached–and possibly surpassed.
He reported also that 531 banks in the United States had purchased a total of $11, 729, 000 in Israel bonds, and that 539 trade unions had purchased 11,765, 000 worth, while pension and welfare funds had acquired $2, 300, 650 in bonds.
Barond Edmond de Rothschild, president of the Israel bond drive in Europe, told the conference that there should be an intensified appeal to individual subscribers, as well as to banks, insurance firms and similar institutions in Western Europe. Participating countries in the conference are France, Britain, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, West Germany and Austria.
COUNTRY LEADERS SPEAK; AID TO ISRAEL DEVELOPMENT PROPOSED
Dr. Hans Opiecht, Swiss Social Democratic leader, reported on bond sales in Switzerland. Dr. Erich Walter Lotz described sales in West Germany, and also mentioned the Germans debt to Israel, Prof. Abraham May, a noted economist, spoke on bond sales in Holland.
While Israel bond sales were the key topic of the conference, the participants also discussed other means by which European Jewry could help Israel development. Baron Rothschild outlined a proposal under which European financiers and business leaders would establish factories in Israel turning out products specifically suited to the European import market. He suggested that the European investors, in addition to financing such plants, could also send experts to Israel to teach appropriate skills to Israeli workers.
Another proposal was that sale of Israel bonds to individuals in Europe, Jewish or non-Jewish, should be accompanied by special facilities for tours for such purchasers in Israel. A. Maurer, a Zurich economist and a member of a distinguished Protestant family, said “a visitor to Israel becomes a friend of Israel for life.”
Two hundred persons prominent in Geneva public life attended a reception tonight, tendered by Baron and Baroness de Rothschild.