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Our Foreign News Letter

October 23, 1924
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It seems certain now that the Palestine government loan about which there has been a great deal of talk for a long time will be a fact in the very near future.

The regular annual budget with which the Palestine government has had to work so far has been insufficient and has resulted in a deficit of one and a half million pounds. The only reason a loan has not been granted the Palestine government in the past was the unstable condition prevailing in Palestine. Today however, Palestine is in a state of peace and order, the mandate has been ratified by all the Powers and the relations between England and Palestine are much firmer than ever before. So there is no reason for the loan to be further delayed.

It is said the loan will amount to 3??? million pounds. Deducting the 1??? million pounds of debt will leave the government approximately 2 million pounds to continue the good work it has been doing in constructing bridges, highways, railroads, etc.

It is vitally important that the Jews, through their official instrumentality, the Jewish Agency, should prepare in advance for the time when the loan is secured in order to be able to derive from it the full share of benefits to which they are entitled.

It is unfortunate that up till now the Jewish Agency has been centering its entire attention on political activity, ignoring every issue of a financial or economic nature, for economic questions are ever closely related to politics.

The Jewish Agency should alter its policy at once. The question of the Palestine government loan offers a good opportunity for such a change of attitude.

It is evident that the loan, when it is secured and put into operation will be used mainly for the following purposes:

1. The establishment of a farmers’ credit bank.

2. General improvements and public welfare.

3. The construction of public schools, bureaus, etc.

Those familiar with the situation in Palestine know how necessary it is for the Jews to be on their guard lest they be slighted when the time arrives for realizing the projects just named out of the funds of the loan.

The Jews must demand that their interests be taken care of, that they get a square deal for the Jewish farmers when the credit bank begins to operate, that their schools receive sufficient financial help as compared to the Arab schools, that Jewish laborers and contractors, who are skilled and efficient, be given consideration when the contracts for new public works of all kinds will be handed out.

When the loan is secured it should find the Jewish Agency prepared to protect the interests of the Jews in Palestine.

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