Weizmann Calls on Palestine Jews to Lower Living Standard; Urges Industrial Expansion
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Weizmann Calls on Palestine Jews to Lower Living Standard; Urges Industrial Expansion

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Dr. Chaim Weizmann, president of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, today told the Jews of Palestine that they will have to lower their standard of living if they are interested in the expansion of the Jewish industry in the country.

Other prerequisites to industrial expansion of Palestine are the establishment of normal relations between industry and labor, and free access to raw materials, Dr. Weizmann said. He spoke at the biennial meeting of the Jewish Industrial Association before an audience of 200 industrialists and many high government officials.

Dr. Weizmann praised the contribution which local industry has made to the war effort. “Palestine industry,” he said, “has done comparatively more than the industries of bigger, richer and more developed , industry and labor “for a painless transition from war to peace time” and emphasized that lower wages and a lower cost of living are essential for the acquisition of new markets.

“It is argued,” Dr. Weizmann declared, “that Palestine does not possess raw materials. But Switzerland is in the same position. Nevertheless, Swiss products are spread all over the world because of the experience of the Swiss people and their aspiration to produce the best quality. We can do the same, because we have such a good school being on important crossroads. In addition, England’s post-war industry will be concentrated on the African continent which is rich with raw materials, and we, too, must get part of them.”


Chairman Ralph Crosbie of the Palestine War Economic Board addressing the gathering also stressed the necessity of lowering the living standard in order to enable Palestine products to enter foreign markets. The president of the Industrial Association, Arieh Shenkar, stressed the difficulties of industrial transition from war to peace time production. He revealed that Palestine’s clothing industry, alone, has a turn-over of fifty million dollars yearly.

Special attention to the reconversion of Palestine industry during the transition period was asked at the meeting by Dr. Emil Shmorak, head of the economic department of the Jewish Agency. He emphasized that the economic policy of the country is not decided by the British Government in London but by the Palestine Government in Jerusalem and expressed the hope that “with the arrival of Field Marshal Gort as High Commissioner of Palestine, the Jews can expect far-reaching changes to enable them to build up their homeland.”

Eliezer Kaplan, treasurer of the Jewish Agency, said that every industrial plan that fails to take into account Jewish immigration is not a Jewish plan and is harmful to the interests of the country.

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