United States Consul in Jerusalem Reviews Palestine Situation
Menu JTA Search

United States Consul in Jerusalem Reviews Palestine Situation

Download PDF for this date

(Jewish Daily Bulletin)

The boom in Palestine during the earlier part of 1925 is attributed as the reason for the ensuing depression in that country by Oscar Heizer, U. S. Consul at Jerusalem, in a report on the economic situation in Palestine in 1926 submitted to the State Department and made public by the Department of Commerce here. “The resulting trade depression was reflected primarily in the decline in building operations in Tel Aviv and the consequent increase in unemployment,” the report says.

“Only £E270,000 was spent there on new construction in 1926 as compared with £E1,436,000 in 1925. Expenditures on construction in Jerusalem, however amounted to approximately £E393,449 as against £E226,939 in 1925, and in Haifa to £E156,003 and £E111,100, respectively. About 1,200 protests on promissory notes were registered in Haifa alone during 1926; this compares with 400 in 1926 and 200 in 1924,” the report continues.

“Reports on industrial activity were more satisfactory. Of the plants that closed down in 1925, the largest, a chocolate and a silk factory, have reopened, and a brewery at Acre, were established during 1926.

“Three electric power stations were functioning in Palestine in 1926 and furnishing power for the industries at Tel-Aviv, Haifa, and Tiberias. These power houses will be auxiliary and stand-by stations when the main Rutenburg electricity scheme, which proposes to harness the waters of the Jordan, is put into operation.

“Industrial production during the year included 44,500 tons of artificial Portland cement; 4,563,563 sandlime (silicate) bricks; and 489 tons of cigarettes, cut tobacco, and tombac as against 434 tons in 1925. The production of salt is a Government monopoly; during 1926 5,549 tons of salt were sold, as compared with 4,794 tons in 1925.

“During the year foreign shipping to the extent of 2,651 steam and sailing vessels, with an aggregate register of 1,614, 434 tons, entered Palestine ports. Eleven of these were of American nationality, as compared with 12 in 1925 and 1 in 1924. In the coastal trade, 1,043 steam and sailing vessels, totaling 726,958 tons, were engaged. While the port of Haifa registered about double the tonnage of Jaffa in the coastal trade, the port of Jaffa handled twice as much foreign trade as Haifa, the difference in the latter case being caused by the large orange exports through Jaffa.

“The Imperial Aairways (Ltd.) acquired land at Gaza in the latter part of 1926 for the establishment of an airdrome, which will form a link in the recently inaugurated Cairo-Karachi air route.

“Adverse weather conditions had such serious effects that the 1926 crop of oranges, the only export commodity of importance, totaled only 1,515,000 cases as against 2,146,000 cases in 1925. The decrease is attributed to frosts at the beginning of last year. Owing to the increasing production of Jaffa oranges, growers are endeavoring to develop new markets for this product. In line with this policy, an orange show was held at Jaffa early in 1926, the first of its kind in Palestine; it is reported to have proved a success. Keener competition is being encountered abroad from Spanish oranges, and the need of new markets is considered important if the present price level is to be maintained in the face of increasing production. England continues to be Palestine’s most important market for oranges, followed by Egypt and Turkey.

“Cereal crops were badly affected by abnormal heat during the growing season. Barley, through its early maturing, alone escaped the effects of the heat wave and its yield increased to 70,000 tons in 1926 as against 40,000 in 1925. Wheat production was less satisfactory–90,000 tons as against 101,0000 in 1925. Durrah was hard hit, so that production fell from 30,000 tons in 1925 to 24,000 tons in 1926. The same situation applies to Sesame, which yielded 1,800 tons as against 5,000 for the previous year. A normal crop is reported for melons (25,570 tons). Small increases are indicated in returns of beans, lentils, and kersenneh, attributed to additional planting under the plan of crop rotation.

“The 1926 crop of tobacco totaled 1,040,000 pounds, as against 1,270,000 pounds in 1925. The acreage planted was slightly less, but the quality is reported to be better.

“Palestine’s foreign trade in 1926, exclusive of goods in transit and specie shipments, was marked by a 12 per cent, reduction in imports as compared with 1925.”


The case of Dr. Samuel Buchler, charged with having falsely testified before the Federal Grand Jury, which was scheduled to be taken up in the District Court yesterday was postponed for today.

A $2,975 automobile will be awarded to the Hadassah Chapter making the best showing toward raising the $120,000 Summer Emergency Fund for the Medical and Health work which Hadassah maintains in Palestine. The donor of the automobile is Mrs. Charles Werbelowsky of Brooklyn.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund