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American Palestine Institute Starts Survey of Palestine’s Economic Possibilities

April 24, 1944
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A survey of the economic potentialities of Palestine in the next decade is now being prepared by the American Palestine Institute under the supervision of Robert R. Nathan, former chairman of the Planning Commission of the war Production Board, it was announced her today.

“Consideration will be given to both agricultural and industrial possibilities,” the announcement said. “While emphasis will be placed upon raw materials and other resources available within Palestine and in the Middle Eastern area, the investigation will also aim to indicate opportunities which may present themselves to manufacturers, traders, and investors from other countries. Markets throughout the Middle East and elsewhere will be studied.

“An analysis will be made of the capacity of Palestine to absorb new settlers; the rate of absorption of immigrants under varying assumptions; the related capital investment required; and the probable direction of economic development. The report will be primarily an economic appraisal, rather than an engineering survey. However, results of previous engineering surveys will be utilized, and the services of engineering consultants as well as industrial experts will be utilized,” the statement emphasized.

As part of the preliminary investigation, a staff of professional economists has for some time been engaged in evaluating all the available publications and other materials which have been gathered in the United States. In addition, Mr. Nathan, with a number of associates will shortly travel to Palestine to conduct a personal investigation there and in the Middle Eastern areas, for the purpose of obtaining first-hand information and a realistic insight into the related problems.

The American Palestine Institute, for which the survey is made, is an organization incorporated in 1942 as a membership corporation in the State of New York for the purpose of conducting research into the economic potentialities of Palestine and the Middle East, and disseminating economic information concerning this area. The Institute is a non-political, non-profit organization, which is not affiliated with any other organization and is financed by private contributions from individuals.

By the provisions of the contract, Mr. Nathan and his associates have complete independence in conducting this study and in the formulation of the findings. In announcing the survey, Mr. Nathan emphasized the fact that it is not an official government project, and that the survey is not concerned with political matters. While it is recognized that political considerations are very important in determining policies concerning the future development of Palestine and the Middle East area, these political considerations are regarded as outside the scope of the present survey, which is designed to deal solely with the economic aspects of the subject, Mr. Nathan said.

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